April Night Sky 2014

Interesting things that Bellatrix Orionis is hoping to observe in the April night sky 2014. Visual guide from Hubble

Planets

Mercury imaged by Mariner 10 Mercury – Can be found in the constellation of Aquarius at the beginning of April. It’s at magnitude -0.2, rises at 0530 and sets at 1630. By the end of the month it’s at magnitude -1.8 in the constellation of Aries.  It rises at 0447 and sets at 2014.
Venus Cloud Tops Source: Hubblesite.org Venus – Is found in the constellation of Capricornus at the beginning of the month with a magnitude of -4.3. It rises at 0427 and sets at 1418. By the end of the month Venus is in the constellation of Pisces with a magnitude of -4.1. It rises at 0339 and sets at 1521.
Mars Dust Storm Brews in Hellas Basin and Northern Polar Cap Source: Hubblesite.org Mars – Is found in the constellation of Virgo during April. At the beginning of the month it is at magnitude -1.4, rising at 1924 and setting at 0629. By the end of the month it is at magnitude -1.2, rising at 1635 and setting at 0412.
Jupiter Source: Hubblesite.org Jupiter – Is in the constellation of Gemini all month. At the beginning of March it is at magnitude -2.2, rising at 0954 and setting at 0253. By the end of the month it is at magnitude -2.0, rising at 0817 and setting at 0111.
Saturn -- October 1997 Source: Hubblesite.org Saturn – Is in the constellation of Libra all month. At the beginning of April it is at magnitude +0.3, rising at 2222 and setting at 0729. By the end of the month it’s at magnitude +0.1, rising at 2018 and setting at 0531.
Uranus 2003 Source: Hubblesite.org Uranus – Is in the constellation of Pisces all month and remains at a magnitude of +5.9. At the beginning of April it rises at 0553 and sets at 1846. By the end of the month it rises at 0401 and sets at 1701.
Neptune - Natural Colour with Satellites Source: Hubblesite.org Neptune – Is in the constellation of Aquarius all month. At the beginning of April it rises at 0553 and sets at 1846 at a magnitude of +8.0. By the end of the month it rises at 0305 and sets at 1326.

 

Dwarf Planets

 

Pluto – Is in the constellation of Sagittarius and is at magnitude +14.2.

Ceres – Is in the constellation of Virgo with a magnitude of +7.1 at the beginning of the month and +7.2 by the end.

Pallas – Can be found in the constellation of Hydra at the beginning of April and is at visual magnitude +7.7. By the end of the month it is in the constellation of Leo with a magnitude of +8.4.

Juno – Is in the constellation of Cetus with a magnitude of +9.6, all month.

Vesta – Is in the constellation of Virgo, starting the month at magnitude  +5.9.

 

Monthly Sky Challenge

Tuesday 1 April

Crab Nebula (M1, NGC 1952) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Taurus with a magnitude of +8.39. Rises at 0849BST and sets at 129BST.

Wednesday 2 April

Lower’s Nebula (Sharpless 2-261) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Orion with a magnitude of +10.00. Rises at 1003BST and sets at0115BST.

Thursday 3 April

Epsilon Orionis Nebula (NGC 1990) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Orion with a magnitude of +10.00. Rises at 1100BST and sets at 2257BST

Friday 4 April

Merope Nebula (NGC 1435) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Taurus with a magnitude of +4.19. Rise at 0635BST and sets at 2343BST.

Saturday 5 April

California Nebula (NGC 1499) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Perseus with a magnitude of +5.00. Doesn’t rise or set.

Sunday 6 April

North American Nebula (NGC 7000) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cygnus with a magnitude of +4.00. Doesn’t rise or set.

Monday 7 April

Heart Nebula (IC 1805) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia with a magnitude of +6.50. Doesn’t rise or set.

First quarter Moon.

Tuesday 8 April

Orion Nebula (M42, NGC 1976) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Orion with a magnitude of +4.00. Rises at 1107BST and sets at 2213BST.

Wednesday 9 April

Barnard’s Loop (Sharpless 2-276) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Orion with a magnitude of +10.00. Rises at 1041BST and sets at 2257BST.

Thursday 10 April

Maia Nebula (NGC 1432) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Taurus with a magnitude of +3.90. Rises at 0606BST and sets at 2327BST.

Friday 11 April

Elephant Trunk (IC 1396) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cepheus with a magnitude of +5.59. Doesn’t rise or set.

Saturday 12 April

Pelican Nebula (IC 5070) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cygnus with a magnitude of +8.00. Doesn’t rise or set.

Sunday 13 April

Gamma Cygni Nebula (IC 1318) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cygnus with a magnitude of +10.00. Doesn’t rise or set.

Monday 14 April

Pacman Nebula (NGC 281) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia with a magnitude of +7.40. Doesn’t rise or set.

Tuesday 15 April

Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia with a magnitude of +11.00. Doesn’t rise or set.

Full Moon.

Wednesday 16 April

Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405, C 31) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Auriga with a magnitude of +10.00. Rises at 0504BST and sets at 0240BST.

Thursday 17 April

Cave Nebula (C 9, Sharpless 2-155) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cepheus with a magnitude of +7.69. Doesn’t rise or set.

Friday 18 April

Hubbles Variable Nebula (NGC 2261, C46) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Monoceros with a magnitude of +9.19. Rises at 1013BST and sets at 0000BST

Saturday 19 April

Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888, C 27) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cygnus with a magnitude of +7.40. Doesn’t rise or set.

Sunday 20 April

Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237, 2246, 2239, 2238, C 49) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Monoceros with a magnitude of +5.50. Rises at 1017BST and sets at 2322BST.

Monday 21 April

Gemma Cassiopeia Nebula (IC 59 and 63) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia with a magnitude of +10.00. Doesn’t rise or set.

Tuesday 22 April

Seagull Nebula (IC 2177) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Monoceros with a magnitude of +10.00. Rises at 1211BST and sets at 2218BST.

Last quarter Moon.

Wednesday 23 April

Cocoon Nebula (IC 5146, C 19) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cygnus with a magnitude of +7.19. Doesn’t rise or set.

Thursday 24 April

Soul Nebula (IC 1848) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia with a magnitude of +6.50. Doesn’t rise or set.

Friday 25 April

Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Orion with a magnitude of +10.00. Rises at 0947 and sets at 2133BST.

Saturday 26 April

Struve’s Lost Nebula (NGC 1554) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Taurus with a magnitude of +9.39. Rises at 0617BST and sets at 2216BST.

Sunday 27 April

Iris Nebula (NGC 7023, C 4) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Cepheus with a magnitude of +7.19. Doesn’t rise or set.

Monday 28 April

Witch Head nebula (IC 2118) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Eridanus with a magnitude of +10.00. Rises at 0930BST and sets at 2017BST

Tuesday 29 April

Cone Nebula (NGC 2264) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Monoceros with a magnitude of +3.90. Rises at 0925BST and sets at 2325BST.

New Moon.

Wednesday 30 April

Hinds Variable Nebula (NGC 2264) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Taurus with a magnitude of +10.00. Rises at 0601 and sets at 2200BST

 

Night sky for March 2014

Interesting things that Bellatrix Orionis is hoping to observe in the night sky for March 2014. Visual guide from Hubble

Planets

Mercury imaged by Mariner 10 Mercury – Can be found in the constellation of Aquarius during March. At the beginning of the month it is at magnitude +0.8, rises at 0610 and sets at 1514. By the end of the month it’s at magnitude -0.2, rising at 0631 and sets at 1725. Due to the rising and setting times Mercury is difficult to see this month.
Venus Cloud Tops Source: Hubblesite.org Venus – Is found in the constellation of Sagittarius at the beginning of the month with a magnitude of -4.6. It rises at 0457 and sets at 1354. By the end of the month Venus is in the constellation of Capricornus with a magnitude of -4.3. It rises at 0528 and sets at 1516. Venus is also going to be a challenge to spot during March because it rises and sets during the day.
Mars Dust Storm Brews in Hellas Basin and Northern Polar Cap Source: Hubblesite.org Mars – Is found in the constellation of Virgo during March. At the beginning of the month it is at magnitude -0.5, rising at 2159 and setting at 0842. By the end of the month it is at magnitude -1.3, rising at 2030 and setting at 0733.
Jupiter Source: Hubblesite.org Jupiter – Is in the constellation of Gemini all month. At the beginning of March it is at magnitude -2.4, rising at 1151 and setting at 0451. By the end of the month it is at magnitude -2.2, rising at 1058 and setting at 0733.
Saturn -- October 1997 Source: Hubblesite.org Saturn – Is in the constellation of Libra all month. At the beginning of March it is at magnitude +0.4, rising at 0033 and setting at 0931. By the end of the month it’s at magnitude +0.3, rising at 2326 and setting at 0833.
Uranus 2003 Source: Hubblesite.org Uranus – Is in the constellation of Pisces all month and remains at a magnitude of +5.9. At the beginning of March it rises at 0752 and sets at 2038. By the end of the month it rises at 0657 and sets at 1949.
Neptune - Natural Colour with Satellites Source: Hubblesite.org Neptune – Is in the constellation of Aquarius at a magnitude of +8.0 all month. At the beginning of March it rises at 0658 and sets at 1710. By the end of the month it rises at 0602 and sets at 1619. Neptune will be difficult to see as it rises during the day.

 

Dwarf Planets

Pluto – Is in the constellation of Sagittarius and is at magnitude +14.2.

Ceres – Is in the constellation of Virgo with a magnitude of +7.1

Pallas – Can be found in the constellation of Sextans at the beginning of March and is at visual magnitude +7.0. By the end of the month it is in the constellation of Hydra with a magnitude of +7.6.

Juno – Is in the the constellation of Pisces with a magnitude of +9.9. By the end of the month Juno can be found in the constellation of Cetus with a magnitude of +9.6.

Vesta – Is in the the constellation of Virgo, starting the month at magnitude 6.6. By the end of the month it is at magnitude +5.9.

Meteor Showers and Comets

Gamma Normids – Is a weak (class 4) shower with approximately meteor per hour which peaks on 13 March at 2044UT. There is no known parent comet for this shower.

Zeta Serpetids – Minor (class 2) shower with approximately 5 meteor per hour which peaks on 7 February at 2356UT. The parent for this shower is minor planet 2003 EH1.

Monthly Sky Challenge

Saturday 1 March
Carolines Rose (NGC 7790) is an open cluster in the constellation of Cassiopeia with a magnitude of +6.69 (requires binoculars or a telescope). It doesn’t rise or set.

Sunday 2 March
The Eskimo Nebula (Caldwell 39, NGC 2392) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Gemini with a magnitude of +9.19 (requires a small telescope). It rises at 1250UT and sets at 0512UT.

Monday 3 March
The Hyades (Caldwell 41, Mel 25) is an open cluster in the constellation of Taurus with a magnitude of +0.50 (naked eye possible). It rises at 1019UT and sets at 0132UT.

Tuesday 4 March
The Ring Nebula (Messier 57, NGC 6720) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Lyra with a magnitude of +8.80 (requires a small telescope). It rises at 2154UT and sets at 1837UT.

Wednesday 5 March
The Owl Cluster (NGC 457, Caldwell 13) is an open cluster in the constellation of Cassiopeia with a magnitude of +6.40 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It does not rise or set.

Thursday 6 March
Bow Tie Nebula (Caldwell 2, M 40) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Cepheus with a magnitude of +10.60 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It does not rise or set.

Friday 7 March

Caldwell 1 (NGC 188) is an open cluster in the constellation of Cepheus with a magnitude of +8.10 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It does not rise or set.

Saturday 8 March
The Cats Eye Nebula (Caldwell 6, NGC 6543) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Draco with a magnitude of +8.10 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It doesn’t rise or set.

Sunday 9 March
The Starfish Cluster (M38, NGC 1912) is an open cluster in the constellation of Auriga with a magnitude of +6.40 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It doesn’t rise or set.

Monday 10 March
The Owl Nebula (M97, NGC 3587) is an planetary nebula in the constellation of Ursa Major with a magnitude of +9.80 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It doesn’t rise or set.

Tuesday 11 March
Caldwell 64 (NGC 2362) is an open cluster in the constellation of Canis Major with a magnitude of +3.79 (naked eye possible). It rises at 1646UT and sets at 2340UT.

Wednesday 12 March
The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237, NGC 2246, NGC 2239, NGC 2238, Caldwell 49) is an emission nebula in the constellation of Monoceros with a magnitude of +5.50 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It rises at 1251UT and sets at 0156UT.

Thursday 13 March
The Beehive Cluster (NGC 2632, M44) is an open cluster in the constellation of Cancer with a magnitude of +3.09 (naked eye possible). It rises at 1327 and sets at 0531UT.

Friday 14 March
The Blinking Planetary (NGC 6826, Caldwell 15) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Cygnus with a magnitude of +8.89 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It doesn’t rise or set.

Saturday 15 March

The Christmas Tree cluster (NGC 2264) is an open cluster in the constellation of Monoceros with a magnitude of +4.09 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It rises at 1222UT and sets at 0222UT.

Sunday 16 March
The Ghost of Jupiter Nebula (Caldwell 59, NGC 3242) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Hydra with a magnitude of +7.30. it rises at 1846UT and sets at 0317UT.

Monday 17 March
The Pinwheel Cluster (M36) is an open cluster in the constellation of Auriga with a magnitude of +6.00. It rises at 0735UT and sets at 0455UT.

Tuesday 18 March
The Little Dumbbell Nebula (M76, NGC 650) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Perseus with a magnitude of +10.10 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It doesn’t rise or set.

Wednesday 19 March
Caldwell 58 (NGC 2360)is an open cluster in the constellation of Canis Major with a magnitude of +7.19 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It rises at 1507UT and sets at 0018UT.

Thursday 20 March
The Medusa Nebula (Abel 21) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Gemini with a magnitude of +10.19 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It rises at 1231UT and sets at 0310UT.

Friday 21 March
Caldwell 28 (NGC 752) is an open cluster in the Constellation of Andromeda with a magnitude of +5.69 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It doesn’t rise or set.

Saturday 22 March
Polaris (Alhpa Ursae Minoris) is a variable double star in the constellation of Ursa Minor with a magnitudes of +2.00 and +9.00 (naked eye). It does not rise or set.

Sunday 23 March
Chi Persei (NGC 884, Caldwell 14) is an open cluster in the constellation of Perseus with a magnitude of +6.09 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It doesn’t rise or set.

Monday 24 March
Zosma (Delta Leonis) is a double star in the constellation of Leo with a magnitude of +2.55 and +8.56 (naked eye). It rises at 1511UT and sets at 0727UT.

Tuesday 25 March
The Pleides (M45, Mel 22) is an open cluster in the constellation of Taurus with a constellation of +1.50 (naked eye). It rises at 0712UT and sets at 0026UT.

Wednsesday 26 March
Menkar (Alpha Ceti) is a variable star in the constellation of Cetus with a magnitude of +2.54 (naked eye). It rises at 0833UT and sets at 2124UT.

Thursday 27 March Caldwell 54 (NGC 2506, Caldwell 54)is an open cluster in the constellation of Monoceros with a magnitude of +7.59 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It rises at 1449UT and sets at 0058UT.

Friday 28 March
Alderamin (Alpha Cephei) is a double star in the constellation of Cepheus with magnitudes of +2.47 and +10.47 (naked eye). It does not rise or set.

Saturday 29 March
The Double Cluster (NGC 869, Caldwell 14) is an open cluster in the constellation of Perseus with a magnitude of +5.30 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It does not rise or set.

Sunday 30 March
The Blue Snowball Nebula (Caldwell 22, NGC 7662) is a planetary nebula in the constellation of Andromeda with a magnitude of +8.30 (requires binoculars or a small telescope). It does not rise or set.

Monday 31 March
Caldwell 50 (NGC 2244) is an open cluster in the constellation of Monoceros with a magnitude of +4.80 (naked eye if you have no/ very little light pollution). It rises at 1332UT and sets at 0236.

The Night Sky for February 2014

Interesting things in the night sky for February 2014 that Bellatrix Orionis is hoping to observe, (providing the rain and wind stop).

Visual guide from Hubble

Planets

Mercury imaged by Mariner 10 Mercury – During February Mercury can be found in the constellation of Aquarius. At the beginning of the month it’s at magnitude -0.4. It rises at 0832UT and sets at 1841UT. By the end of the month Mercury is at magnitude +0.9, rises at 0612UT and sets at 1545UT. Due to Mercury rising during the day it will be exceptionally difficult to spot unless you have a knack for finding planets in the day.
Venus Cloud TopsSource: Hubblesite.org Venus – During February Venus can be found in the constellation of Sagittarius. At the beginning of the month it is at magnitude of -3.6. It rises at 0549UT and sets at 1454UT. By the end of the month it’s at magnitude -4.6, rises at 0458UT and sets at 1354UT. Due to its position and the time it rises it’s not possible to see the planet this month.
Mars Dust Storm Brews in Hellas Basin and Northern Polar CapSource: Hubblesite.org Mars – At the beginning of February Mars rises at 2327UT and sets at 1023UT. The planet can be found in the constellation of Virgo and at the beginning of the month is at a magnitude of +0.2. By the end of the month Mars is at magnitude -0.5, rises at 2203UT and sets at 0845UT
JupiterSource: Hubblesite.org Jupiter – During February Jupiter can be found in the constellation of Gemini. At the beginning of the month it has a magnitude of-2.6, rises at 1350UT and sets at 0647UT. At the end of the month the planet will be at magnitude -2.4, rising at 1155UT and setting at 0455UT.
Saturn -- October 1997Source: Hubblesite.org Saturn – Can be found in the constrellation of Libra during February. At the beginning of the month it’s at magnitude of +0.5, rises at 0219UT and sets at 1119UT. By the end of the month Saturn is at magnitude +0.4, rising at 0037UT and sets at 0935UT.
Uranus 2003Source: Hubblesite.org Uranus – Can be found in the constellation of Pisces during February and remains at magnitude of +5.9. At the beginning of the month it rises at 0940UT and sets at 2220UT. By the end of the month it rises at 0756UT and sets at 2041UT.
Neptune - Natural Colour with SatellitesSource: Hubblesite.org Neptune – Is in the constellation of Aquarius during February with a magnitude of +8.0. At the beginning of the month it rises at 0846UT and sets at 1854UT. By the end of the month Neptune rises at 0702UT and sets at 1714UT.

 

Dwarf Planets

Pluto – Is in the constellation of Sagittarius and is at visual magnitude +14.2. At the beginning of February it rises at 0614UT and sets at 1422UT. By the end of the month it rises at 0431UT and sets at 1239UT.

Ceres – Is in the constellation of Virgo. At the beginning of February the dwarf planet rises at 2327UT and sets at 1136UT and has a visual magnitude of +8.2. By the end of the month it is a magnitude +7.7, rises at 2147UT and sets at1003UT.

Pallas – Can be found in the constellation of Hydra and is at visual magnitude +7.3. At the beginning of February it rises at 2112UT and sets at 0541UT. By the end of the month Pallas is in the constellation of Sextans with a magnitude of +7.0. It rises at 1809UT and sets at 0435UT.

Juno – Is in the constellation of Aquarius with a visual magnitude of +10.1. At the beginning of the month Juno rises at 0908UT and sets at 1954UT. By the end of the month Juno is in the constellation of Pisces with a magnitude of +9.9. It rise at 0751UT and sets at 1924UT.

Vesta – Is in the constellation of Virgo during February. At the beginning of the month it’s magnitude of +7.2, it rises at 2324UT and sets at 1110UT. At the end of the month it’s at magnitude +6.6, rises at 2147UT and sets at 0942UT.

 

Meteor Showers and Comets

Pi Hydrids – Is a weak (class 4) shower with approximately 1 meteor per hour which peaks on 2 February at 0120UT.
There is no known parent comet for this shower.

Alpha Centaurids – Minor (class 2) shower with approximately 5 meteor per hour which peaks on 8 February at 0605UT.
There is no known parent comet for this shower.

Beta Herculids – Weak (class 4) shower with approximately 1 meteor per hour which peaks on 12 February 2355UT.
There is no known parent comet for this shower.

 

Monthly Sky Challenge

1 February

Bear Paw Galaxy (NGC 2537) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Lynx with a magnitude of +11.69. It does not rise or set this month.

2 February

Sirius (Alpha Canis Majoris), also known as the Dog Star is a double star in the constellation of Canis Majoris and has a magnitudes of -1.44 and +8.50. It rises at 1739 and sets at 0236.

3 February

Andromeda Galaxy (M31, NGC 224) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Andromeda with a magnitude of +3.40. It does not rise or set.

4 February

Vega (Alpha Lyrae) is a variable double star in the constellation of Lyra with a magnitudes of +0.02 and +9.53. It does not rise or set this month.

5 February

Helix Galaxy (NGC 2685) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major with a magnitude of +11.30. It does not rise or set.

6 February

Capella (Alpha Aurigae) is a double star in the constellation of Auriga with a magnitude of +0.07. It doesn’t rise or set.

7 February

Markarian’s Chain (NGC 4443) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Virgo with a magnitude of +11.19. It rises at 2012 and sets at 1050.

8 February

Rigel (Beta Orionis) is a variable double star in the constellation of Orion with a magnitude of +0.28 and +10.38. It rises at 1454 and sets at 0133.

9 February

Needle Galaxy (NGC 4565) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Coma Berenices with a magnitude of +9.60. It rises at 1838 and sets at 1223.

10 February

Procyon (Alpha Canis Majoris) is a double star in the constellation of Canis Minor with a magnitudes of +0.40 and +10.80. It rises at 1557 and sets at 0503

11 February

Perseus A (NGC 1275) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Perseus with a magnitude of +11.89. It doesn’t rise or set this month.

12 February

Betelguese (Alpha Orionis) is a variable double star in Orion with a magnitude of +0.56 and +14.57. It rises at 1353 and sets at 0324.

13 February

Siamese Twins (NGC 4568 & NGC 4567) are spiral galaxies in the constellation of Virgo, with magnitudes of +11.30 and +10.80. It rises at 2007 and sets at 1022.

14 February

Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) is a variable double star in the constellation of Taurus with a magnitude of +0.99 and +13.79. It rises at 1131 and sets at 0252.

15 February

Whirlpool Galaxy (M51, NGC5194) is a spiral constellation in the constellation of Canes Venatici with a magnitude of +8.39. It does not rise or set.

16 February

Pollux (Beta Gemiorum) is a double star in the constellation of Gemini with magnitudes of+1.22 and +13.82. It rises at 1259 and sets at 0726.

17 February

Sunflower Galaxy (M63, NGC 5055) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Canes Venatici with a magnitude of +8.60. It does not rise or set.

18 February

Deneb (Alpha Cygni) is a variable double star in the constellation of Cygnus with magnitudes of +1.33 and +11.73. It does not rise or set.

19 February

Pinwheel Galaxy (M33, NGC 598) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Triangulum with a magnitude of +5.69. It rises at 0606 and sets at 0136.

20 February

Regulus (Alpha Leonis) is a double star in the constellation of Leo with magnitudes of +1.40 and +8.18. it rises at 1708 and sets at 0731.

21 February

Silver Needle Galaxy (NGC 4244) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Canes Venatici with a magnitude of +10.39. It does not rise or set.

22 February

Adhara (Epsilon Canis Majoris) is a double star in the constellation of Canis Major with a magnitude of +1.52 and +7.53. It rises at 1811 and sets at 2350.

23 February

Black Eye Galaxy (M64, NGC 4826) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Coma Berenices with a magnitude of +8.50. It rises at 1839 and sets at 1112.

24 February

Castor (Alpha Geminorum) is a double star in the constellation of Gemini with magnitudes of +1.58 and +2.48. It rises at 1129 and sets at 0732.

25 February

Bode’s Nebulae (M82, NGC 3034) spiral galaxy in the constellation of Ursa Major with a magnitude of +8.39. It does not rise or set.

26 February

Bellatrix (Gamma Orionis) is a double star in the constellation of Orion with magnitudes of +1.65 and +12.26. It rises at 1233 and sets at 0153.

27 February

Cetus A (M77, NGC 1068) is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Cetus with a magnitude of +8.89. It rises at 1022 and sets at 2229.

28 February

Elnath (Beta Tauri) is a double star in the constellation of Taurus with a magnitude of +1.67. It rises at 0947 and sets at 0427.

Crab Nebula, such a beautiful stellar remnant

The Crab Nebula - Exploding Star in Narrowband

The Crab Nebula by Nick Howes

The Crab Nebula is a magnificent supernova remnant in the constellation of Taurus. At magnitude +8.39 it appears as a dim patch in binoculars, but a telescope will show more detail. The larger he telescope the better the detail. Another option is to image the Crab Nebula and you can get some fabulous images like the one above by Nick Howes.

Chinese astronomers first observed the “guest star” other wise known as a supernova in 1054. According to the records the supernova reached magnitude -6 (brighter than Venus) as its peak.

The supernova remnant was discovered in 1731 by John Bevis. Whilst in 1758 Charles Messier independently found it whilst hunting for Halley’s comet on its return visit. Finding the Crab Nebula was the start of the Messier Catelogue as the nebula looked like a comet.

The name ‘Crab Nebula’ came from Lord Rosse because an image he sketched looked like a crab.

Here is a finders chart to help you find the supernova remnant. Crab Nebula

Eastern Veil Nebula

Veil Nebula

Veil Nebula by Nick Howes

The Eastern Veil Nebula (Caldwell 33, IC 1340, NGC 6992 and NGC 6995 is part of a supernova remnant located in the constellation of Cygnus, the swan. At magnitude +5.00 its possible to see the Eastern Nebula with binoculars but due to the light being distributed over such a large area its very difficult to see with the naked eye. The image to the left by Nick Howes is a mosac of the full Veil Nebula.

The Veil Nebula was discovered in 1784 by William Herschel. Due to its size the brighter parts appeared as a number of distinct diffuse nebula and were assigned separate NGC numbers (NGC 6960, NGC 6967, NGC 6992 and NGC 6995). Herschel described the eastern end of the nebula as “Branching nebulosity … The following part divides into several streams uniting again towards the south.”

Here is a finders chart to help you find the Eastern Veil Nebula.Eastern Veil Nebula finder chart

Thors Helmet – a beautiful emission nebula

Thors HelmetThors Helmet (NGC 2359), also known as the Duck Nebula is a bright emission/reflection nebula in the constellation of Canis Major. At magnitude +11.50 a telescope is required to observe. The nebula is approximately 15,000 light years away and 30 light years in size.

Thors Helmet is similar in nature to the Bubble Nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia. At the centre of the nebula is a Wolf-Rayet star which is in a pre-supernova stage of it’s development. These stars are exceptionally rare and incredibly hot.

Here is a chart to help you find the nebula.

Chi Persei, the open cluster in Perseus

Chi Persei (NGC 884)Chi Persei (NGC 884, Caldwell 14) is an open cluster in the constellation of Perseus the hero. It marks scimitar or sword of Perseus which he used to behead the Gorgon Medusa. It has a magnitude of +6.09 and is visible in binoculars. The cluster has approximately 175 stars and appears to be approximately 3.2 million years old. The cluster is blue-shifting which means it is moving towards us at an estimated speed of 21 km/s. The cluster is currently 7600 light years

The cluster has been known since ancient times and was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Hipparcos in 130BC. To many peoples surprise the cluster never featured in Charles Messier’s catalogue.

California Nebula, a faint emission nebula in Perseus

California nebula

California Nebula (NGC 1499) image by Nick Howes

The California Nebula (NGC 1499, LBN 756) is a bright nebula in the constellation of Perseus, the hero. It has a magnitude of +5.00 and is visible with binoculars, Visually it’s quite a faint, but large emission nebula which makes it a fabulous target for astrophotographers, as the image on the right by Nick Howes shows. The entire region of the nebula is filled with gases and it is thought many massive and luminous stars have formed in this area.

It was originally discovered by EE Barnard in 1884-85 and was named due to its resemblance of the state of California.California Nebula (NGC 1499) finders chart

The California Nebula lies 1000 light years away and can be found with the chart below or on this link.

Carolines Rose – Cassiopeia’s beautiful flower

Carolines Rose in CassiopeiaCarolines Rose (NGC 7789) is a beautiful open cluster in the constellation of Cassiopeia, the queen. It also is sometimes called the White Rose Cluster. It gets its name due to the loops of stars and dark lanes which give the impression of the swirls of the petals of the rose.

At least 150 stars have been noted within Carolines Rose. Despite it being a large, rich and fairly well defined cluster, there is no distinct border. At magnitude +6.69 it’s possible to see with binoculars, but a telescope will show more detail.

It was discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1783 and included in her brother’s (William Herschel) catalogue as H V1.30. It’s considered to be a major omission from Charles Messiers catelogue.

Here is a finders chart to help you locate Caroline’s Rose.

Bubble Nebula a beautiful object in Cassiopeia

The Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635) by Nick Howes

The Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). Narrowband image by Nick Howes

The Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635, Caldwell 11, LBN 548) a bright nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia, the queen. At magnitude +11.00 it is possible to observe it with binoculars, but is best viewed with a telescope.

The nebula was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in 1787.

The nebula is approximately 11,000 light years away and the bubble itself is about 10 light years across. The nebula glows due to the hot central star.

NGC 7635Here is a chart to help you find the Bubble Nebula.

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