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Thursday, 18 June 2009

Summer Solstice Comet Report and Upcoming Astronomical Events for June and into July...

Don't forget-2009: The International Year of Astronomy (IYA)

Current comet magnitudes (June 17) and observable region (June 17)

  • Comet Magnitude Trend Observable When visible
  • Garradd (2008 Q3) 7 fade 40 N to 90 S best evening
  • Christensen (2006 W3) 9 bright 50 N to 40 S all night
  • Cardinal (2008 T2) 9 fade 10 N to 75 S evening
  • STEREO (2009 G1) 9.5 fade 15 S to 90 S evening and morning
  • Siding Spring (2007 Q3) 10 bright 5 S to 80 S early evening
  • 22P/Kopff 10 fade 50 N to 85 S early morning
  • Yi-SWAN (2009 F6) 10 fade Conjunction
  • 116P/Wild 11 fade 45 N to 55 S evening
  • 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko 11.5 fade Poor elongation
  • Itagaki (2009 E1) 12 ? fade 50 N to 30 S best morning
  • Lulin (2007 N3) 12.5 fade Conjunction
  • 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 13 ? varies Poor elongation
  • 65P/Gunn 13.5 steady 50 N to 50 S early evening
  • Broughton (2006 OF2) 13.5 fade Poor elongation
  • 88P/Howell 14 bright 45 N to 60 S evening
  • LINEAR (2007 G1) 14 ? fade 45 S to 90 S early evening and early morning
  • P/Yang-Gao (2009 L2) 14 fade 45 N to 70 S transits midnight
  • 77P/Longmore 14 fade 40 N to 60 S evening
  • McNaught (2008 A1) 14 fade 50 N to 30 N all night
    Comet Garrad (2008 Q3) is now around Magnitude 7 but its trend is to fade over the next few weeks it is visible most of the night into the early hours in the the Southern Hemisphere and is mainly a Southern sky Comet,
    Christensen (2006 W3) is around Magnitude 9 and brightening 50 N to 40 South and is visible all night.
    Cardinal (2008 T2) is around Magnitude 9 and its trend is to fade 10 N to 75 South visible during the evening.
    STEREO (2009 G1) is around Magnitude 9.5 and its trend is also to fade 15 South to 90 South visible in the evening and morning.
    There are 15 other Comets from Magnitude 10 to Magnitude 14-2 are Brightening, one is variable, one is steady and the rest are fading.
    If there are any reports of future dated bright Comets that may be seen with Binoculars or the naked eye I will let you know A.S.A.P.
    Astronomical Events for June and July:
    June 6th Venus at Dichotomy 9half phase)
    June 13th Mercury at greatest elongation West (24 Degrees)
    June 16th possible June Lyrids (see some)
    June 19th Venus Close to the Moon
    June 21st Summer Solstice, Mercury close to the Moon
    June 23rd Pluto at opposition.
    June 26th/27th possible June Bootids-favourable and worth looking out for
    June 28th Saturn is close to the moon
    The Planets for June:
    Mercury: Reaches greatest Elongation West on June 13th but is too close to the Sun to be seen in the morning sky.
    Venus: a brilliant object remaining low in the morning sky.
    Mars: starts to rise away from the morning horizon but has little to show at the moment.
    Dwarf Planet Ceres: still amongst the stars of Leo and an Early evening object now.
    Jupiter: Now rising just shortly before midnight low in the Capricornus, Aquarius Border.
    Saturn: Almost lost to the Western Evening twilight by now and is just about impossible to pick out now.
    Uranus: In the morning sky in Aquarius
    Neptune: rising before midnight and reasonably close to Jupiter
    Dwarf Planet Pluto: Reaches Opposition on June 23rd low in Sagittarius around midnight.
    Upcoming Astronomical Space Events for June and July:
    The Space Shuttle Endevour STS 127 will return to the ISS once all the problems have been aired out with the faulty Hydrogen valve and Umbilical-launch is now targeted for July sometime to be confirmed but will not be before July 11th when because of a Beta cutout:
    "We gotta step back and try to understand this problem. We will do that, I'm confident we will do that. It's going to take us a little time to do that," said Mission Management Team Chairman LeRoy Cain. "As a result of this scrub, we will be targeting our next earliest available launch date which would be after the beta cutout. That will be as early as July 11."
    This has given a Window for the LRO mission which should launch tomorrow evening Thursday 18th June from Cape Canaveral Air force station.
    3 Launches for the rest of June are scheduled now and possibly 6 to 7 Worldwide launches in July.
    During this Summer between 20th and 26th July will be the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo Moon Landings when man first set foot upon the Moon-should be quite interesting to see the footage of the Apollo missions to the Moon.
    The Moon:
    All times are G.M.T or Universal Time U.T (add 1 Hour B.S.T)
    New Moon is on 22nd June at 19.35 Hours U.T
    First Quarter Moon is on 29th June at 11.28 Hours U.T
    Full Moon occurs on 7th July at 09.21 Hours U.T
    Last Quarter is on 15th July at 09.53 Hours U.T
    New Moon is on 22nd July at 02.35 Hours U.T
    First Quarter is on 28th July at 22.00 Hours U.T 
    Lighting Up Times for June into July:
    All times are G.M.T or Universal Time U.T (add 1 Hour BST)
    15th June: 21.07 Hours U.T
    30th June: 21.08 Hours U.T
    15th July: 20.41 Hours U.T
    31th July: 20.19 Hours U.T
    Good Clear Skies.

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