RFO

What's Up in the Night Sky

Here's a month-by-month listing of astronomical predictions for the year, compiled by
Jack Welch, RFO astronomy instructor.

 

Abbreviations

Astr Twi/AT -Astronomical Twilight
Cal - Callisto
Civ Twi/CT - Civil Twilight
Cr - Crescent
Disap - Disappear
Dbl Tr - Double Tansit
E - End/Exit
Ec/Ecl - Eclipse
EcD - Eclipse disappearance
EcR - Eclipse reappearance
Eur - Europa
Ex - Exit
Gan - Ganymede
Gr El - Greatest Elongation
Jup - Jupiter
Lun - Lunar
Max - Maximum
Mer - Mercury
Min - Minimum
Mn - Moon
Naut Twi/NT - Nautical Twilight
Nr - Near
Occ - Occultation
OcD - Occultation disappearance
OcR - Occultation reapparance
Opp - Opposition
Pen - Penumbral
Reap - Reappear
Qtr - Quarter
Sat - Saturn /Satellite
Sh - Shadow
S/St - Start
Stat - Stationary
Tot - Total
Tr - Transit
V Nr - Very Near
Ven - Venus
Zod Lt - Zodiacal Light

 

Observing

Upcoming Observing Highlights

January 2020
  • Wednesday, 1/1/2020 - Occ of 33 Psc - Time: 18:30
    • At about 1855 the mag 4.6 star 33 Piscium will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 73° from the south cusp. 33 Psc is an extremely close double. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Thursday, 1/2/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 20:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 1/4/2020 - Quadrantids peak - Time: 00:30
    • The Quadrantids are one of the year's best meteor showers but not well known due to poor winter weather and the short duration of the peak activity. The gibbous moon interferes with meteor observing this year until after moon set at 1:19am. There is a good chance of a nice display during the a.m. hours of 1/4.
  • Wednesday, 1/8/2020 - Algol min - Time: 06:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0605.
  • Friday, 1/10/2020 - "Wolf" Moon - Time: 11:30
    • -
  • Friday, 1/10/2020 - Ura stat - Time: 23:00
    • Uranus, in Aries, ends retrograde motion.
  • Saturday, 1/11/2020 - Algol min - Time: 03:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0254.
  • Monday, 1/13/2020 - Algol min - Time: 23:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2343.
  • Thursday, 1/16/2020 - Algol min - Time: 20:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2032.
  • Friday, 1/17/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 05:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 1/18/2020 - Mars nr Antares - Time: 05:30
    • Mars is near its "rival" Antares, the bright red star in Scorpius, for much of January and closest this morning. Mars is the brighter of the two. It is interesting to compare the colors of these two objects. Try using binoculars.
  • Sunday, 1/19/2020 - Algol min - Time: 17:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 1721.
  • Monday, 1/20/2020 - CrMn vnr Mar - Time: 06:00
    • -
  • Friday, 1/24/2020 - New Moon - Time: 13:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 1/25/2020 - 1.4% CrMn - Time: 17:30
    • We have a chance to spot an ultra-thin 1.4% crescent moon 4° high 28° south of due west 30 minutes after sunset (or at 5:54pm calculated for the RFO site). Use binoculars.
  • Sunday, 1/26/2020 - 4.7% CrMn - Time: 18:00
    • -
  • Monday, 1/27/2020 - CrMn nr Ven - Time: 18:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 1/28/2020 - CrMn nr Ven - Time: 18:00
    • -
  • Friday, 1/31/2020 - Algol min - Time: 04:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0437.

February 2020
  • Saturday, 2/1/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 17:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 2/1/2020 - Mer in W thru 2/17 - Time: 18:00
    • Mercury provides a good evening apparition in the ESE, reaching a maximum altitude 45 minutes after sunset of 9° on 2/10. Begin looking for Mercury around 6:15pm or so. Very bright at first, Mercury will grow dim quickly after about 2/13.
  • Monday, 2/3/2020 - Algol min - Time: 01:30
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0126.
  • Monday, 2/3/2020 - Occ of Ain - Time: 20:00
    • At about 2014 the mag 3.0 star Ain (epsilon Tau) will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 14° from the north cusp and will reappear from behind the bright limb at axis angle 326° (31° from the north cusp) at about 2048. The reappearance requires somewhat larger aperture scopes for precise detection. Ain is a close double star. Tracking scopes can catch the reappearance by tracking from the disappearance. A graze occultation will occur about 100 miles or so north of RFO. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Wednesday, 2/5/2020 - Algol min - Time: 22:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2215.
  • Saturday, 2/8/2020 - Algol min - Time: 19:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 1904.
  • Saturday, 2/8/2020 - "Snow" Moon - Time: 23:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 2/11/2020 - Zod Light in W thru thru 2/24 - Time: 19:30
    • The Zodiacal Light is visible in the west for about 45 minutes after twilight. Start looking around 7:15pm. A western horizon free of light pollution is essential.
  • Saturday, 2/15/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 14:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 2/18/2020 - Occ of Mars - Time: 04:30
    • At about 0432 Mars will reappear from behind the moon's dark limb at axis angle 250° (or 69° from the south limb or 70° clockwise from the vertex, the point on the limb highest above the horizon). The reappearance of the bright portion of the Martian disk will take about 10 seconds. Note that the moon will be about 8° high in the ESE. (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Wednesday, 2/19/2020 - CrMn vnr Jup - Time: 05:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 2/23/2020 - Algol min - Time: 03:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 0309.
  • Sunday, 2/23/2020 - New Moon - Time: 07:30
    • -
  • Monday, 2/24/2020 - 2.1% CrMn - Time: 18:30
    • Look for an ultra-thin 2.1% crescent moon 7° high 16° south of due west 30 minutes after sunset (or at 6:28pm calculated for the RFO site). Use binoculars.
  • Tuesday, 2/25/2020 - Io Sh/Sat Tr - Time: 04:30
    • Jupiter rises with Io's shadow in transit. Io's transit begins at 0457 when Jupiter is 5° high (calculated for RFO). The shadow transit ends in nautical twilight at 0616.
  • Tuesday, 2/25/2020 - 6% CrMn - Time: 18:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 2/25/2020 - Algol min - Time: 24:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2358.
  • Wednesday, 2/26/2020 - CrMn nr Ven - Time: 19:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 2/26/2020 - Occ of 26 Cet - Time: 19:30
    • At about 1935 the magnitude 5.9 star 26 Ceti will disappear behind the moon's dark limb 23° from the north limb. 26 Cet is a wide double. The mag 9.5 companion will disappear behind the moon about 27 seconds before the brighter primary, an observing challenge! (Calculated using Occult4 for the RFO site. Details will differ as distance from RFO increases.)
  • Thursday, 2/27/2020 - CrMn nr Ven - Time: 19:00
    • -
  • Friday, 2/28/2020 - Algol min - Time: 21:00
    • Algol eclipse minimum is at 2047.
  • Saturday, 2/29/2020 - Eur Sh Tr - Time: 04:30
    • Europa's shadow will begin to transit Jupiter at 0445, at which time Jupiter is only 5° high in the ESE (calculated for the RFO site). The shadow transit is still in progress at sunrise.

March 2020
  • Monday, 3/2/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 12:00
    • -
  • Monday, 3/9/2020 - "Worm" Moon - Time: 11:00
    • -
  • Monday, 3/16/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 02:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 3/24/2020 - New Moon - Time: 02:30
    • -

April 2020
  • Wednesday, 4/1/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 4/7/2020 - "Pink" Moon - Time: 19:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 4/14/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 16:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 4/22/2020 - New Moon - Time: 19:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 4/30/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 13:30
    • -

May 2020
  • Thursday, 5/7/2020 - "Flower" Moon - Time: 03:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 5/14/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 07:00
    • -
  • Friday, 5/22/2020 - New Moon - Time: 10:30
    • -
  • Friday, 5/29/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 20:30
    • -

June 2020
  • Friday, 6/5/2020 - "Strawberry" Moon - Time: 12:00
    • -
  • Friday, 6/12/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 23:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 6/20/2020 - New Moon - Time: 23:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 6/28/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 13:00
    • -

July 2020
  • Saturday, 7/4/2020 - "Buck" Moon - Time: 21:30
    • -
  • Sunday, 7/12/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 16:30
    • -
  • Monday, 7/20/2020 - New Moon - Time: 10:30
    • -
  • Monday, 7/27/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 05:30
    • -

August 2020
  • Monday, 8/3/2020 - "Sturgeon" Moon - Time: 09:00
    • -
  • Tuesday, 8/11/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 09:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 8/20/2020 - New Moon - Time: 19:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 8/25/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 11:00
    • -

September 2020
  • Tuesday, 9/1/2020 - "Harvest" Moon - Time: 22:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 9/10/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 02:30
    • -
  • Thursday, 9/17/2020 - New Moon - Time: 04:00
    • -
  • Wednesday, 9/23/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 19:00
    • -

October 2020
  • Thursday, 10/1/2020 - "Hunter's" Moon - Time: 14:00
    • -
  • Friday, 10/9/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 17:30
    • -
  • Friday, 10/16/2020 - New Moon - Time: 12:30
    • -
  • Friday, 10/23/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 06:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 10/31/2020 - "Blue" Moon - Time: 08:00
    • -

November 2020
  • Sunday, 11/8/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 05:30
    • -
  • Saturday, 11/14/2020 - New Moon - Time: 21:00
    • -
  • Saturday, 11/21/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 20:30
    • -
  • Monday, 11/30/2020 - "Beaver" Moon - Time: 01:30
    • -

December 2020
  • Monday, 12/7/2020 - Last Qtr - Time: 16:30
    • -
  • Monday, 12/14/2020 - New Moon - Time: 08:30
    • -
  • Monday, 12/21/2020 - 1st Qtr - Time: 15:30
    • -
  • Tuesday, 12/29/2020 - "Cold" Moon - Time: 19:30
    • -

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