Today’s Astronomical Events – March 18th, 2015

2015-03-18 Jupiter

Jupiter is still a prominent sight in the evening sky and there are a number of events that are of particular interest to astronomers today – especially for those in the United Kingdom. The Great Red Spot crosses the central meridian (as depicted in the image above) at 09:15 UT and 19:11 UT and from 16:39 UT onwards, all four Galilean moons will be visible on the western side of the planet.

However, a rare event happens for just a few minutes around 21:28 UT as the moon Io is eclipsed by Europa. Start observing around 21:21 and keep your eyes glued to the view for about ten minutes. Io should disappear around 21:24 and then re-appear again nearly six minutes later. This event should be easily seen from the United Kingdom as there is currently no difference between GMT and UT and the event therefore takes place at about 9:24pm local time. (Observers in other locations can convert these times to their local time here.)

Image courtesy of Mobile Observatory.



04:09 UT – The waning crescent Moon passes asteroid 4 Vesta. (Vesta: magnitude 7.6. Capricornus, pre-dawn sky.)



Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are easily visible with the naked eye.

All times are in Universal Time (UTC). To convert the time to your timezone, click here.


Learn more about every upcoming astronomical event in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Paperback Edition).

The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.

Details of all available books across the world can be found here or by visiting the author’s page on Amazon.


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