Southern Colorado Skies / May 21-27, 2017

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.

THIS WEEK

Want a challenge? Look for the thin crescent of the waning Moon on Monday morning. Found it? Try again on Tuesday morning to the lower left of Venus, when it will be even more of a challenge!

 

Monday (May 22)

Try to catch sight of the thin crescent Moon well before sunrise, as shown and described above.

Thursday (May 25)

New Moon at 1:44 p.m. MDT.

The shadows of two of Jupiter’s moons (Io and Europa) will appear on the gas giant’s visible surface from 8:47 to 10:19 p.m. MDT.

DAYLIGHT


PLANETS

Mercury (in Pisces):

Mercury is lost in the Sun’s glare, even though it reached its greatest western elongation last week.

Venus (in Pisces):

Look for Venus low in the eastern horizon at dawn. This week Venus appears as a thick crescent shape. (Watch out for the Sun if you decide to view it with a telescope!)

Mars (in Taurus):

Look for a faint orange “star” low on the northwestern horizon during late twilight. It’s about 22 degrees (a little more than your hand, extended at arm’s length, with thumb and little finger extended) to the lower left of dazzling Capella.

Jupiter (in Virgo):

Jupiter is high and bright in the south as night begins. That bright star to the lower left by about 11 degrees (about the width of your fist at arm’s length) is Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo.

Saturn (in Sagittarius/Ophiuchus):

Saturn rises as night falls. but you can also spot it in the south during the early morning hours, to the upper right of the Sagittarius “teapot.” Reddish Antares is about 17 degrees to Saturn’s right (a little less than the width of your fist with your thumb and little finger extended – see above).

Uranus (in Pisces):

Lost in the glare of the sunrise.

Neptune (in Aquarius):

Very low in the east-southeast before dawn – see the above graphic. (Watch out for the Sun with your telescope!)

BRIGHT IRIDIUM FLARES

The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my article at: http://scaspueblo.com/blog/2017/02/25/iridium-flares/.

Sunday (May 21) 08:39:12 p.m. / Magnitude -4.1 / E / Elevation 68 degrees

Monday (May 22) 04:02:48 a.m. / Magnitude -6.5 / ESE / Elevation 22 degrees

Monday (May 22) 04:03:23 a.m. / Magnitude -4.2 / ESE / Elevation 23 degrees

Tuesday (May 23) 03:57:13 a.m. / Magnitude -1.9 / ESE / Elevation 22 degrees

Tuesday (May 23) 10:07:04 p.m. / Magnitude -1.1 / ENE / Elevation 43 degrees

Wednesday (May 24) 10:08:52 p.m. / Magnitude -5.0 / ENE / Elevation 40 degrees

Thursday (May 25) 03:54:14 a.m. / Magnitude -2.4 / ESE / Elevation 26 degrees

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS)

These are too numerous to list here! If you’re serious, load the ISS DETECTOR app on your smart phone or tablet.

Carpe noctem

Dave Furry

Pueblo West, Colorado

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