5th: η (Eta) Aquariid meteor shower active from 19th April to 28th May, producing peak rate of meteors on 5th / 6th (figures 1 – 4). Visible before 02:56 each night, when radiant point rises above Eastern horizon.It will remain active until dawn breaks approximately 05:00. The shower is expected to reach peak activity approximately 21:00 BST on 5th and the best displays seen before dawn on 6th and after the radiant rises on 6th. Named after the brightest sta of the constellation, Eta Aquarii.
Figure 1: Radiant of the meteor shower.
Figure 2: Aquariid meteor shower.
Figure 3: Meteor shower radiant and lines of sight.
Figure 4: All meteors associated with any particular shower appear to radiate from a common point on the sky.
12th: Close approach of the Moon and Jupiter. The pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 16° above the horizon (Moon will be significantly brighter than Jupiter). They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:43 (BST), 3 hours and 46 minutes before the Sun, and reaching an altitude of 16° above the Southern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks approximately 05:03. Both objects will lie in the constellation Sagittarius. They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the unaided eye or through binoculars.
Figure 5: Close approach of Moon and Jupiter.
15th: Close approach of the Moon and Mars (figure 6). The pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 14° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 03:02 (BST), 2 hours and 22 minutes before the Sun, and reaching an altitude of 14° above South Eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks approximately 04:57. Both will appear in the constellation Aquarius. They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the unaided eye or through binoculars.
Figure 6: Close approach of Moon and Mars.
30th will see the Moon at first quarter (figure 7). It will be prominent in the evening sky, setting approximately midnight. Becoming visible approximately 21:48 (BST) as dusk sky fades, 42° above South Western horizon. It will then sink towards the horizon, setting at 02:47. At this time in its monthly cycle of phases, it appears almost exactly half illuminated.
Figure 7: Moon at first quarter.
WARNING: Never attempt to view through binoculars, telescope or any optical aid an object near to the Sun. Also, never attempt to view the Sun unaided, doing so may result in immediate and permanent blindness. Always use astronomical approved viewing equipment. The Stellarium software will assist greatly in locating objects in the sky.
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