Today’s Astronomical Events – May 27th, 2015

Globular clusters are huge, spherical balls of stars that orbit the core of our galaxy. Containing thousands of stars, they often appear as small, comet-like balls of light against the background stars.

When Charles Messier, the great French comet hunter, compiled his catalog of deep sky objects in the 18th century, he included two globular clusters from Scorpius. The first, M4, is the bigger, brighter and more popular of the two. The other, M80, is often overlooked in favor of its splashier cousin. 

M80 is at its best visibility for the year tonight and is visible from sunrise to sunset. To find it, look midway between Antares, the red eye of the scorpion, and Acrab, which marks a claw. Scanning the area with binoculars under clear, dark skies should reveal the cluster.

(Click on an image to enlarge.)

Map courtesy of Mobile Observatory. Image taken using Slooh.

 

 

06:41 UT – Mars appears 6° north of Aldebaran. (Mars: 100% illuminated, magnitude 1.5, diameter 3.7”. Taurus, not visible.)

15:05 UT – Mercury appears 1.6° south of Mars. (Mercury: 1% illuminated, magnitude 4.9, diameter 12.0”. Mars: 100% illuminated, magnitude 1.5, diameter 3.7”. Taurus, not visible.)

The globular cluster M80 culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 7.9. Scorpius, all night. See images above.)

 

 

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.

2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle Edition) 2016 An Astronomical Year Paperback Cover 2016 The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac 2015-2019 The Amateur Astronomer's Notebook - Cover

2015: An Astronomical Year

2016: An Astronomical Year 2016: The Night Sky Sights The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook

(Kindle & Paperback)

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(Paperback)

Amazon – US

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Details of all available books across the world can be found here or by visiting the author’s page on Amazon. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me at astronomywriter “at” gmail.com

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