Summer 2018

     The summer of 2018 will be a rather boring summer for astronomical events.  Perhaps the biggest event of the summer will be the Perseid meteor shower.  This year’s shower will last from August 8 to August 17.  The moon will be approaching or just past new moon throughout the meteor shower, so moonlight blocking out dimmer meteors will not be an issue.  Warm August weather should make it comfortable to sit outside or lie down on a blanket and look toward the northeast.  At its peak, the Perseids will produce and average of a meteor per minute.  The best time to view the meteors is after midnight.  Below is a listing of the days of the shower and the number of meteors that may be expected on that date.

Date   Event

08/08 5.3 meteors/hour.

08/09 7.9 meteors/hour.

08/10 13 meteors/hour.

08/11 23 meteors/hour.

08/12 43 meteors/hour.

08/13 57 meteors/hour.

08/14 38 meteors/hour.

08/15 20 meteors/hour.

08/16 12 meteors/hour.

08/17 7.2 meteors/hour.

     The International Space Station will make several close passes to various planets and stars during the summer.  It will also pass over the sun once.  The best way to follow the ISS is to download one of several apps to your phone. Here are two that I like to use–ISS Detector Satellite Tracker or Heavens–Above.  Please remember: DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN.  You will need a solar filter and binoculars or a small telescope to see the ISS pass over the sun.

Date   Time  Event

05/05 03:41 ISS passes 0.28 degrees from Saturn.

05/22 21:36 ISS passes 0.3 degrees from the moon.

05/27 02:09 ISS passes 0.7 degrees from the moon.

06/03 19:06 ISS crosses the face of the sun.

06/07 20:26 ISS passes 1.4 degrees from Venus.

08/06 21:02 ISS passes 0.8 degrees from Saturn.

     If you have trouble identifying the planets, you should try looking on the dates listed below.  The moon will pass near the given planet on the date listed.  This will aid in finding the planet.

Date   Time  Event

05/06 02:24 Moon 1.7 degrees from Mars.

05/31 22:54 Moon 1.7 degrees from Saturn.

06/14 20:36 Moon 7.1 degrees from Mercury.

06/16 20:30 Moon 6.9 degrees from Venus.

06/23 20:42 Moon 3.9 degrees from Jupiter.

07/20 23:00 Moon 3.4 degrees from Jupiter.

07/25 02:48 Moon 1.3 degrees from Saturn.

07/27 21:30 Moon 6.6 degrees from Mars.

08/17 19:54 Moon 6.5 degrees from Jupiter.

08/21 00:18 Moon 3.3 degrees from Saturn.

08/23 19:30 Moon 7.2 degrees from Mars.

Have a good summer and keep looking up at the sky.

THE NIGHT SKY

     To get more information on astronomy in northern Maine check out the Aroostook County Astronomy Club’s web page at http://aroostookastronomy.strikingly.com/ or join our Facebook page at the “Aroostook County Astronomy Club” page.

The International Space Station is visible as follows:

Mornings–May 2 through May 29.

Evenings–May 18 through June 8.

Mornings–July 1 through July 29.

Evenings– July 14 through August 10.

Mornings–August 29 through Sept. 21.

     For the times of other events, go to www.calsky.com.  You will need to register at this site and load your location to be able to get exact times.  The University of Maine at Presque Isle is located at 68d00m7.8s west longitude and 46d40m45.6s north latitude.

     To get a free sky chart go to www.skymaps.com.

Sun and Planet Visibility

05/01/2018

05:17 Sunrise.

19:41 Sunset.

Not visible Mercury.

19:42–22:06 Venus.

01:24–05:06 Mars.

20:12–05:00 Jupiter.

00:18–04:42 Saturn.

06/01/2018

04:42 Sunrise.

20:17 Sunset.

Not visible Mercury.

20:18 – 22:54 Venus.

00:06 – 04:24 Mars.

20:24 – 03:36 Jupiter.

22:06 – 04:06 Saturn.

07/01/2018

04:42 Sunrise.

20:28 Sunset.

21:06 – 21:54 Mercury.

20:30 – 22:36 Venus.

22:30 – 04:30 Mars.

20:42 – 01:30 Jupiter.

21:06 – 04:06 Saturn.

08/01/2018

04:42 Sunrise.

20:17 Sunset.

Not visible Mercury.

20:00 – 21:42 Venus.

20:18 – 04:12 Mars.

20:18 – 23:30 Jupiter.

20:36 – 02:18 Saturn.

09/01/2018

05:51 Sunrise.

19:10 Sunset.

04:24 – 05:36 Mercury.

19:12 – 20:18 Venus.

19:24 – 01:54 Mars.

19:24 – 21:36 Jupiter.

19:42 – 00:12 Saturn.

Upcoming Sky Events

05/04 HAPPY STAR WARS DAY.

05/05 00:42 Moon 4.8 degrees from Saturn.

05/05 03:41 ISS passes 0.28 degrees from Saturn.

05/06 02:24 Moon 1.7 degrees from Mars.

05/07 22:08 Last Quarter Moon.

05/08 20:39 Jupiter in opposition – directly behind the Earth.

05/13 08:36 Mercury 2.2 degrees from Uranus.

05/15 07:47 New Moon.

05/21 23:49 First Quarter Moon.

05/22 21:36 ISS passes 0.3 degrees from the moon.

05/27 02:09 ISS passes 0.7 degrees from the moon.

05/29 10:30 Full Moon.

05/31 22:54 Moon 1.7 degrees from Saturn.

06/03 19:06 ISS crosses the face of the sun.  DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN.  You will need a solar filter and binoculars or a small telescope to see this event.

06/05 22:00 Mercury at superior conjunction – behind the sun.

06/06 14:31 Last Quarter Moon.

06/07 20:26 ISS passes 1.4 degrees from Venus.

06/13 15:43 New Moon.

06/14 20:36 Moon 7.1 degrees from Mercury.

06/16 04:38 Earliest sunrise.

06/16 20:30 Moon 6.9 degrees from Venus.

06/20 06:50 First Quarter Moon.

06/21 06:07 Northern Summer Solstice.

06/23 20:42 Moon 3.9 degrees from Jupiter.

06/26 20:29 Latest sunset of the year.

06/27 09:00 Saturn at opposition – directly behind the Earth..

06/27 23:35 Moon 0.95 degrees from Saturn.

06/28 00:53 Full Moon.

06/30 23:18 Moon 4.3 degrees from Mars.

07/02 00:12 to 01:13 Moon eclipses Deneb Algedi (Delta Capricorn).

07/06 03:50 Last Quarter Moon.

07/06 12:47 Earth at aphelion – farthest from the sun – 94,508.169 miles.

07/12 01:30 Mercury at greatest eastern elongation – 26.4 degrees – visible in the evening.

07/12 22:47 New Moon.

07/14 20:48 Moon 1.5 degrees from Mercury.

07/15 21:42 Moon 2.1 degrees from Venus.

07/16 20:00 Perseid Meteor Shower begins (end 08/24).

07/19 15:52 First Quarter Moon.

07/20 49th anniversary of Apollo 11’s landing on the moon (1969).

07/20 23:00 Moon 3.4 degrees from Jupiter.

07/25 02:48 Moon 1.3 degrees from Saturn.

07/27 01:13 Mars at opposition – behind the Earth.

07/27 16:20 Full Moon.

07/27 21:30 Moon 6.6 degrees from Mars.

08/04 14:18 Last Quarter Moon.

08/06 21:02 ISS passes 0.8 degrees from Saturn.

08/08 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 5.3 meteors/hour.

08/08 22:06 Mercury in inferior conjunction – passing between the sun and Earth.

08/09 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 7.9 meteors/hour.

08/10 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 12.9 meteors/hour.

08/10 14:00 Moon at perigee – closest to the Earth –222,496 miles.

08/11 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 23 meteors/hour.

08/11 05:57 New Moon.

08/12 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 43 meteors/hour.

08/13 02:00 Perseid Meteor Shower Maximum – 57 meteors/hour.

08/14 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 38 meteors/hour.

08/14 19:42 Moon 5.9 degrees from Venus.

08/15 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 20 meteors/hour.

08/16 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 11.5 meteors/hour.

08/17 04:00 Perseid Meteor Shower – 7.2 meteors/hour.

08/17 13:30 Venus at greatest eastern elongation (45.9 degrees) visible in the evening sky.

08/17 19:54 Moon 6.5 degrees from Jupiter.

08/18 03:48 First Quarter Moon.

08/21 00:18 Moon 3.3 degrees from Saturn.

08/23 19:30 Moon 7.2 degrees from Mars.

08/26 07:56 Full Moon.

08/26 16:36 Mercury at greatest elongation west (18.3 degrees) – visible in morning sky.

09/02 22:37 Last Quarter Moon.

09/07 05:11 ISS passes 1.1 degrees from Deneb (Alpha Cygnus).