Today’s Astronomical Events – May 31st, 2015

Spring and Summer are the two best seasons to observe globular clusters. These spheres of stars are in plentiful supply during the warmer months and yet another, M 107, is at its best visibility tonight.

Located in Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, this cluster lies close to Zeta Ophiuchi in the sky, making the star a convenient marker for the cluster itself – in fact, both will appear within the same field of view within a finderscope. However, unlike M 4 or M 13 (which is best seen next month) M 107 is not a bright or spectacular object and suburban observers may have some difficulty in spotting it.

If you’re up for the challenege, you’ll need at least a good pair of binoculars and dark skies.  First find Zeta and then move slowly south until you come to a triangle of stars. Close-by, just to the south-west, is a pair of ninth magnitude stars. M 107 appears slightly to the south between the pair and the triangle.

(Click on an image to enlarge.)

Map courtesy of Mobile Observatory. Image taken using Slooh.

 

 

03:24 UT – Mercury is at perigee. Distance to Earth: 0.549 AU. (0% illuminated, magnitude 5.6, diameter 12.2”. Taurus, not visible.)

The globular cluster M107 culminates at midnight tonight. (Magnitude 8.9. Ophiuchus, 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.

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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