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Astronomy
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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 for access to news and information about astronomy and space-related activities
of interest to the community and the public.
     


















       

           

    


      

The Astronomy Class on October 15 WILL meet at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

 (aka, Harvard Observatory), 60 Garden Street today.

 

Please arrive promptly at 7:45 PM.

    


      

           

Astronomy Course:

           

Mysteries of the Universe: Black Holes, Dark Energy, and More: Fall Semester

        

Fifty years ago, humans landed on the Moon. We’ve since discovered countless planets orbiting other suns, and potentially habitable environments in our own solar system. We know how big the universe is, how old it is, and what’s it’s made of. But we also face mysteries: black holes, dark matter, and dark energy. We’ll cover everything you’ve always wanted to know but were afraid to ask. No math or science background required. You’ll also get to use a large telescope at a local observatory.

                        

Meets at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, 8 Tuesdays: Sept. 17 - April 2 - Nov. 5, 2019 - 7:45 PM - 9:15 PM.

                

                                                          


                 

 October Astronomy-Related Events in the Boston Area  

                                                      

Saturday, Octobert 5, 2019

AstroAssembly
Seagrave Memorial Observatory

North Scituate, RI

http://www.theskyscrapers.org/astroassembly2019

       

 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Astronomy Day

https://www.astroleague.org/astronomyday/facts

      

      

Saturday, October 5, 2019     

International Observe The Moon Day

https://moon.nasa.gov/observe-the-moon/annual-event/overview/

  

  

Thursday, October 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: "Current State of the Planetary Defense", Dr. Peter Veres

 Our guest speaker for the October meeting will be Dr. Peter Vereš. The title of his talk will be "Current State of the Planetary Defense”. He will discuss the past, present and future of asteroid and comet discovery, Earth impacts, and what we can do about the potential impacters. Dr. Peter Vereš obtained his PhD at the Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. After a year on the research faculty at Comenius University, three years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii, and two years as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he joined the Harvard-Smithsonian’s Minor Planet Center as a staff scientist in 2017. Dr. Vereš joined the Pan-STARRS telescope team in Hawaii, and co-discovered hundreds of asteroids and dozens of comets. His research is related to meteors, discovery of asteroids and comets

  

  

Thursday, October 17, 2019, 7:30 PM

Public Observatory Night

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

60 Garden Street

Cambridge, MA 02138

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/publicevents

Topic and Speaker: Atmospheric Pollution Measurements from Geostationary Orbit

Kelly Chance, Senior Physicist in Atomic and Molecular Physics, Center for Astrophysics

The Smithsonian/NASA Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution satellite instrument (TEMPO; tempo.si.edu) will measure atmospheric pollution and much more over North America at hourly time resolution or better and 2km (N/S)×5km (E/W) spatial resolution. It will measure ground-level ozone, its chemical precursors, clouds, and aerosols. TEMPO will be launched in early 2022. TEMPO will measure from a geostationary vantage point 35,786 km above Earth's equator at 93°W. Applications include air quality and health; ozone production; biomass burning; lightning nitrogen dioxide; soil nitrogen and fertilizer application; crop and forest damage from ozone; chlorophyll and primary productivity; water vapor studies including atmospheric rivers, hurricanes, and corn sweat; and rush hour pollution.

  

       

 

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/  

  

   

Fridays, 8:00 PM EDT - 10:00 PM EDT (ends October 25, 2019):

Astronomy After Hours

Museum of Science

Boston, MA.
617-589-0267

https://mos.org/drop-in-activities/astronomy-after-hours
    
 

              

                    

The Sky at a Glance: October 2019

                                                                                    

            Phases of the Moon:

         

First Quarter Moon

October 5

12:47 PM EDT

Full Moon

October 13

5:08 PM EDT

Last Quarter Moon

October 21

       :39 PM EDT

New Moon

October 27

11:38 PM EDT

          

   Planet Visibility:

    

In Evening (after sunset):

    Venus, in SW

    Mercury, in SW

    Jupiter, in SW

    Saturn, in S

    Neptune, in SE

    Uranus, in E

            

At Midnight:

    Neptune, in SW

    Uranus, in SE 

                      

In Morning (before sunrise):

    Uranus, in W

    Mars, E 

            

                   

Comets:

   
  •     There are no comets brighter than magnitude 8 currently visible.
    •   

Meteors:

       

  •     The Orionid meteors peak on October 21/22. Unfortunately, that is less than a day after the Last Quarter Moon, and the Moon’s glow will be enough to drown out the fainter meteors. You might find that you see only half the usual number of 20 meteors per hour.
       

                                  


       
Major Astronomical Events: October 2019
                   
    

 October 2019

    
Oct. 2 Wed. 9:00 PM EDT Venus 3° N of Spica,14° from Sun in evening sky
Oct. 3 Thur. 3:00 AM EDT Moon 7.3° NNW of Antares, 60° and 61° from Sun in evening sky
Oct. 3 Thur. 4:00 PM EDT Moon 1.9° N of Jupiter, 69° and 68° from Sun in evening sky
Oct. 5 Sat All day Astronomy Day
Oct. 5 Sat. 12:47 PM EDT First Quarter Moon
Oct. 5 Sat. 5:00 PM EDT Moon 0.3° S of Saturn, 92° from Sun inn evening sky
 
Oct. 7 Mon. 3:00 PM EDT Saturn @ eastern quadrature, 90°  from Sun in evening sky
Oct. 10 Thur. 2:00 PM EDT Summer solstice in N. Hemisphere of Mars
Oct. 10 Thur. 2:29 PM EDT Moon @ apogee (405,899 km / 252,214 mi)
Oct. 10 Thur. 7:00 PM EDT Moon 4° S of Neptune, 149° from Sun in evening sky
 
Oct. 13 Sun. 5:08 PM EDT Full Moon ("Full Hunter's Moon")
Oct. 13 Sun. 7:52 PM - 8:27 PM EDT Double shadow transit on Jupiter (Europa, Io)
Oct. 14 Mon. 8:00 PMM EDT Moon 4° S of Uranus, 165° and 166° from Sun in morning sky
Oct. 17 Thur. 1:00 AM EDT Moon 7° SE of Pleiades, 142° and 143° from Sun in morning sky
Oct.17 Thur. 6:00 PM EDT Moon 2.8° N of Aldebaran, 134° from Sun in morning sky
Oct. 19 Sat. 12:00 AM EDT Mercury @ greatest elongation east (25°)
Oct. 19 Sat. 12:00 PM EDT Moon 1.7° S of M35, 113° and 115° from Sun in morning sky
 
Oct. 20 Sun. 10:00 PM EDT Moon 9.3° S of Castor, 96° and 97° from Sun in morning sky
Oct. 21 Mon. 3:00 AM EDT Moon 5.6° S of Pollux, 93° and 94° from Sun in morning sky
Oct. 21 Mon. 8:39 AM EDT Last Quarter Moon
Oct. 22 Tue. 2:00 AM EDT Moon 0.97° NNE of Beehive Cluster, 81° from Sun in morning sky
Oct. 22 Tue. 10:00 AM EDT Orionid meteor shower peaks
Oct. 23 Tue. 4:00 PM EDT Moon 3.4° NNE of Regulus, 60° from Sun in morning sky
Oct. 26 Sat. 6:39 AM EDT Moon @ perigee (361,311 km / 224,508 mi)
Oct. 26 Sat. 1:00 PM EDT Moon 5° N of Mars, 19° and 18° from Sun in morning sky
 
Oct. 27 Sun. 8:00  AM EDT Moon 7° NNE of Spica, 11° and 10° from Sun in morning sky
Oct. 27 Sun. 10:51 PM EDT Uranus closest to Earth (18.833 AU / 2.82 billion km / 1.75 billion mi)
Oct. 27 Sun. 11:38 PM EDT New Moon
Oct. 28 Mon. 4:00 AM EDT Uranus @ opposition
Oct. 29 Tue. 10:00 AM EDT Moon 4° N of Venus, 21° and 20° from Sun in evening sky
Oct. 29 Tue. 11:00 AM EDT Moon 7° N of Mercury, 22° from Sun in morning sky
Oct. 30 Wed. 1:00 PM EDT Moon 7.1° NNE of Antares, 34° and 33° from Sun in evening sky
Oct. 30 Wed. 4:00 AM EDT Mercury 3° S of Venus, 20° and 21° from Sun in evening sky
Oct. 31 Thur. 9:00 AM EDT Sun enters Libra
Oct. 31 Thur. 10:00 AM EDT Moon 1.3° N of Jupiter, 46° and 45° from Sun in evening sky

   


             

     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. 2 Sat.   Launch of SpaceX Demo-1 flight
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 5

Sun.

9:12 AM EDT

Eta Aquariid meteors peak. (Good.)

May 11

Sat.

All day

Astronomy Day (Spring)

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.

1:00 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
Jul. 22 Mon. 5:22 AM EDT India's Chandrayaan-2 soft-lander / rover mission launches to Moon
       
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. (Poor.)

Sept. 1 Sun.   Parker Solar Probe perihelion #3
Sept. 3 Tue. 6:38 PM EDT 43rd Anniversary of Viking 2 Mars landing
Sept. 6 Fri.   India's India's Vikram spacecraft soft-lands on Moon

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. 8/9   11:25 PM EST - 12:27 AM EST Beginning of Callisto eclipse series (61 eclipses)
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

    


                  

Octoberr 15, 2019 - 9:00 PM EDT