Libra, the faintest constellation in the zodiac, is at its best visibility for the year tonight. Not only is it faint, it’s pretty barren too, with very few deep sky objects or double stars for amateur astronomers. However, if you’re up for the challenge, look for a skewed trapezoid of four stars between Virgo and Scorpius.
(Click on an image to enlarge.)
Images courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
17:12 UT – The almost last quarter Moon passes dwarf planet Ceres. (Ceres: magnitude 8.1. Capricornus, pre-dawn sky.)
17:42 UT – Mars appears 3.9° south of M45, the Pleiades open star cluster. (Mars: 100% illuminated, magnitude 1.5, diameter 3.8”. Taurus, not visible.)
Jupiter fades to magnitude -2.0. (Magnitude -2.1, diameter 36.8”. Naked eye, Cancer, evening sky.)
The constellation Libra (the Scales) culminates tonight. (Naked eye, all night. See images above.)
The spiral galaxy M102 culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 9.9. Draco, all night.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are 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