MARSHALL'S NIGHT SKY THIS WEEK - 13th May to 19th May

Post any upcoming astronomical events, such as full moon, Lunar eclipse, Solar eclipse, etc etc.
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MARSHALL'S NIGHT SKY THIS WEEK - 13th May to 19th May

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MARSHALL'S NIGHT SKY THIS WEEK - 13th May to 19th May


We are proud to present you with another edition of Marshall's night sky events this week! Welcome, we hope you find something of interest! Let us know in the replies if you did, we would love to hear about it! We have also started a look back at events this week in history, hope you enjoy the new segment.

Let's get started by examining the highlights of the night sky this week, May 13th to the 19th. As usual we will list the highlights and discuss a few. We hope you find this info useful and if you have anything you wish to discuss or add, please hit the "Reply" button below and let us know!

Please note that all images are from Stellarium, the link is here: http://stellarium.org/. All other information is freely gathered from various websites, Apps, planetarium software and social media. We would encourage you to download and print your finder charts more specific to your location, the charts/graphics included are for basic guidance only. Many websites like Skymaps.com will allow you to download and print out a free planisphere for each month, the link is here: https://www.skymaps.com/.


EVENTS

13th May
Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun.

14th May

15th May
First Quarter Moon 11:48 UTC.

16th May

17th May
Moon at apogee (404,640 km, 251,432 mi) at 19:00 UTC.

18th May
Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun.

19th May


PLANETS

Venus and Uranus are hidden in the glare of sunrise.

Jupiter is hidden in the glare of sunset.

Mercury continues to brighten from mag. 0.6 for the rest of May even as it is reined in by the Sun. Best morning apparition of 2024 for Southern Hemisphere viewers.

Mars and Saturn, both about magnitude +1.2, rise around the beginning of dawn. Look low above the east-southeast horizon about 60 minutes before sunrise. Saturn is the easier one. Mars is off to Saturn's lower left. They widen from 16° apart on the morning of May 4th (about a fist and a half at arm's length) to 21° on May 11th.

Neptune is in the morning sky among the stars of Pisces.


COMETS

C/2023 A3 (Tsuchinshan-ATLAS) is visible in the evening sky, in the Northern sky, becoming accessible around 21:23 (UTC), 38° altitude at dusk in Virgo. (https://theskylive.com/c2023a3-info)




STARS

Zeta Herculis - An unequal binary pair with a highly eccentric 35 year orbit. Currently at maximum separation. Zeta Herculis is the star at the bottom right of the Hercules keystone asterism. And for a bonus point, can you spot the Minor Planet Pallas passing by to the south of Zeta Herculis? It will be at opposition on the 19th May.

Sirius - Have you ever tried for Sirius B? Sirius A and B are now at their widest apparent separation in their 50-year orbit, 11 arcseconds apart, and will remain so for the next couple years before they start closing up again.

T Coronae Borealis - A star system, located 3,000 light-years away from Earth, is predicted to become visible to the unaided eye soon. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime viewing opportunity as the nova outburst only occurs about every 80 years. T Coronae Borealis, or T CrB, last exploded in 1946 and astronomers believe it will do so again between February and September 2024. Plan ahead just in case!


SPACE LAUNCHES

13th May -

14th May -
Falcon 9 - Block 5 - Starlink Group 8-7

15th May -
Falcon 9 - Block 5 - Starlink Group 8-2 - SpaceX - Vandenberg SFB, CA, USA

16th May -

17th May -
Atlas V N22 - Starliner CFT - Crew test flight of Boeing's Starliner spacecraft as part of NASA's Commercial Crew program.
The crew will be NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams.

Falcon 9 - Block 5 - Starlink Group 6-59

18th May -

19th May -
Falcon 9 - Block 5 - NROL-146 - First batch of satellites for a reconnaissance satellite constellation built by SpaceX and Northrop Grumman for the National Reconnaissance Office to provide imaging and other reconnaissance capabilities.


INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION

We highly recommend using "Spot the Station" from NASA to find out when the International Space station will be passing over your location. This is a fun object to see flying high above, try using binoculars here, lots of fun!

For the HAM radio enthusiasts among you, please keep a eye on the ARISS website for upcoming contacts or SSTV broadcasts for when the International Space Station is within range. There are several HAMS on board the ISS, they should have a busy radio schedule coming up. AMSAT are another great resource in this regard.

This video is from the ISS live feed on YouTube. Watch live video from the International Space Station, including inside views when the crew aboard the space station is on duty. Views of Earth are also streamed from an external camera located outside of the space station. During periods of signal loss due to handover between communications satellites, a blue screen is displayed.





THIS WEEK IN HISTORY

13th May -
291 years ago, in 1733, Birger Wassenius of Sweden, observing an eclipse near Göteborg, is the first to report prominences visible to the unaided eye; he incorrectly attributes them to the Moon.
163 years ago, in 1861, John Tebbutt of Australia discovers the Great Comet of 1861 (C/1861 J1).
64 years ago, in 1960, the original Echo 1, a metalized balloon passive-communications satellite, is launched, but the rocket explodes after lift-off.
52 years ago, in 1972, discovered by astronomer Charles Kowal, SN 1972E becomes the prototype for understanding type Ia supernova.
15 years ago, in 2009, NASA's Kepler space telescope successfully completes its commissioning phase and begins science operations.
5 years ago, in 2019, Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy, flares to 75 times brighter than usual for two hours.

14th May -
51 years ago, in 1973, the first U.S. spacestation, Skylab, is launched, but loses one solar panel and jams the other.
43 years ago, in 1981, the Soyuz 7K-T spacecraft makes its final flight, and is the last Soyuz mission to visit Salyut 6.
43 years ago, in 1981, on board the Soyuz 40 mission to Salyut 6, Dumitru Prunariu becomes the first Romanian to visit space.
15 years ago, in 2009, the Herschel infrared telescope and the Planck observatory are launched together.
14 years ago, in 2010, the shuttle Atlantis (STS-132) is launched to the ISS with the Russian Rassvet Mini-Research Module.
11 years ago, in 2013, the Kepler space telescope's second reaction wheel fails, ending the primary mission.

15th May -
67 years ago, in 1957, the first launch of a Soviet R-7 Semyorka leads to an unintended crash 400 km (250 mi) from the launch site.
66 years ago, in 1958, Sputnik 3 is launched to explore the upper atmosphere and near space.
64 years ago, in 1960, Korabl-Sputnik 1 (Sputnik 4), the first and unmanned test flight of the Vostok, is launched.
61 years ago, in 1963, Mercury/Faith 7, the last Mercury mission, orbits the earth 22 times, with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper, Jr.
33 years ago, in 1991, the Magellan spacecraft begins its secondary mission at Venus; filling in the gaps from the primary mapping mission.
27 years ago, in 1997, on board the shuttle Atlantis (STS-84), Yelena Kondakova becomes the first Russian woman to travel on the Space Shuttle.
15 years ago, in 2009, the Spitzer space telescope runs out of liquid helium cooland, ending the primary mission and beginning the Spitzer Warm Mission.

16th May -
59 years ago, in 1965, Telstar 2 is turned off.
55 years ago, in 1969, Venera 5 reaches Venus and sends a probe into the atmosphere; it returns data for 53 minutes.
26 years ago, in 1998, the ISO (Infrared Space Observatory) mission is officially ended.
13 years ago, in 2011, the 25th and final flight of Endeavour (STS-134) launches to the ISS with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02), and the final ExPRESS Logistics Carrier.
10 years ago, in 2014, using the radiation pressure from the Sun to make up for its failed reaction wheels, NASA extends the Kepler mission to a new mission named K2.

17th May -
142 years ago, in 1882, on an expedition in Egypt , Dr. Arthur Schuster sees a comet (Tewfik) near the Sun during a total eclipse.
55 years ago, in 1969, Venera 6 reaches Venus and sends a probe into the atmosphere; it returns data for 51 minutes.
50 years ago, in 1974, SMS-1, the first of two predecessors to the GOES series of satellites, is launched.
6 years ago, in 2018, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), flies past the Moon for a gravity assist to reach its final orbit.

18th May -
55 years ago, in 1969, Apollo 10 is launched; the first with the complete spacecraft (LM & CM).
51 years ago, in 1973, the first Soyuz-U orbital carrier rocket is launched, placing Kosmos 559, a Zenit military surveillance satellite, into orbit.
33 years ago, in 1991, on board the Soyuz TM-12 mission to Mir, Helen Sharman becomes the first British astronaut and the first woman to visit Mir.
6 years ago, in 2018, a memory card ontaining the names of over 1.1 million people and photos of Eugene Parker is mounted to the Parker Solar Probe.

19th May -
63 years ago, in 1961, Venera 1 is the first craft to fly by Venus, though contact is lost.
53 years ago, in 1971, the Soviet Mars 2 spacecraft is launched.
28 years ago, in 1996, Marc Garneau, aboard the shuttle Endeavour (STS-77), is the first Canadian to return to space.


And that is it for the upcoming week. We hope you can all get out and do some observing, sketching and imaging.

Clear skies!

The TSS Team.
The Sky Searchers Astronomy Forum. The friendliest, most engaging and inclusive astronomy forum.

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