Sidewalk Observing -18 June, 2016

LatestFinally a decent night for observing on PEI, but wait, we have a 96% full waxing gibbous Moon in our sky tonight. That means everything else will be washed out, overwhelmed by the bright moonlight.

Not so. Luna’s “optimum viewing window” begins at 21:37 this evening but Jupiter’s “ovw” begins at 21:45 and Mars and Saturn both appear at 21:43.

And while Luna will glow brightly at -12.6 magnitude, The trio of planets should also be nicely observable at -2.0, -1.7 and 0.1 magnitude respectively.

And to make things more interesting Europa, one of Jupiter’s 67 moons makes a shadow transit across the planet beginning at 22:05. The moon itself will move into our line of sight at 20:57 but by that time it will be at mid-transit, or half-way across the face of the planet.

And if you are in a darker area try to take in the beautiful Keystone Globular Cluster. At mag5.8 it may be difficult to see in the bright moonlight but don’t despair if you can’t see it. The best viewing of this gem is in late June and early July.

Check the information reel for observing times today. All are welcome to join me.

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