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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Comet Report and Upcoming Astronomical Events for March

Comet Lulin has put on a Fairly decent showing for February and March considering the amount of nights there has been with cloud cover and I have had only a few Windows of viewing opportunity to see this one although the nights that have been clear have been very good and I have had a really good look and Observation of the Comet once the skies have cleared, it is now beginning to fade at the moment and with the full Moons presence for now it is just about impossible to pick out in the night sky at this time but I think once the Moon Wanes and is out of the way a bit I may hopefully get several more viewing windows to see this Comet, (at this time of writing) the Comet is around Magnitude 6 on the Cancer Gemini Constellation Borders and its trend now is to fade as it moves away from the Earth as well as the Sun back to the icy depths of space-a good Comet to see with apparently 2 tails as well as its Green colour in professional images and pictures...
Other Comets:
13 in all Worldwide ranging from Magnitude 9.5 (144P/Kushida) to Magnitude 13.5 (Mc Naught 2006 Q1) 4 of them are Brightening so if anything happens and they become Binocular or naked eye visible I will be right on top of the news of it....
Astronomical Events for March:
8th March: Saturn was at Opposition in Leo
11th March: Saturn 6 Degrees North of the Moon
13th Uranus in Conjunction with the Sun
17th March: Galilean Moons all aligned to the West of Jupiter's disc/Antares is 0.2 Degrees South of the Moon
20th March: Vernal Equinox and the return of Spring to the Northern Hemisphere
21st March: the SPA's 56 anniversary
22nd Jupiter is 1.5 Degrees South of the Moon in the very early morning twilight sky
27th March: Venus Inferior Conjunction/Callisto Occults Ganymede
28th March: IYA2009 Spring Moonwatch
The Planets:
Mercury: is not visible in the U.K skies for this month and is in Superior Conjunction on 31st March
Venus: is still a brilliant sight in the Western evening sky but will gradually lower into the west to be consumed by the twilight in mid Month reaching inferior Conjunction on 27th March
Dwarf Planet Ceres: is a well placed evening object in Leo Minor
Jupiter: returns after March in the South Eastern morning twilight
Saturn: now at opposition in Leo and is visible all night
Uranus: in Solar Conjunction on 13th March
Neptune: Still too close to the Sun following February's Solar Conjunction
Dwarf Planet Pluto: is a morning object low in Sagittarius
Upcoming Astronomical Space Events for March:
The Space Shuttle or STS 119 should return to the ISS after resolving concerns about faulty Hydrogen valves-it will see a 4 spacewalk Mission to attach the final set of Solar Arrays and will complete the U.S part of Station built components to be taken up-launch time has been delayed for 24 Hours due to another fault found in Umbillical arm fixing into the fuel tank and leaking Hydrogen gas, I will be looking in on NASA TV: around Thursday Morning time when they may have an all clear window for launch.
10 Launches including the STS are still Scheduled for this Month with 3 of them already Launched and 1 of them failing to reach Orbit and falling into the Southern Ocean just off Antarctica (info in going to write 11/3/2009).
The Moon:
Full Moon is today 11th March at 02.38 Hours U.T (Lenten Moon/Worm Moon)
Last Quarter occurs on 18th March at 17.47 Hours U.T
New Moon is on 26th March at 16.06 Hours U.T
First Quarter Moon is on 2nd April at 14.34 Hours U.T
Lighting Up Times for March to April:
10th March: 18.23 Hours U.T
15th March: 18.32 Hours U.T
24th March: 18.48 Hours U.T
1st April: 19.02 Hours U.T
7th April 19.13 Hours U.T
15th April: 19.28 Hours U.T

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