Tuesday, April 21st provides a daylight occultation of bright star Aldebaran in Taurus for observers in the extreme north of Scotland, while the whole of the British Isles sees a close conjunction with the added bonus of dazzling Venus nearby at dusk.
Currently unmistakable as a brilliant ‘evening star’ over to west at dusk, planet Venus treks through the constellation of Taurus starting April 7th, leading to a close encounter with the Pleiades star cluster on the 11th.
Comet Lovejoy continues its northerly trek through Cassiopeia, en route to a close encounter with Polaris on May 27th. A circumpolar object of the high north, the comet never sets as seen from the British Isles this month — what’s more, it’s brighter than predicted.
Jupiter may be two months past opposition, but it’s still big, bright and high to the south before 9 pm from the centre of the British Isles. The Galilean moons, their shadows and the Great Red Spot are all on show — plus mutual phenomena of the moons.
The waxing gibbous Moon passes close by the Solar System’s largest planet, Jupiter, on the nights of March 29th and 30th. Jupiter was at opposition last month, but it’s still big, bright and offers much to see in a telescope.
As twilight fades to dark on the evenings of March 24th and 25th, observers in the British Isles can see the waxing crescent Moon’s passage through Taurus, passing some of the constellation’s highlights.
Nearly 60 hours after its starring rôle in Friday morning’s spectacle, the crescent Moon has an attractive conjunction with planet Venus, the second brightest nighttime body, low to the west at dusk on Sunday, March 22nd.
Australian astronomer John Seach discovered a nova in Sagittarius on March 15th that’s still an easy binocular object for Southern Hemisphere observers and a challenge worth attempting in the dawn twilight of southern counties UK.
As a nice way to celebrate the memory of the late Leonard Nimoy, over the coming week astrophotographers have a chance to image the 13-mile-wide minor planet named after Mr. Spock, the Star Trek character he shall always be most closely associated with.