In Manx skies... June 2017 ~ compiled by Dave Storey



Moon

New
24th at 02.31h

First Quarter
1st at 12.42h

Full
9th at 13.10h

Last Quarter
17th at 11.17h



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Note: All times are Universal Time (UT)
British Summer Time is now in force. Remember to add 1 hour to any times quoted here to get local IoM time.


Summer Solstice occurs 21st at 04h25m.


There are no Lunar or Solar eclipses this month.

Sun

Solar activity is low with solar cycle 24 now in force.

WARNING: NEVER DIRECTLY OBSERVE THE SUN WITH YOUR NAKED EYES AND/OR OPTICAL INSTRUMENTATION: YOU WILL BE BLINDED!

Carrington's Solar Rotation number 2192 starts on the 23rd at 01h16m55s.

Mercury

Is in the morning sky at the start of the month but will not be readily visible as it is too close to the Sun. It passes through superior conjunction on the 21st when it will appear to pass 1° north of the sun, on the far side of the Solar System. It will then be an evening object but will still remain poorly place for viewing due to its proximity to the Sun.

Venus


Will reach greatest western elongation on the 3rd when it will be found 46° to the right of the Sun in dawn skies. The planet will be readily seen due to its brightness of magnitude -4.5 on the 1st and -4.2 by months end. The planet will have a phase of 48.2% and apparent disc diameter of 24.5 arc seconds on the 1st. As the planet moves away from the Sun, its phase will increase to 62.7% and smaller disc size of 18.2 arc seconds. On the 4th, Venus will have a calculated phase of 50% illuminated and it may not appear half phase visually? There is an anomaly when Venus reaches calculated half phase (know as dichotomy), Venus is a few days late at reaching half phase when the phase is waxing (getting bigger). The opposite occurs when the phase is waning when it arrives at half phase a few days early than calculated. This anomaly is known as the Shröter Effect and no real convincing explanation is widely accepted.



The crescent Moon will be about 4° to the lower left of Venus just prior to sunrise (03.41h) on the 21st.

Mars

Is in the evening sky all month but it too close to the Sun to be visible.

Jupiter

Resides in Virgo all month, shining at magnitude -2.2 to -2.1. It will be moving in a retrograde (east to west) direction until the 10th when it will start moving west to east in a direct motion across the sky.

The Great Red Spot may be seen using a telescope in good seeing conditions. Using a light blue filter with an eyepiece will help. Opportunities to see the Great Red Spot from Mann occur on a regular
basis. Click here for suitable dates and times.


As the moons orbit Jupiter, there are occasions when the shadow of the moons can be seen upon the surface of Jupiter and the moons can transit across Jupiter's disc. Also, the moons can be seen to be occulted or eclipsed by Jupiter. There are many events throughout the month. See periodicals such as the BAA Handbook, Astronomy Now and Sky at Night magazines for listings.


To help you identify the moons at any particular time, Sky and Telescope have a Java tool that will plot the moon positions. Click Here.

Saturn

Is at opposition on the 15th when it will be opposite the Sun in the sky and will be seen due south at midnight. It will be at its closest to Earth on this date at 9.04 astronomical units (1.3 billion kilometres/0.8 billion miles). The rings are at their best presentation towards Earth at 26.5° inclination, with the northern side of the rings on view. The planet is low down in the sky from Manx shores and a view through a telescope will be degraded somewhat due to air turbulence.

The bright moon Titan will be east of the planet on 11th ,12th ,13th ,28th ,29th and 30th . It will be west of the planet on 3rd ,4th ,5th ,6th ,19th ,20th ,21st and 22nd.

Meteors

Ophiuchid meteors are active from May to July with two peaks of activity on the 10th and 20th this month. The shower is weak with only 5 meteors per hour at best (ZHR). Radiant for the peak on the 10th is at RA 17h56m Dec. -23° and the radiant for the 20th is at RA 17h20m Dec. -20°.

Lunar
Occultations
(Stars Brighter than Magnitude +6.0)

Date Time            ZC#    SAO#           Magnitude. P.A.  Type of event.    Notes

There are no suitable events visible this month.

For a very detailed list of occultations visible this month, click here. (Data from Occult Software)

Times are UT as seen from IoMAS Observatory. Start to observe these events about 20 minutes before the above times to allow for differences in your latitude and longitude. This will give you time to locate the star that is about to be occulted.

ZC = Zodiacal Catalogue. Type of Event DD = disappearance at dark limb, RD = Reappearance at dark limb. RB = Reappearance on bright limb. PA = Position Angle around limb of the Moon, where 0 degrees is north, 90 degrees is east, 180 degrees is south and 270 degrees is west.
D* = Double Star

The above predictions were calculated from Occult software by David Herald. More information regarding this software may be found at the lunar-occultations.com web site.

Noctilucent Clouds




June is a month where noctilucent clouds may be seen in the northern skies. They appear as glowing electric blue clouds in the middle of the night and some displays can be vary bright. These clouds are at very high altitudes, around 80 km high and it is this high altitude that makes them glow with sunlight illuminating them from below the northern horizon. On the Spaceweather.com web site, there is a graphic showing showing latest observations from AIM satellite, sent up to investigate these mysterious clouds.

Algol

This star drops from magnitude +2.1 to +3.4 in about 5 hours. There are no suitable dates for observing this month. Click here for a star chart for Algol.

Comet

Comet C/2015 V2 (Johnson) is at its brightest this month at magnitude +6.7 and is at perihelion (closest to the Sun) on 12th at a distance of 1.64AU. It will be closest to Earth on the 5th when it will be 0.81 AU distant. The comet is east side of Boötes beginning this month and sinking south. It enters Virgo on the 14th . Click here for an ephemeris.



ISS

The international Space Station crosses the Manx skies on a regular basis. For the latest information on when the ISS is due to pass across the sky over the next ten days, visit the link below.

ISS transit Information from Heavens Above.com


Bibliography for Manx Night Skies

The Handbook of the British Astronomical Association 2017. BAA. 2016
Stargazing 2017. Heather Couper & Nigel Henbest. Philip's 2016
2017 Guide to the Night Sky. Storm Dunlop & Wil Tirion. Collins 2016
Yearbook 2017. Sky at Night. BBC. Immediate Media Company, Bristol. 2016
Observer's Handbook Meteors. Neil Bone. Philip's 1993
Atlas of the Night Sky. Storm Dunlop. Collins. 2005
Constellations. Josef Klepešta and Antonin Rükl. Hamlyn. 1979
Brilliant Stars. Patrick Moore. The Book People Ltd. 1996
Complete Guide to Stargazing. Robin Scagell. Phillip's. 2006
Turn Left at Orion. Guy Consolmango and Dan M. Davis. Cambridge U.P. 2008
Norton's 2000.0 Edited Ian Ridpath. Longman Scientific & Technical. 1989


Planetary data derived from Guide 9 Software.
Picture graphics derived from Stellarium and Guide 9 Software.