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Astronomical Events for 2019

Astronomical Events for 2019

by Malcolm Porter

Sources– Extracts from the BAA 2018 Handbook, The BAA 2019 Handbook, Astronomy Now 2019 Yearbook, and Philip’s Stargazing 2019 Month by Month Guide.

This list has been built around the idea of the Astro Highlights being largely visible to the naked eye, through binoculars or through a small telescope or that can be imaged using a digital camera that has at least a manual (M) setting.

As you will see there are, subject to reasonable weather conditions, a whole raft of viewing/imaging opportunities in 2019. However, please check the accuracy and completeness of the information presented before setting off to view.

December 2018

3rd December 2018 – The Crescent Moon, Venus and Mercury are together in the pre-dawn

5th December 2018 – 21:00 UT – Mercury is 2 degrees south of the Moon

7th December 2018 15:00 UT – Mars 0.04 is degrees north of Neptune

9th December 2018 05:00 UT – Saturn is 1 degree South of the Moon

12th December 2018 – Comet 46P/Wirtanen at perihelion and moving from Taurus and into Auriga, magnitude – various guesses between +2.9 and +5.5!

14th December 2018 08:00 UT – Geminid Meteor shower is at its peak with the Moon out of the way

15th December 2018 11:00 UT- Mercury is a morning object at greatest western elongation of 22 degrees but low in the sky

21st December 2018 – Winter Solstice

21st December at 2018 19:23 UT– Occultation of 104 Tauri (Magnitude +4.9). Is it a double star???

21st/22nd December 2018 – Mercury will be 0.8 degrees north of Jupiter

22nd December 2018 – Ursid Meteor shower – Moon in attendance!

Venus starts the month as a crescent and by mid-month rises some four hours before the Sun and by the end of the month has faded a little from magnitude -4.7 to -4.5 and will appear as a ‘quarter phase’.

Throughout December we are presented with great riches, particularly in Taurus, with the Hyades and the Pleiades, Orion with its Nebula M42 and Gemini with its open cluster M35.

January 2019

1st January 2019 22.00 UT – Venus is 1.3 degrees south of the Moon

3rd to 4th January 2019 03:00 UT – Quantrantid Meteor Shower with a favourable lunar position

6th January 2019 05.00 UT – Venus is at greatest elongation of 47 degrees west

17thJanuary 2019 18:00 UT Moon just misses Aldebaran by 1.6 degrees

19thJanuary 2019 02.31 UT – Moon occults χ1 (chi) Orion (magnitude +4.4)

21st January 2019 02:36-07.48 UT – Total Lunar Eclipse visible from UK

21stJanuary 2019 16.00 UT – The Beehive Cluster is 0.6 deg. north of the Moon

31st January 2019 18:00 UT – Venus is 0.1 degrees south of the Moon

Some January Constellations and Objects of note – Again the southern skies beauties of Orion, and its Nebula, Canis Major and Sirius, Taurus and the Hyades and Pleiades.

During January 2019 Mars, at magnitude +0.7 and Uranus close by at magnitude +5.8, are visible in the constellation of Pisces with Neptune at magnitude +7.9 visible in the constellation of Aquarius.

February 2019

1st February 2019 06:30 UT – The Crescent Moon close by Venus and Jupiter

2nd February 2019 07:00 UT – The thin crescent Moon rises next to Saturn

12th February 2019 – Good chance of identifying the greenish Uranus, using binoculars, and Mars which will be one degree to the right

11th February 2019 15:48 UT – Occultation of Xi Ceti (magnitude +4.3)

13/14th February 2019 – The Moon has a very close encounter with the Hyades

17th/18th February 2019 – The Moon skims the edge of the Beehive Cluster

19th February 2019 – a so called ‘Super Moon’!

27th February 2019 01:00 UT – After sunset Mercury is at greatest elongation at 18.1 degrees east

Overnight during February it is worth looking for the double cluster in Perseus and in the early pre-sunrise morning look for Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.

March 2019

1st March 2019 17:00 UT – Saturn is 0.3 degrees south the Moon

2nd March 2019 21:00 UT – Venus is 1.2 degrees north of the Moon

13th March 2019 17:12 UT – Occultation of 97 Tauri (magnitude +5.1)

13th March 2019 10:00 UT – Aldebaran is within 2 degrees south of the Moon

17th March 2019 01:00 UT- The Beehive Cluster is half a degree north of the Moon

20th March 2019 22:00 UT– The Vernal Equinox

27th March 2019 02:00 UT – Jupiter is less than 2 degrees south of the Moon

29th March 2019 04:00 UT– Saturn is 0.1 degrees north of the Moon

March 2019 – Jupiter rises around 02:00 UT and Saturn around 04:00 UT. Also, if you have a small telescope or a DSLR point it in the direction of the Beehive cluster also known as the Praesepe

Towards the end of March 2019 Mars can be seen in the constellation of Taurus between the Pleiades and the Hyades.

April 2019

2nd April 2019 04:00 UT – Venus is 2.7 degrees north of the Moon

7th April 2019 11:34 UT – Occultation of Mu Ceti (magnitude +4.3)

11th April 2019 19:00 UT – Mercury at greatest elongation at 27.7 degrees west but low down in the sky

13th April 2019 20:00 UT – The Beehive Cluster is 0.2 degrees north of the Moon

22nd April 2019 16:00 UT – Lyrid Meteor Shower with the Moon out of the way at peak time

25th April 2019 15:00 UT – Saturn 0.4 is degrees north of the Moon – Occultation in parts of Australia!!!

April 2019 – Mars is visible close to the Pleiades but continues to shrink as it moves away from Earth

April 2019 – Jupiter rises in the southeast around 00:00 UT shining brilliantly at around magnitude -2.3

April 2019 – Saturn is starting its journey away from the Sun, rising at around 02:00UT

Take a look at the constellation Leo which really does look a bit like a lion which is lying down. Also, if you have at least a small telescope look for the spiral galaxy M66 below Leo.

May 2019

5th May 2019 13:00 UT – Eta Aquarius Meteor Shower and the Moon is out of the way!

6th May 2019 17:06 UT – Occultation of Delta Tauri (magnitude +3.8)

11th May 2019 02:00 UT – The Beehive Cluster is 0.0 degrees south of the Moon!

22nd May 2019 23:00 UT – Saturn is 0.5 degrees north of the Moon. Occultation is again visible in parts of Australia!

Towards the end of the month Mercury moves away from the Sun, shining at a Magnitude of-1.4 and not setting until after 09:00 UT!

Jupiter rises around 10:00 UT at magnitude -2.5

Saturn rises about 00:00 UT at magnitude +0.4

Time to take a look at the Summer Triangle and, in particular, adjacent to Vega you will see Epsilon Lyrae which binoculars will show you is a double star and a moderate telescope will show you that it is a double, double star!

May is also a good time to look for probably the most famous globular cluster Messier 13 in the constellation of Hercules visible as smudge in binoculars or a small telescope, however, a medium size telescope will start to resolve the cluster into individual stars.

June 2019

7th June 2019 07:00 UT – The Beehive Cluster is 0.2 degrees south of the Moon

10th June 2019 15:00 UT – Jupiter is at opposition

18th June 2019 18:00 UT – Mercury is 0.2 degrees from Mars

19th June 2019 04:00 UT – Saturn is 0.4 degrees north of the Moon– this time the occultation is visible in South America and Southern Africa!

21st June 2019 16:00 UT – Summer Solstice

23rd June 2019 23:00 UT – Mercury is at greatest elongation of 25.2 degrees East -best evening appearance of the year!

28th June 2019 03:09 UT – Occultation of Xi Ceti (magnitude +4.3)

30th June 2019 09:25 UT – Occultation of Delta Tauri (magnitude +3.8)

Jupiter is visible all night long shining at magnitude -2.6

Saturn rises at around 10:00 UT and shines at magnitude +0.3

Given a clear horizon look towards the South to see the very red Antares (redder than the Red Planet) and the claws of Scorpio!