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Astronomy
Welcome to the Boston Astronomy website ...

This website has been created by and is supported by a group of Boston, MA - area amateur astronomers. It is intended to be a convenient site to access news and information about astronomy and space-related activities of interest to the community and the public.


















       

            


                   

The Next Astronomy Course:

           

Meet the Universe: Winter Semester

 

We sit around our campfires as the ancients did, and ponder. How did the Universe come into existence? How did life begin? Are we alone? But now we see a Universe around us containing black holes, dark matter, and expanding space. What does it all mean? In this course, we’ll sit around our own campfire, and try to piece together the stories that modern astronomy is teaching us. One of our meetings will be at a local observatory, where we’ll be able to use a large telescope to learn about the sky first-hand. No math or science background required! New and former students are welcome!

                  

Meets at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 8 Tuesdays: January 15, 2019 - March 5, 2019, 7:45 PM - 9:15 PM.

           

                                                           


          

 January Astronomy-Related Events in the Boston Area  

                                                      

Thursday, January 10, 2019, 8:00 PM

Amateur Telescope Makers of Boston (ATMoB) Monthly Meeting

60 Garden St.

Cambridge, MA 02138

http://www.atmob.org

Topic and Speaker: "Galaxies: From Observations to Simulations", Kelly Blumenthal

A history of our understanding of galaxies, from early observations of "spiral nebulae" to creating galaxies in large-scale simulations of the Universe. 
Kelly Blumenthal, a fifth year PhD student, is a visiting scholar at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. She earned her undergraduate degree in astronomy and physics (with a minor in saxophone performance) from Boston University. In 2016, Kelly received her master’s degree in astronomy from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, and has moved back to the east coast to finish her doctorate. In addition to her research work, she has been heavily involved in outreach programs in Hawai'i, and just published an educational book for high school students, Cosmic Inflation: Explained.

      

Plus (ongoing):        

           

Wednesdays:

Boston University

Boston, MA.
Open Night at Coit Observatory most Wednesdays 8:30 PM - 9:30 PM. 

617-353-2630
http://www.bu.edu/astronomy/events/public-open-night-at-the-observatory/  

            

                 

Earth reaches perihelion – its closest distance to the Sun – at midnight EST on January 3, when the two bodies will be separated by 91.4 million miles (147.1 million km). 

        

Current Night Sky: January 2019

                                                                                

            Phases of the Moon:

           

New Moon

January 5

8:28 PM EST

First Quarter Moon

January 14

1:46 AM EST

Full Moon

January 21

12:16 AM EST

Last Quarter Moon

January 27

4:10 PM EST

                  

Planet Visibility:

    

In Evening (after sunset):

    Neptune, SW

    Mars, in SW

    Uranus, in SW 

         

At Midnight:

    Uranus, in W   

                     

In Morning (before sunrise):

    Venus, in SE

    Jupiter, in SE

    Saturn, in SE  

    Mercury, in SE 

                         

           

Comets:

   
  •   Comet 46P Wirtanen should remain above the threshold of naked eye visibility until mid-January. It is circumpolar for observers at mid-northern latitudes. The Moon may swamp the comet’s faint glow during the second half of the month.  
    •   

Meteors:

       

  •     The Quadrantid meteors peak on January 3. The narrow crescent Moon doesn’t rise until almost sunrise, so the shower should be a good one; expect to see up to 60 – 200 meteors per hour under ideal conditions.
                               

                                                                                      

               

                  
                                                  

                        

        


       
Major Astronomical Events: January 2019
                   
    

 January 2019

    
Jan. 1 Tue. 12:33 AM EST New Horizons @ closest approach: 3,500 km (2,175 miles)
Jan. 1 Tue. 6:00 PM EST Moon 1.25°  NNE of Venus
Jan. 1 Tue. 10:28 AM EST - 10:48 AM EST New Horizons "Phone Home" period

Jan. 1

Tue.

11:53 PM EST

Saturn @ superior conjunction

Jan. 2 Wed. 9:26 PM EST Chang'e 4 lunar landing (Von Kármán crater on farside)
Jan. 3 Thur. 12:00 AM EST Earth @ perihelion (0.98330 AU / 147,099,761 km / 91,403,554 mi)
Jan. 3 Thur. 12:00 AM EST Moon 8.4° NNE of Antares
Jan. 3 Thur. 5:00 PM EST Moon 3.1° NNE of Jupiter
Jan. 3 Thur. 9:28 PM EST Quadrantid meteors peak. (Good.)
Jan. 4 Fri. 7:14 AM EST Latest sunrise of year in Boston (7:13:48 AM EST)
Jan. 4 Fri. 8:29 PM EST New Moon
Jan. 5 Sat. 6:41 AM EST Latest onset of morning civil twilight
Jan. 5 Sat. 6:34 PM EST Partial solar eclipse begins (not visible in Boston)
Jan. 5 Sat. 8:41 PM EST Partial solar ecliipse @ maximum
Jan. 5 Sat. 10:49 PM EST Partial solar eclipse ends

Jan. 5

Sat.

11:54 PM EST

Venus @ greatest elongation west (47°)

Jan. 6 Sun. 6:06 AM EST Latest onset of morning nautical twilight
Jan. 7 Mon. 5:32 AM EST Latest onset of morning astronomical twilight
Jan. 8 Tue. 11:00 PM EST Moon @ apogee (406,117 km / 252,349 mi)
Jan. 10 Thur. 8:00 PM EDT Moon 3° SSE of Neptune
Jan. 12 Sat. 3:00 AM EST Moon 5° SSE of Mars
Jan. 14 Mon. 1:45 AM EST First Quarter Moon
Jan. 14 Mon. 12:00 PM EST Moon 4.8° SSE of Uranus
Jan. 16 Wed. 7:00 PM EST Venus 7.8° N of Antares
Jan. 16 Wed. 10:00 PM EST Moon 8.5° SS of Pleiades
Jan. 17 Thur. 2:00 PM EST Moon 1.63° N of Aldebaran
Jan. 19 Sat. 9:00 PM EST Sun enters Capricornus
Jan. 20 Sun. 2:00 PM EST Moon 7° NS of Pollux

Jan. 20

Sun.

11:41 PM EST

Total lunar eclipse begins

Jan. 21 Mon. 12:16 AM EST Full Moon
Jan. 21 Mon. 12:44 AM EST Total lunar eclipse ends
Jan. 21 Mon. 8:00 PM EST Moon @ perigee (357,342 km / 222,042 mi)
Jan. 22 Tue. 12:00 PM EST Venus 2.41° N of Jupiter
Jan. 22 Tue. 6:00 PM EST Moon 2.46° NNE of Regulus
Jan. 25 Fri.   Dust storm season on Mars ends
Jan. 26 Sat. 4:00 PM EST Moon 7.3° NNE of Spica
Jan. 27 Sun. 4:11 PM EST Last Quarter Moon
Jan. 29 Wed. 10:00 PM EST Mercury @ superior conjunction

Jan. 30

Wed.

   

Chandrayaan-2 lunar orbiter / lander / rover launch

Jan. 30 Wed. 6:00 PM EST Moon 8.4° NNE of Antares
Jan. 30 Wed. 9:00 PM EST Moon 2.7° NNE of Jupiter
Jan. 31 Thur. 1:00 PM EST Moon 0.19° ENE of Venus

   


             

     An Overview of Major Astronomical Events in 2019

      

 

2019
Jan. 1 Tue. 12:33 AM EST New Horizons @ closest approach: 3,500 km (2,175 miles)

Jan. 1

Tue.

11:53 PM EST

Saturn @ superior conjunction

Jan. 3

Thur.

4:59 AM EST

Earth @ perihelion (0.98328 AU / 147,097,233 km / 91,401,983 mi)

Jan. 3

Thur.

9:28 PM EST

Quadrantid meteors peak. (Good.)

Jan. 4 Fri. 7:14 AM EST Latest sunrise of year (7:13:48 AM EST)

Jan. 5

Sat.

11:54 PM EST

Venus @ greatest elongation west (47°)

Jan. 20

Sun.

11:41 PM EST

Total lunar eclipse begins

Jan. 21 Mon. 12:44 AM EST Total lunar eclipse ends
Jan. 25 Fri.   Dust storm season on Mars ends
Feb. 18 Mon.   Hayabusa2 attempts sample collection from asteroid Ryugu.

Feb. 26

Tue.

10:00 AM EDT

Mercury @ greatest elongation east (18°)

Mar. 3 Sun. 11:00 AM EST 50th Anniversary of Apollo 9 launch
Mar. 4 Mon.   Hayabusa2 second attempt at sample collection

Mar. 10

Sun.

2:00 AM EST / 3:00 AM EDT

Daylight Saving Time begins

Mar. 17

Sun.

6:53 AM EDT - 6:53 PM EDT

Equilux (day and night of equal length)

Mar. 20

Wed.

5:58 PM EDT

March Equinox

Mar. 23 Sat. 7:36 AM EDT Spring Equinox, N. Hemisphere of Mars
Apr. 4 Thur.   Parker Solar Probe perihelion #2
Apr. 11 Thur. 3:42 PM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation west (18°)
Apr. 22 Mon. 8:00 PM EDT Lyrid meteors peak

May 11

Sat.

All day

Astronomy Day (Spring)

May 5

Sun.

9:12 AM EDT

Eta Aquariid meteors peak. (Good.)

May 18 Sat. 12:49 PM EDT 50th  Anniversary of Apollo 10 launch

June 10

Sun.

11:11 AM EDT

Jupiter @ opposition

June 15

Sat.

5:07 AM EDT

Earliest sunrise

June 21

Fri.

11:54 AM EDT

June (Summer) Solstice

June 23 Sun. 7:18 PM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation east (25.2°)

June 27

Thur.

8:25 PM EDT

Latest sunset of year (8:25:22 PM)

July 4

Thur.

6:11 PM EDT

Earth @ aphelion (1.017 AU / 152.1 milion km / 94.5 million miles)

July 9

Wed.

612:12 PM EDT

Saturn @ opposition

July 16 Tue. 9:32 AM EDT 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 launch (Armstrong, Aldrin, Collins)
July 20 Sat. 7:53 AM EDT 43rd Anniversary of first Mars landing (Viking 1, 1976)
July 20 Sat. 4:17 PM EDT 50th Anniversary of first Moon landing (Apollo 11, 1969)
July 20 Sat. 10:56 PM EDT 50th Anniversary of first step on Moon (Neil Armstrong, 1969)
July 21 Sun. 1:54 PM EDT 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 leaving lunar surface
July 24 Wed. 12:51 PM EDT 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 splashdown
Aug. 9 Fri. 7:06 PM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation west (18°)

Aug. 13

Tue.

8:00 AM EDT

Perseid meteors peak. (Very good.)

Sept. 1 Sun.   Parker Solar Probe perihelion #3
Sept. 3 Tue. 6:38 PM EDT 43rd Anniversary of Viking 2 Mars landing

Sept. 10

Tue.

2:00 PM EDT

Neptune @ opposition

Sept. 23

Mon.

3:49 AM EDT

September (Fall) Equinox

Sept. 26

Thur.

6:35 AM EDT / 6:36 PM EDT

Equilux (day and night of equal length)

Oct. 5

Sat.

All day

Astronomy Day (Fall)

Oct. 7 Mon. 9:08 PM EDT Summer Solstice, N. Hemisphere of Mars
Oct. 15 Tue.   Launch window for ESA Cheops exoplanet mission opens
Oct. 20 Sun. 12:00 AM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation east (24.6°)

Oct. 22

Sun.

10:00 AM EDT

Orionid meteors peak. (Poor.)

Oct. 28

Mon.

3:17 AM EDT

Uranus @ opposition

Nov. 3

Sun.

1:00 AM EST / 2:00 AM EDT

Daylight Saving Time ends

Nov. 11 Mon. 7:36 AM EST - 1:04 PM EST Transit of Mercury

Nov. 18

Mon.

12:15 AM EST

Leonid meteors peak. (Poor.)

Nov. 24 Sun. 3:58 PM  EST 50th Anniversary of Apollo 12 Moon Landing
Nov. 29 Thur. 5:30 AM EST Mercury @ greatest elongation west (20.1°)

Dec. 9

Thur.

4:11 PM EST

Earliest sunset of year (4:11:48 PM EST)

Dec. 14

Sat.

1:25 PM EST

Geminid meteors peak. (Excellent.)

Dec. 21

Sat.

11:19 PM EST

December (Winter) Solstice

Dec. 22

Sun.

10:00 PM EST

Ursid meteors peak (poor)

Dec. 26 Thur.   Parker Solar Probe Venus flyby #2

   

     


   

    Supernova Style Science News  with Ms. Julie Seven Sage

    


                  

January 15, 2019 - 9:00 PM EST