Here’s a challenge for observers in the United Kingdom and North America. The Moon turned new yesterday and a one day old waxing crescent may be glimpsed in the evening sky of the 20th. It will be low on the horizon and you might need binoculars to help you, but it’s worth a try.
(Unfortunately, the Moon will not be visible for observers in Australia.)
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
Map courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
09:48 UT – The just-past new Moon passes Mercury. (Mercury: 91% illuminated, magnitude -1.4, diameter 5.4”. Aries, not visible)
19:48 UT – Mercury is at perihelion. Distance to Sun: 0.308 AU (90% illuminated, magnitude -1.4, diameter 5.4”. Aries, not visible)
20:40 UT – The just-past new Moon passes Mars. (Mars: 99% illuminated, magnitude 1.4, diameter 3.9”. Aries, not visible.)
Asteroid 2 Pallas is stationary prior to beginning retrograde motion. (Magnitude 9.0. Hercules, pre-dawn sky.)
The Eta Aquariid meteor shower begins. A maximum zenith hourly rate: 65. (Naked eye, Aquarius, all night but best in the 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 upcoming astronomical events in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle Edition) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle Edition and Paperback Edition) and 2016 An Astronomical Year (North American Kindle Edition.)
The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.
If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at” gmail.com