Podcaster: Shane and Chris
Title: Objects to Observe in the May 2021 Night Sky
Organization: Actual Astronomy
Description: The Actual Astronomy Podcast presents Objects to Observe in the May 2021 Night Sky and places a focus on sky events to help you find the planets as Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Mercury and Venus as they meet up with the Moon. We also talk about the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower, a variable star and make mention of the Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse plus the conjunction of Mercury and Venus.
Bio: Shane and Chris are amateur astronomers who enjoy teaching astronomy classes and performing outreach where they help the eyes of the public to telescope eyepieces.
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00:00:03.090 –> 00:00:11.580
Chris Beckett: Welcome to episode 115 of the actual astronomy podcast, this is the objects to observe in the may 2021 night sky.
00:00:12.179 –> 00:00:25.920
Chris Beckett: i’m Chris and joining me a shame we are amateur astronomers who love looking up at the night sky and this podcast is for anyone else who likes going out under the stars shane This is our one year anniversary of doing the objects to observe episodes.
00:00:26.220 –> 00:00:41.820
Shane Ludtke: Oh yeah cool, these are this this episode is one of our most popular you know a lot of listeners play this one, and you know I I kind of enjoy doing it to it helps me organize my upcoming observing plans so.
00:00:42.030 –> 00:00:53.940
Chris Beckett: I like it yeah so let’s just reflect for for a moment and maybe i’ll just ask you what was your favorite observation, or maybe some of your favorite observations from from the past year.
00:00:54.990 –> 00:01:09.480
Shane Ludtke: Well, the the MARS opposition like there’s a number of observations that I had of Mars, and you know to say i’ll just group them all together and say the MARS observations were pretty high on my list, and then the other one was comment Neil wise.
00:01:09.960 –> 00:01:10.860
Shane Ludtke: yeah you know that.
00:01:11.160 –> 00:01:25.560
Shane Ludtke: That comment was pretty incredible you never know like that might be the brightest comment that we have for the next 20 years where they’re just so unpredictable so you know when a big break Comet comes like that you just have to get out there and observe it and it was pretty amazing.
00:01:25.980 –> 00:01:29.190
Shane Ludtke: yeah you know, and maybe the third one i’ll give you my top three.
00:01:29.460 –> 00:01:35.010
Shane Ludtke: would be the noctilucent cloud observing that we got into last year, around this time.
00:01:35.100 –> 00:01:39.180
Shane Ludtke: it’ll kick your which we’ll talk about I did add it to the show notes some.
00:01:39.420 –> 00:01:46.260
Shane Ludtke: yeah the third week of May is is the kind of the beginning of noctilucent cloud season so that’s exciting too.
00:01:46.890 –> 00:01:58.650
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah very cool yeah i’m i’m right there with you, I think you know, particularly one of those nights I had observing Mars, and I was able to to run over 100 350 power.
00:01:59.460 –> 00:02:02.310
Chris Beckett: Typically, we can run up but 100 power here.
00:02:02.640 –> 00:02:14.220
Chris Beckett: But I was able to run 350 power on my hundred millimeter telescope and and the views were so good Mike drove across town and and came and and verify this.
00:02:16.320 –> 00:02:26.820
Chris Beckett: And then yeah that the views of of comment new wise and I was able to to get to one of the darkest sites to observe it and it did lots of sketching and.
00:02:27.450 –> 00:02:37.050
Chris Beckett: yeah that that night we’re actually able to observe the red spot on Jupiter as well sort of, and that was using an IP sideboard from us so.
00:02:37.770 –> 00:02:48.210
Chris Beckett: You know that that was a great evening the evening, where we’re sort of able to to observe new wise and then and then Jupiter and the great red spot, and then a little bit of Saturn a little bit of Mars that night as well just having.
00:02:48.510 –> 00:02:53.550
Chris Beckett: Having all these planets and then the comment in the sky together was was really great.
00:02:54.240 –> 00:03:09.270
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah you know and it’s kind of funny and mentioning these great observations we also did not mention one of the biggest ones of the year, which was the December 21 conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn you know that that was another pretty incredible observation.
00:03:10.140 –> 00:03:20.610
Chris Beckett: yeah and yeah I did have a that night I just bear the head of view of it, and then the clouds had had moved in from your direction so i’ll kind of blame you on that one.
00:03:21.870 –> 00:03:26.640
Chris Beckett: But coming up this month we actually have a close approach of mercury and Venus.
00:03:27.990 –> 00:03:38.130
Chris Beckett: yeah not quite as good as the as the great projection we had back in December, but this this is going to be an interesting thing for people to go and take a look at.
00:03:39.210 –> 00:03:40.770
Shane Ludtke: cool well let’s get into it.
00:03:41.160 –> 00:03:44.640
Chris Beckett: yeah also have a lunar eclipse this month, but let’s start with the planets.
00:03:45.840 –> 00:03:54.210
Chris Beckett: going to have mercury starting the month in Taurus and it’s going to appear as a very early evening object at the start of the month.
00:03:54.540 –> 00:04:07.230
Chris Beckett: And it reaches its greatest Eastern elongation, but that means you’re looking into the Western skirts a little bit confusing Eastern elongation it’s in the western Skype but anyway it’s an evening sky object to look at and.
00:04:08.040 –> 00:04:25.680
Chris Beckett: it’s about as far as it gets from the sun on may 17, and this is going to present the best evening opportunity for those of us who live in the northern hemisphere, to take a look at it in the evening sky and in 2021 so shane here’s your opportunity to take take a look at mercury.
00:04:26.880 –> 00:04:38.370
Shane Ludtke: yeah i’ve seen it a few times in the past and the weather cooperates I have a really good spot that you know pretty much right to the horizon looking West so.
00:04:39.750 –> 00:04:43.830
Shane Ludtke: i’ll definitely taken or i’ll try, if it’s not cloudy around that time.
00:04:44.370 –> 00:04:51.660
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah I have to leave to leave the House to to get a view I can just drive it to the fields and take a peek at it.
00:04:52.830 –> 00:05:02.520
Chris Beckett: When it’s being object when it’s in the morning sky can just view it from my backyard, because I have almost an unobstructed view of a very light polluted skies, but.
00:05:03.180 –> 00:05:19.410
Chris Beckett: But an unobstructed view from from my bank card to the to the east but but for these evening ones yeah I have to have to go for a bit of a john all right so Venus Venus is also in tourists and it remains low, but will be.
00:05:20.820 –> 00:05:31.650
Chris Beckett: probably best to try to hunt it up in binoculars course you gotta gotta Be careful whenever you’re looking at Venus and mercury, you want to make wait until the the sun is below the horizon.
00:05:32.760 –> 00:05:40.050
Chris Beckett: You know so typically that that’s what people are going to do for these kind of events anyway, and then you know and then start scanning.
00:05:40.530 –> 00:06:02.100
Chris Beckett: For them with with the binoculars but it’s going to Venus is going to pair up with the moon and mercury later this month and then over in the morning sky we have Jupiter and Saturn so Jupiter is is in the morning and it crosses into aquarius and then Saturn is is in.
00:06:02.490 –> 00:06:05.130
Chris Beckett: In capricornus so Center it’s not high enough that.
00:06:05.730 –> 00:06:14.220
Chris Beckett: it’s emerged out of the gunk so probably towards the end of the month, can really start to make some telescopic observations Saturn.
00:06:16.230 –> 00:06:16.650
Shane Ludtke: I don’t.
00:06:17.190 –> 00:06:22.140
Chris Beckett: yeah uranus Neptune don’t look for them this month the Rainbow the sun so.
00:06:23.220 –> 00:06:24.690
Chris Beckett: yeah you’re not really going to be.
00:06:24.750 –> 00:06:32.670
Chris Beckett: going to be seeing them that they might be, you know I guess theoretically may be visible, you know certain locations and times that sort of thing but.
00:06:33.390 –> 00:06:52.020
Chris Beckett: That they’re not going to be worthwhile to take a look at, but starting on the first number already passed me first and mercury and Venus start start to pair up but on on the third, which is, which is tomorrow, and I know this is this is going to move in a in a few days.
00:06:53.310 –> 00:06:54.510
Chris Beckett: But, on the third.
00:06:55.590 –> 00:06:59.580
Chris Beckett: we’re going to have Saturn and the moon together in the morning sky.
00:07:00.210 –> 00:07:12.900
Chris Beckett: And then on the and then on the fourth we’re going to have Jupiter in the moon so both times, well, I guess Saturn and the moon, are a little bit closer they’re going to be about 40 degrees apart Jupiter and the moon, are going to be what five degrees apart.
00:07:14.040 –> 00:07:22.410
Chris Beckett: and basically from anywhere in North America they’re not going to be separated by more than about eight degrees, so if you have a good wide field pair of binoculars and you get up in the morning.
00:07:22.860 –> 00:07:32.670
Chris Beckett: you’re going to be able to see the moon paired with with one of the planets on each of those morning, so there you go and I think your binoculars about five degrees so maybe take a look at those.
00:07:33.510 –> 00:07:51.390
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah and I have, I do have some wider field ones as well, and my little 61 millimeter telescope with a 41 millimeter pen optic would give me just a hair under that eight degrees, so you know definitely have a few tools at my fingertips.
00:07:51.750 –> 00:08:03.270
Chris Beckett: cool excellent may 5 sort of the evening of the may 5 or after midnight on on may 5 getting into me six will have the edit query and meteor shower peaking.
00:08:05.310 –> 00:08:15.420
Chris Beckett: And so, this one, this one is probably going to be best between midnight and about three on the moon starts coming up about 3am I think singing that in the last episode anyway, but.
00:08:15.960 –> 00:08:23.940
Chris Beckett: that’s going to be the best time to to go and take a look at the queries and I think that the southern hemisphere, is a little bit a little bit more favorable.
00:08:24.630 –> 00:08:32.310
Chris Beckett: But I think I think even from the northern hemisphere, you can get a couple dozen meteors an hour and you want to look sort of towards the so.
00:08:33.390 –> 00:08:41.820
Chris Beckett: So the East if you’re up after after midnight and and that’s really all that you need to do you know if you know where a query says.
00:08:42.840 –> 00:08:48.450
Chris Beckett: that’s a fall constellation autumn constellation but that’s what’s coming up into the morning sky these days and then.
00:08:49.020 –> 00:08:59.100
Chris Beckett: that’s where the radiant is and that’s the point where the meteors seem to come from in the sky they seem to emanate from the constellation of aquarius.
00:08:59.640 –> 00:09:09.660
Chris Beckett: But those those street for a good long ways and so generally if you’re looking towards sort of like the East southeast, then you know you’re going to definitely see some meteors there.
00:09:10.830 –> 00:09:16.260
Shane Ludtke: And what’s neat about this meteor shower is I think most people are probably familiar with halley’s Comet.
00:09:17.460 –> 00:09:24.630
Shane Ludtke: Or at least people our age, and you know around their 40s, so this is this meteor.
00:09:25.710 –> 00:09:32.760
Shane Ludtke: I can’t talk today this This event is caused by the the leftovers of halley’s Comet.
00:09:33.150 –> 00:09:33.900
Shane Ludtke: Which is kind of neat.
00:09:34.320 –> 00:09:46.350
Shane Ludtke: And then the other thing that the Edda queries are known for is the very swift meteors so the travel at about 150,000 miles per hour into earth’s atmosphere.
00:09:47.310 –> 00:09:55.170
Shane Ludtke: So they they do streak faster than maybe some of the other meteor showers so this one has some interesting characteristics, to be aware of.
00:09:55.800 –> 00:09:59.340
Chris Beckett: yeah every done you’re going to try to observe this one.
00:10:00.240 –> 00:10:04.140
Shane Ludtke: No probably not you know when it comes to meteor showers.
00:10:05.190 –> 00:10:16.380
Shane Ludtke: If if everything works out that i’m observing with my telescope and there’s a meteor shower that’s awesome but I rarely make the effort, just to go observe meteors.
00:10:16.860 –> 00:10:19.710
Chris Beckett: yeah i’m gonna try to get up and go and take a look.
00:10:20.430 –> 00:10:34.860
Shane Ludtke: just for fun Oh well, and you know the neat thing like with fast meteors like sometimes you’ll see a meteor and it leaves like a little bit of a glow trail behind for a few seconds fast meteors have a greater likelihood of doing that so.
00:10:35.160 –> 00:10:35.970
Shane Ludtke: In this.
00:10:36.510 –> 00:10:42.180
Shane Ludtke: This this this shower has the potential to be kind of pretty because of the fast moving meteors.
00:10:42.810 –> 00:10:48.450
Chris Beckett: yeah sounds good on on may 11 that’s when we have the new moon.
00:10:48.630 –> 00:10:52.980
Chris Beckett: that’s when we didn’t go dark sky surfing, so we have to take.
00:10:53.010 –> 00:10:55.230
Chris Beckett: The opportunity now like this is.
00:10:55.650 –> 00:11:13.320
Chris Beckett: This is when, for those of us that are living, you know up in Canada anyway, we get to get to start enjoying the dark skies because next month we we don’t have dark skies, so we lose them for about five weeks, at least from from where we live.
00:11:13.950 –> 00:11:21.660
Shane Ludtke: yeah and and it’s a favorable position on the calendar being it’s earlier in may sometimes the new moon can be towards the end of May.
00:11:22.110 –> 00:11:33.420
Shane Ludtke: And you know you’ll just lose a little bit more of that dark sky because the sun sets later and rises earlier so because this is early in May this is, you know, a favorable new moon for this time of the year.
00:11:33.930 –> 00:11:35.940
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah should be should be good.
00:11:36.810 –> 00:11:45.450
Chris Beckett: took a couple days off around the new moon there so hopefully hopefully we can get a observing yeah really looking forward to it yeah, especially now that.
00:11:46.500 –> 00:11:53.940
Chris Beckett: Many of us are getting vaccinated up, and you know can start you know, hopefully, observing together in the near future.
00:11:54.720 –> 00:11:55.620
Shane Ludtke: yeah absolutely.
00:11:56.220 –> 00:12:06.390
Chris Beckett: should be good may 12 Now this is when Venus and the moon pair up so on may 12 Venus is going to be just Point seven degrees north.
00:12:06.810 –> 00:12:16.650
Chris Beckett: Of a very thin crescent moon and from New Zealand I don’t know if we have any listeners in New Zealand or eastern Polynesia and I don’t know if anybody lives on Easter island, but if somebody is.
00:12:16.680 –> 00:12:18.330
Shane Ludtke: Let us know yeah yeah it’s inhabited.
00:12:18.660 –> 00:12:19.620
Chris Beckett: Is it okay I.
00:12:19.680 –> 00:12:21.900
Chris Beckett: Just thought that was the giant stone heads.
00:12:23.190 –> 00:12:25.800
Chris Beckett: But let’s see the moon May.
00:12:27.120 –> 00:12:35.130
Chris Beckett: may go in front of Venus that night depending on where you are in the time in that, so I don’t know the times here for the locations, but if you’re in that general zone.
00:12:36.300 –> 00:12:47.910
Chris Beckett: Just after sunset take a look in and you should see them get extremely close, if not the moon may in fact actually pass in front of Venus for a for an occupation.
00:12:48.600 –> 00:12:57.000
Shane Ludtke: Well, and I think the moon that night is exceptionally thin like less than a degree like it, it will be, it might even be hard to spot.
00:12:57.510 –> 00:12:57.840
00:12:59.280 –> 00:13:08.610
Chris Beckett: yeah it could be, but on the 13th you got another opportunity they’re not quite as close and I don’t know that there’s there’s any sort of occultation alert for this one, probably not.
00:13:09.330 –> 00:13:15.600
Chris Beckett: But on may 13 the moon, and the waxing moon now a nice thin crust and that’s actually probably visible.
00:13:16.050 –> 00:13:25.710
Chris Beckett: Like you were saying that’s a very thin like I think it’s like you said, like around 1% eliminated moon a few nights before but on on may 13.
00:13:26.400 –> 00:13:30.690
Chris Beckett: The waxing moon and mercury are just going to be about two degrees apart.
00:13:31.380 –> 00:13:44.820
Chris Beckett: So that’s you know within the realm like of small telescopes with wide field eyepieces definitely be able to see the moon and mercury together in the same in the same IP that would be pretty cool definitely to try for that one chain.
00:13:45.300 –> 00:13:46.980
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah that’s a neat opportunity.
00:13:48.480 –> 00:14:00.270
Chris Beckett: And should be pretty cool and then you know, of course, can be difficult to see surface detail and mercury, but kind of on that one i’m hoping to do is is to kind of go back and forth a little bit.
00:14:00.750 –> 00:14:07.350
Chris Beckett: Between the two and see if I can tease it some some mercury in detail i’ve been able to do that and pass through my.
00:14:08.040 –> 00:14:17.940
Chris Beckett: Four inch telescope so moving ahead on me 15th here we have the moon and Mars pairing up in in a slightly darker evening sky like now, we have.
00:14:18.360 –> 00:14:33.000
Chris Beckett: pretty good crescent moon and I didn’t put how close they are, but they look pretty close in my in my little screenshot here so anyway moon and Mars on may 15 so it’s a great opportunity to actually follow the moon, through the evening sky.
00:14:34.080 –> 00:14:42.960
Chris Beckett: In the middle of May and be able to see as it pairs up with several of the planets very cool, especially through binoculars you know if people are binoculars they should go for that.
00:14:44.340 –> 00:14:51.120
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah it’s it’s super cool and when the solar system objects align this close makes for a real interesting view.
00:14:52.890 –> 00:15:08.610
Chris Beckett: yeah Now this is sort of one of the one of the main events for the month is this may 17 mercury is is going to be at greatest Eastern elongation, meaning that it’s going to be it’s going to be at its highest point in our western evening sky.
00:15:09.960 –> 00:15:14.310
Chris Beckett: So you look towards the West after sunset mercury is going to be nice and high up it’s.
00:15:14.790 –> 00:15:22.980
Chris Beckett: it’s over 22 degrees from the sun so over to fish from the sun, so when the sun sets you’re going to look about probably once it’s dark enough about a fist and a half.
00:15:23.460 –> 00:15:39.570
Chris Beckett: An arm’s length will give you just like your regular handmaiden two fisted arms arms linked, will be able to 10 degrees and then you’re going to need about one half or two of those above your of your Western horizon to see to see mercury so.
00:15:40.830 –> 00:15:50.100
Chris Beckett: That position is going to make a great opportunity for those of us with telescopes to maybe get some good news and then just below it we’re going to see.
00:15:51.210 –> 00:15:55.020
Chris Beckett: Venus coming up so they’re going to pair up here.
00:15:55.800 –> 00:16:03.210
Chris Beckett: towards the towards the very end of the month, and give us give us a pretty good show but, but they are starting to pair up, I think that, on that night they’re both.
00:16:03.480 –> 00:16:13.620
Chris Beckett: Nine degrees apart, but that that quickly closes so that kind of that kind of show is going to replicate in a way, what we saw with Jupiter and Saturn.
00:16:14.220 –> 00:16:24.120
Chris Beckett: Back in December, but of course it will it’ll be warmer and they’re lower on the horizon, unfortunately, so it’s it’s a bit of a tougher thing to catch now on the 19th.
00:16:25.200 –> 00:16:34.320
Chris Beckett: We have the first quarter moon, so I always like to you know one thing i’ve been doing more and more of my courses shane is is is trying to convince people that that heaven.
00:16:34.980 –> 00:16:49.860
Chris Beckett: Use binoculars the night sky before to actually go out and take their binoculars and and take a look at the first quarter moon through their binoculars they don’t need to know what the craters that, but do you spend much time looking at the moon, with your binoculars.
00:16:50.820 –> 00:17:03.000
Shane Ludtke: i’m not a lot of time, but it when I do put my binoculars on the moon it blows me away with how much more detail, you can see just with binoculars you know you wouldn’t think that.
00:17:03.690 –> 00:17:22.440
Shane Ludtke: You know even modest binoculars like seven by 35 will start to show greater detail and and really bring the moon alive in terms of the contrast it features and almost some of the three dimensional characteristics, you know that that the typography presents during you know various phases.
00:17:23.070 –> 00:17:32.790
Chris Beckett: yeah now so that’s a great opportunity may 19 first quarter moon dig out those old binoculars you don’t need necessarily a telescope to start doing astronomy and.
00:17:33.270 –> 00:17:42.630
Chris Beckett: yeah just doing what we can here to to convince people, maybe, maybe to go and try things but yeah it was far too long for too long, between when I when I was.
00:17:43.710 –> 00:17:53.700
Chris Beckett: younger person and getting interested in in space and astronomy and actually taken binoculars to look to look at the nighttime sky it’s something that never ever occurred to me and all the times.
00:17:54.060 –> 00:18:06.690
Chris Beckett: I played with binoculars at friends homes or or my grandparents always had binoculars kicking around I was always you know scanning the horizon looking for boats looking for you know whales like whatever.
00:18:07.200 –> 00:18:15.660
Chris Beckett: it’s like kind of pan around and then you know never did I ever think of turning those binoculars to the sky and then, once I did I was astounded.
00:18:16.770 –> 00:18:25.230
Chris Beckett: That you know you can see craters on the moon with with just a simple pair of binoculars it’s something that any people just haven’t thought of I know I never did until I read a book on astronomy.
00:18:26.850 –> 00:18:36.420
Shane Ludtke: yeah that’s a that’s a really good comment, and you know the other thing too, especially for people may be new to astronomy is the moon, is the easiest thing to find the night sky so.
00:18:37.410 –> 00:18:43.320
Shane Ludtke: You know, using binoculars on it just makes a lot of sense, especially if you’ve never done it before you will be amazed.
00:18:44.910 –> 00:18:47.490
Chris Beckett: mm hmm mm hmm So what about.
00:18:48.660 –> 00:18:51.300
Chris Beckett: What about may 24 shane, what are we going on that night.
00:18:52.740 –> 00:18:58.140
Shane Ludtke: The last week of May marks the beginning of noctilucent cloud season.
00:18:59.610 –> 00:19:10.830
Shane Ludtke: So noctilucent clouds you and I talked a lot about these 12 months ago on this podcast multiple episodes noctilucent clouds is kind of an interesting phenomenon, where.
00:19:11.760 –> 00:19:18.180
Shane Ludtke: there’s still research being done to really understand the formation of these, and you know how they evolve and when will they appear but.
00:19:18.600 –> 00:19:28.620
Shane Ludtke: What they are is clouds that are illuminated after sunset and it’s a it’s a real strange thing to see and it’s all I think it’s even harder to explain it.
00:19:29.430 –> 00:19:36.210
Shane Ludtke: The best thing to do would be just to do an Internet search on noctilucent clouds but anyway, what you do is.
00:19:36.840 –> 00:19:44.520
Shane Ludtke: Starting towards the end of May, and then going into June June is probably the peak season, although people report CDs.
00:19:45.300 –> 00:19:52.680
Shane Ludtke: Even early August, so you know pretty much the heart of the summer you’ll have opportunities to see these things, but what you do.
00:19:53.580 –> 00:20:07.500
Shane Ludtke: About 90 minutes after sunset you look North Northwest and what you may see is it’ll just look like clouds you may not even really realize it’s anything of significance because it it’s clouds.
00:20:08.370 –> 00:20:18.360
Shane Ludtke: That are kind of white and illuminated but then you’ll realize that it’s dark it’s sunset and there’s there’s no sunlight, so what is happening is because it’s.
00:20:19.080 –> 00:20:26.220
Shane Ludtke: The time of the year, where we’re getting into the the shortest day where you know the sun really doesn’t set for very long.
00:20:26.520 –> 00:20:35.010
Shane Ludtke: What the sun is doing is it’s just underneath the horizon, as its kind of transitioning to the eastern sky well it’s not transitioning we’re you know we’re rotating obviously.
00:20:36.330 –> 00:20:51.240
Shane Ludtke: But what what it presents is an angle, so that the sunlight, while we can’t see the sun, because it has set it’s able to illuminate some real high altitude clouds these noctilucent clouds and they’re they’re beautiful.
00:20:52.380 –> 00:20:55.620
Shane Ludtke: The some photographs of them are really mesmerizing.
00:20:56.160 –> 00:20:59.670
Shane Ludtke: And one thing that I kind of did by chance, last year, which was.
00:20:59.760 –> 00:21:02.040
Shane Ludtke: It was kind of eerie was.
00:21:03.270 –> 00:21:17.520
Shane Ludtke: The sun headset and I was just watching the northern sky and it was a beautiful blue sky and then these noctilucent clouds just slowly started to form, and it was almost like ghosts appearing because I couldn’t see any clouds there.
00:21:18.630 –> 00:21:24.240
Shane Ludtke: And then you know it was just a beautiful clear sky and then all of a sudden these noctilucent started to get brighter and brighter.
00:21:24.690 –> 00:21:34.290
Shane Ludtke: and put on a little bit of a display so they’re quite neat to see if you’ve never seen them, and you know it’s something to add to your list of things to be aware of towards me.
00:21:36.090 –> 00:21:45.990
Chris Beckett: yeah first time I saw them, I was flying over the North Atlantic going to Europe, and it was it was an overnight flight and.
00:21:46.890 –> 00:21:53.640
Chris Beckett: And my my spouse was asleep and everybody else in the plane was asleep and I don’t sleep well on planes.
00:21:54.060 –> 00:22:01.680
Chris Beckett: And I was pretty bored you know I didn’t want to have my TV I think they were encouraging us not to had the TV on because most people were asleep and.
00:22:02.040 –> 00:22:11.580
Chris Beckett: couldn’t really have a light on because, again, most people were trying to sleep around me, and so I had that had the window like sort of half open or maybe a third open and.
00:22:12.480 –> 00:22:25.470
Chris Beckett: And suddenly I noticed how bright, it was getting coming in the window and I looked out and we were flying line now, I think the noctilucent clouds for higher than us, but you could see them and some watching these and.
00:22:26.010 –> 00:22:39.390
Chris Beckett: So I think waking waking my wife happened, so you can see these and so she was like their clouds and went back to sleep and then, then one of the flight attendants came by and and they were like you should shut your window i’m like, no, no, looking at these.
00:22:40.590 –> 00:22:48.330
Chris Beckett: So, and it wasn’t really disturbing anybody else because I was you know we sort of had our own row and that sort of thing so had had my first view that way.
00:22:49.230 –> 00:22:58.530
Chris Beckett: You do it to be typically have to be a little bit further north so we’re i’m originally from it it’s you know cloudy most of the time, and then a lot of the time, anyway, and then.
00:22:59.820 –> 00:23:12.540
Chris Beckett: And then, as well not quite far enough north to see them, but I think really once you get to about 47 or 40 degrees North latitude that’s that’s when you really begin to to see these noctilucent clouds.
00:23:13.440 –> 00:23:23.760
Shane Ludtke: A good good point about the latitude Unfortunately, you know people that are in that southern kind of or middle equatorial belt probably won’t be able to see it unfortunately.
00:23:24.510 –> 00:23:35.190
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah no that’s that’s the way it goes one of the few advantages of living this this far north this time of year we don’t get the dark skies, or if we do those dark nights are not very long.
00:23:36.690 –> 00:23:43.680
Chris Beckett: not really a Herculean task to say I stayed up all night observing because that was only maybe a couple hours at most.
00:23:45.060 –> 00:23:52.260
Chris Beckett: At sort of one of those things so anyway moving ahead on may 26 we have a lunar eclipse for some.
00:23:53.220 –> 00:23:54.240
Shane Ludtke: yeah and it’s just.
00:23:54.570 –> 00:23:56.760
Chris Beckett: super super moon for others.
00:23:57.600 –> 00:24:01.860
Shane Ludtke: Not just any super moon Chris, this is the super rest of the super moons.
00:24:01.950 –> 00:24:02.400
Chris Beckett: Oh, is it.
00:24:02.430 –> 00:24:02.940
Shane Ludtke: 21.
00:24:02.970 –> 00:24:06.840
Shane Ludtke: yeah it’s though it’s the largest and brightest super moon of 2021.
00:24:07.470 –> 00:24:23.880
Chris Beckett: So I think we’ve already had three or four super moons this year already and I think that the whole term of Superman I think I think it’s become over generalized and it seems like every other moon is a Superman so so typically what happens is is that.
00:24:24.900 –> 00:24:35.880
Chris Beckett: The moon is you know it goes through these close approaches and these fire approaches and then sometimes it will be full when it said in your approach and sun is, it will be full when it when it’s.
00:24:36.360 –> 00:24:47.280
Chris Beckett: When it’s farthest away from us and and now originally when they start talking about these super moons I think was just when it was was very close to that nearest point to us and it happened to be full.
00:24:47.640 –> 00:24:58.800
Chris Beckett: But now It just seems like when it’s more than halfway between the two it’s being labeled as a Superman because it just seems like every other month is a super moon now.
00:24:59.700 –> 00:25:02.130
Shane Ludtke: yeah yeah it does seem very common especially lately.
00:25:03.660 –> 00:25:18.840
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah no for sure, but I think now for for for these for the super moon eclipse moon, we have, Japan, Australia and Eastern Asia favorite for for this event.
00:25:20.040 –> 00:25:31.110
Shane Ludtke: yeah and in the Lunar eclipses are really cool, but the what what’s unique about them, is how read the moon work yet it’s hard to predict.
00:25:32.280 –> 00:25:44.010
Shane Ludtke: And sometimes during a lunar eclipse it’ll be varying shades of red, sometimes it turns into a really dark lunar eclipse and sometimes not so much so that kind of adds to the injury go of these events.
00:25:46.770 –> 00:25:51.720
Chris Beckett: yeah OK so Moving on, so people can try to take a look for that.
00:25:52.800 –> 00:26:02.550
Chris Beckett: If they if they are able to see it what they’ll see is that the sunlight is passing through the earth’s atmosphere as the earth moves between.
00:26:03.930 –> 00:26:18.180
Chris Beckett: The moon and the sun, and then the light passing to the earth’s atmosphere is kind of like all of the sunsets on the earth are accumulating and landing on the are landing on on the moon, at the same time.
00:26:20.520 –> 00:26:35.640
Chris Beckett: So, moving on, we have the the may 29 approach of Venus and mercury so on these nights Venus and mercury are going to be getting very close, towards the end of May.
00:26:36.240 –> 00:26:44.340
Chris Beckett: We have mercury just four degrees so with the Venus this is going to be in the West, just after sunset they’re going to get really close.
00:26:45.420 –> 00:26:52.890
Chris Beckett: together in the sky and then eventually you know the sky is just gonna be getting so bright they’re going to get be getting so close to the horizon, that.
00:26:53.580 –> 00:27:04.410
Chris Beckett: You know that they’re going to become invisible again, but during those last few days of the month it’s going to be a good opportunity to see Venus and mercury both together in the nighttime sky.
00:27:05.370 –> 00:27:16.230
Chris Beckett: On may 31 Saturn and the moon, are going to be just four degrees apart in the morning sky and just like how we started the month, but now the sky is going to be much darker because.
00:27:17.310 –> 00:27:25.050
Chris Beckett: Saturn has moved along and we’ve moved along or track in the solar system, so when they pair up and Saturn and the moon will be just four degrees apart.
00:27:26.100 –> 00:27:33.120
Chris Beckett: they’re actually going to be a easier site to see because the sky will will still be a little bit dark at that time.
00:27:34.530 –> 00:27:42.180
Chris Beckett: And then, a lot of people have been talking about a rose in the evening sky and and seeing them, I certainly saw them when when I get a.
00:27:42.870 –> 00:27:59.730
Chris Beckett: couple weeks ago, certainly there’s been some great aurora events, and as we go into the spring we’re going to have hopefully some some even better opportunities to see some era, as the sun becomes more active during this part of its cycle.
00:28:00.750 –> 00:28:08.190
Chris Beckett: Now, going back to the to the stars, one of the things that we chatted about with an interview, we did with.
00:28:08.730 –> 00:28:20.250
Chris Beckett: ABS so director still a calf good doctor still a Catholic, a couple weeks ago was we chatted about the the featured stars each month the ABS so.
00:28:21.090 –> 00:28:29.850
Chris Beckett: is putting out they do these great little videos if you go to a via so.org you can see a video on this, but this month’s featured star is V hydrae.
00:28:30.330 –> 00:28:41.490
Chris Beckett: And this is a star in the constellation of Hydra the sea snake, and you can find the star it’s a cool star it’s a it’s a little red star that you can find just about five degrees so with the new hydrae.
00:28:41.940 –> 00:28:49.650
Chris Beckett: And so, if you just get a star chart or Google new hydrae and typically binocular fields of you are about five degrees or more.
00:28:49.980 –> 00:29:00.360
Chris Beckett: And you drop down a boat that binocular field just below new hydrate you’ll find this red star now it’s a pulsating semi variable star goes through these.
00:29:01.170 –> 00:29:14.640
Chris Beckett: These pulsations have about 500 days and and then there’s a longer cycle of 18 years, they say, and they hypothesized this is caused by a disk material that’s an orbit around the hydrate.
00:29:16.020 –> 00:29:25.050
Chris Beckett: So just to close just sort of an update on on Comet or for there’s a great sky and telescope article this month, or at least.
00:29:25.620 –> 00:29:31.770
Chris Beckett: I guess from the past month on on this common and other comments that are that are coming up in the future.
00:29:32.130 –> 00:29:43.170
Chris Beckett: And our for common atlas remains around ninth magnitude, as it moves into canada’s and etc, which is just below the handle of the big dipper so.
00:29:43.440 –> 00:29:53.520
Chris Beckett: there’s not many other comments that are appearing as bright we’ve got a few that that might make brighten up to around ninth and 10th magnitude.
00:29:54.120 –> 00:30:03.930
Chris Beckett: As we move throughout the year but, but right now the best bet to see a comedy is our four and it’s and it’s hanging out just a little bit brighter than.
00:30:04.260 –> 00:30:14.850
Chris Beckett: 92 which means probably like telescopes that are about eight inches and larger probably going to be the best bet for a successful common hand for for comment, this time here.
00:30:15.900 –> 00:30:19.140
Chris Beckett: Okay, well, I think that just about does it for the show and.
00:30:20.730 –> 00:30:24.750
Chris Beckett: i’m gonna i’m gonna wrap it up and thank everybody for listening.
00:30:25.800 –> 00:30:26.460
Shane Ludtke: Thank you, Chris.
End of podcast:
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