Happy New Year!
Here are the astronomical events occurring in the month of April: (All times are given in UTC format)
- January 1: Comet C/2012 Q2 Lovejoy might reach naked eye visibility.
- January 3: The Quadrantid Meteor shower will peak at 2:00. Favours Northern Europe.
- January 4: Earth reaches perihelion at approximately 8:00. The sun will look its biggest and be at its closest.
- January 14: Mercury reaches 18.9 degrees East of the sun at approximately 16:00.
- January 17: Moons of Io and Europa are expected to cast a double shadow eclipse on Jupiter from 3:53 – 4:58.
- January 20: Mars passes 0.2 degrees from Neptune at approx 20:00.
- January 23-24: A triple-transit event on Jupiter. This one is particularly unique because Callisto will Eclipse Io, which means two of the shadows will merge for a short period of time at 5:48 UTC. EST people will see it at 12:48 am. It won’t last long, so be ready for it.!
- January 29: The Moon will occult Aldebaran at approximately 17:31 UTC for the Arctic. This will be the first occultation by the Moon in 2015.
Since this is the New Year, I was thinking we could go through the Top 10 events according to SkyNews:
- March 24: The Moon will pass close to Aldebaran throughout 2015. However, this time, the Moon will pass close to the Hyades star cluster.
- April 4: The tetrad of total lunar eclipses will continue again. This will take place before the dawn. This is best seen in Western Canada. In Toronto, the Moon will set during the initial partial phase. Totality will last five minutes only.
- April 21: Mercury will appear its best, with Mars close by. Nearby will be Venus and a crescent Moon. Venus will reach its greatest angle from the Sun on June 6.
- June 30: Venus and Jupiter will reach close conjunction, just 20 arc minutes apart. They will be close enough to see in the telescope in the same eyepiece. On June 19, the waxing Moon will be close to Venus and Jupiter to make a triple conjunction.
- September 5: Aldebaran will be occulted by the Moon. It will be visible in southern Ontario and farther east. Moon will rise and soon after, from midnight to 2 am, and occult Aldebaran. Western Canada will be able to see the Moon occult Aldebaran on November 26, from 2 – 4 am. It will be on the full phase.
- September 27: The last total eclipse in the Tetrad. Won’t happen again for a long time. This will happen in the early evening and is visible across all of Canada. From the west coast, The Moon rises just before totality begins. The Moon will reach its closest to Earth for 2015, less than one hour before totality. It will last for 72 minutes. Coastal areas will also see higher tides.
- October 8: Moon will get into a close conjunction with Venus, Regulus, and nearby will be Mars, Jupiter, and Mercury. This will be best morning appearance for 2015 for Canada. On October 11, a crescent Moon will appear 2 degrees before Mercury.
- October 23: Mercury will shine below a close conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mars. Mars and Jupiter will be 1/2 degree apart on October 17, and 18 and on October 25, Venus and Jupiter will pass 1 degree within each other. On October 28, the Mars, Venus and Jupiter will get close to each other again in the morning sky.
- November 7: Moon will get close of Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Moon will get close to Venus by 1.5 degrees. Mars will be nearby as well. Earlier in the week, Venus will pass 3/4 degree from Mars on the mornings of November 2 and 3. This will be a second chance for those who miss the februrary 20 event, (see honourable mentions)
- December 7: Venus and Moon will get into close conjunction and then occult. Venus and Moon will get close to each other. They are in a long line across the sky. As time goes on, the Moon will get closer to Venus, until the Moon passes in front of Venus during the day. It will be visible across all of Canada.
- February 20: A triple conjunction will take place. The waxing crescent Moon, Mars and Venus will get very close to each other.
- January 19: For those with telescopes, this will be a good chance for amateurs to get a glimpse of Neptune as Mars will pass very close to Neptune. It will be a full 13 arc minutes away.