This year's special events in the sky



Sun:   Looking at the Sun either with the unaided eye or through binoculars or telescope is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!
here  to find out how to observe the Sun safely.



Moon Phases: 

The Moon is ideal for viewing in the week centred on the First Quarter phase, both regarding the sights presented and the most convenient time for observing (evenings). In addition, it is nearly overhead at sunset. First Quarter in 2019 will occur on the following dates:

2019:  January 14;   February 13;   March 14;   April 13;   May 13;   June 10;   July 09;  August 08;   September 06;   October 06;   November 04;   December 04.



Eclipses in 2019:



TOTAL, JANUARY 21:   From Queensland's Sunshine Coast, this total eclipse will occur during daylight hours, when the Full Moon will be below the horizon. It will end an hour before the Moon rises.

PARTIAL, JULY 17:   The Moon will enter the Earth's penumbra at 4:44 am, but initially the darkening of the northern hemisphere of the Moon will be hardly noticeable. The umbral phase of this eclipse begins at 6:02 am, and this phase is very obvious. The maximum phase (when only two-thirds of the Moon will be eclipsed) will occur at 7:31 am. The Moon will have set at 6:38 am, so only the first half-hour of the eclipse will be visible from Nambour,  and a very low west-south-western horizon will be imperative.

PENUMBRAL, JANUARY 11, 2020:   It is hard to detect when the Moon is close to the horizon (as this event will be) that a penumbral eclipse is in progress. The diminution in brightness is very slight. The eclipse will begin at 3:08 am and the Moon will set at 5:05 am, two minutes before mid-eclipse occurs.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from Australia's eastern seaboard will occur on 26 May 2021, nicely timed to begin soon after sunset and end just before midnight. Mid-eclipse will occur at 9:19 pm.  



PARTIAL, JANUARY 06:    This eclipse of the Sun will not be visible from Queensland's Sunshine Coast, as its path crosses the north-western Pacific Ocean.

TOTAL, JULY 03:    This eclipse of the Sun will not be visible from Queensland's Sunshine Coast as it occurs when the Sun is below our horizon. Totality will be visible from islands in the south-east Pacific.

ANNULAR, DECEMBER 26:    This eclipse of the Sun will not be visible from Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Its track begins near Dubai, crosses the Arabian Sea, south India, Sri Lanka, the Bay of Bengal, Sumatra, Singapore, Borneo, south of Mindanao and ends near the Pacific island of Guam. A partial eclipse can be observed from Western Australia and the Northern Territory, north-west of a line joining Geraldton to Darwin.

Observers on Queensland's Sunshine Coast will not see a partial eclipse of the Sun until April 20, 2023. The next total solar eclipse visible from parts of Australia will occur at 12:56 pm on July 22, 2028, the eclipse track running from Wyndham through Alice Springs to Birdsville and then Sydney, before crossing the Tasman Sea to Dunedin in New Zealand's South Island.




The Planets in 2019: 


Mercury:     January 12:                  Aphelion        
                                        January 30:                  Superior conjunction
                                        February 25:                Perihelion
                                        February 27:                Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (18
                                        March 06:                    Eastern stationary point
                                        March 15:                    Inferior co
                                        March 28:                    Western stationary point
                                        April 10:                       Aphelion
                                        April 12:                       Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky
                                        May 21:                        Superior conjunction
                                        May 24:                        Perihelion
                                        June 24:                       Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (25
                                        July 07:                        Aphelion
                                        July 08:                        Eastern stationary point
                                        July 21:                        Inferior co
                                        August 01:                   Western stationary point
             August 10:                   Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (19
                                        August 20:                   Perihelion
                                        September 04:            Superior conjunction
                                        October 03:                 Aphelion
                                        October 20:                 Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (24
                                        November 01:              Eastern stationary point
                                        November 12:              Inferior co
                                    November 16:              Perihelion
                                        November 21:              Western stationary point
                                        November 28:              Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (19
                                        December 30:              Aphelion
                                        January 11, 2020:        Superior conjunction

 Venus:             January 06:                   Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (46 52')
                                       April 18:                        Aphelion
                                       August 08:                    Perihelion
                                       August 14:                    Superior conjunction
                                       November 29:              Aphelion
                                       March 20, 2020:           Perihelion
                                       March 24, 2020:           Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (46
                                       May 13, 2020:              Eastern stationary point
                                       June 04, 2020:             Inferior conjunction


From January to early July, Venus will dominate the eastern pre-dawn sky as a 'Morning Star'. At the beginning of the year it will appear as a little 'half-Moon', in March and April it will be smaller but gibbous, and in May and early June it will appear like a little Full Moon. It will leave the pre-dawn sky in mid-August and will move to the western twilight sky as an 'Evening Star', becoming noticeable in October and dominating the sky by November.

                       December 2018                       January 2019                           August 2019                               March  2020                              May 2020                            



Mars:                  January 01:                        -                 (angular diameter =  7.0")
                                       August 26:                  Aphelion           (angular diameter =  3.0")
                                       September 02:           Conjunction      (angular diameter =  3.0")
For all of 2017, Mars was on the far side of its orbit, and therefore appeared quite small, less than 6 arcseconds in diameter. In 2018 the Earth caught up to Mars and overtook it at opposition, July 27. At that time Mars was much larger, with a diameter of 24 arcseconds. Its magnitude was -2.8, brighter than Jupiter. This would have been a very favourable opposition for observers in around the world, the best for at least ten years, but unfortunately a planet-wide dust storm obscured all but the grossest features for the closest period of the opposition. As 2019 begins, Mars will have receded far from us, and will appear quite small, with a diameter of 7 arcseconds. By the time of conjunction with the Sun (as far away from us and as small as it can get), the angular size of Mars will have dwindled to 3 arecseconds.



Jupiter:              March 14:                   Western quadrature
                                        April 11:                      Western stationary point
                                       June 11:                      Opposition (Jupiter rises in the east at sunset)
                                       August 11:                  Eastern stationary point
            September 9:             Eastern quadrature
                                       December 28:            Co
The giant planet begins 2019 in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Serpenr Bearer, not far from the red supergiant star Antares in the neighbouring constellation of Scorpius. Jupiter will join Saturn in Sagittarius on November 15.



Saturn:             January 2:                    Conjunction
April 10:                        Western quadrature
                                      April 30
:                        Western stationary point
                                      July 10:                         Opposition
                                      September 18:             Eastern stationary point
                                      October 08:                  Eastern quadrature
                                      January 14, 2020:        Conjunction

Saturn will spend all of 2019 in the eastern half of Sagittarius.




Uranus:            January 07:                  Eastern stationary point
                                      January 19:                  Eastern quadrature
                                      April 23:                        Conjunction
                                      July 30:                         Western quadrature
                                      August 12:                    Western stationary point
                                      October 28:                  Opposition
                                      January 11, 2020:        Eastern stationary point
                                      January 23, 2020:        Eastern quadrature

Uranus begins 2019 in the constellation of Pisces, and will cross into Aries on February 6. It will take over five years to cross Aries, entering Taurus on May 17, 2024.



Neptune:        March 7:                      Conjunction
                                       June 10:                       Western quadrature
                                       June 21:                       Western stationary point
                                       September 10:             Opposition
                                       November 27:              Eastern stationary point
                                       December 8:               Eastern quadrature
                                       March 8, 2020:            Conjunction

Neptune spends the whole of 2019 in Aquarius, near the eastern boundary with Pisces. It will remain in Aquarius until April 21, 2022.



Pluto:                  January 11:                 Conjunction
   April 13:                       Western quadrature
                                      April 24:                       Western stationary point
                                      July 15:                        Opposition
                                      October 03:                 Eastern stationary point
                                      October 14:                 Eastern quadrature
                                      January 13, 2020:       Conjunction

Pluto spends all of 2019 in Sagittarius.  It will not move out of this constellation until  March 1, 2023.




Meteor Showers:


    January 4:               Quadrantids
    February 8:              Alpha-Centaurids
    April 22:                   Lyrids
    April 24:                   Pi-Puppids
    May 4:                     Alpha Scorpids
    May 5:                     Eta Aquarids (from Comet Halley)
    June 8:                    Arietids
    June 10:                  Zeta Perseids
    June 29:                  Beta Taurids
    July 10:                   Pegasids
    July 29:                   S Delta-Aquarids
    July 30:                   Alpha-Capricornids
    August 13:              Perseids (from Comet Swift-Tuttle)
    September 1:         Alpha-Aurigids
    October 22:            Orionids (from Comet Halley)
    November 3:           S Taurids (from Comet Encke)
    November 13:         N Taurids (from Comet Encke)
    November 18:         Leonids (from Comet Tempel-Tuttle)
    December 7:          Phoenicids
    December 14:        Geminids (from Comet Phaethon)
    December 24:        Ursids

The 3.9 metre Anglo-Australian Telescope near Coonabarabran, NSW




The main Constellations visible at about 8.00 pm each month, from the horizon to the zenith:          



        East:          Hydra, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Puppis
        South:       Crux, Musca, Carina, Vela, Pavo
        West:         Aquarius, Capricornus, Pisces, Grus, Piscis Austrinus, Phoenix, Cetus, Eridanus
        North:        Aries, Perseus, Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, Orion



        East:          Leo, Crater, Corvus, Hydra, Canis Major, Puppis
        South:       Grus, Centaurus, Crux, Musca, Carina, Vela
        West:         Cetus, Eridanus, Aries
        North:        Auriga, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Orion



        East:          Virgo, Libra, Lupus, Centaurus, Corvus, Crater, Hydra, Crux, Musca, Vela
        South:       Triangulum Australe, Toucan, Carina, Puppis
        West:         Phoenix, Cetus, Eridanus, Taurus, Orion, Canis Major
        North:        Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Canis Minor



        East:          Bootes, Libra, Scorpius, Virgo, Centaurus, Lupus, Ara, Crux, Musca, Corvus
        South:       Triangulum Australe, Pavo, Carina, Vela
        West:         Eridanus, Orion, Gemini, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Puppis
        North:        Cancer, Ursa Major, Leo, Crater, Hydra



        East:          Corona Borealis, Serpens, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Libra, Scorpius, Ara, Lupus, Centaurus
        South:        Indus, Pavo, Triangulum Australe, Crux, Musca, Carina
        West:         Canis Major, Canis Minor, Cancer, Puppis, Hydra
        North:        Ursa Major, Leo, Coma Berenices,Bootes, Virgo, Crater, Corvus



        East:          Ophiuchus, Capricornus, Sagittarius, Scorpius
        South:        Pavo, Triangulum Australe, Ara, Lupus, Crux, Musca
        West:         Hydra, Leo, Carina, Vela, Puppis, Crater, Corvus
        North:        Coma Berenices, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Virgo, Serpens, Libra



        East:          Aquarius, Delphinus, Grus, Capricornus, Aquila, Sagittarius, Scorpius
        South:       Carina, Musca, Crux, Ara, Triangulum Australe, Centaurus
        West:         Hydra, Crater, Corvus, Virgo, Vela, Libra
        North:        Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Serpens



        East:          Aquarius, Phoenix, Piscis Austrinus, Grus, Sagittarius
        South:       Eridanus, Musca, Crux, Triangulum Australe
        West:         Corvus, Virgo, Bootes, Libra, Centaurus, Ara, Lupus, Scorpius
        North:        Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Cygnus, Delphinus, Aquila



        East:          Pisces, Cetus, Eridanus, Phoenix, Piscis Austrinus, Grus, Aquarius, Capricornus
        South:       Crux, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Pavo
        West:         Centaurus, Libra, Serpens, Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Lupus, Ara
        North:         Lyra, Cygnus, Pegasus, Delphinus, Aquila



        East:           Eridanus, Cetus, Aries, Piscis Austrinus
        South:        Hydrus, Centaurus, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Ara, Pavo, Grus
        West:          Lupus, Scorpius, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Aquila, Capricornus
        North:         Cygnus, Delphinus, Pegasus, Andromeda, Aquarius



        East:           Taurus, Eridanus, Cetus, Phoenix
        South:        Carina, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Pavo
        West:          Scorpius, Sagittarius, Aquila, Delphinus, Capricornus, Grus, Piscis Austrinus
        North:         Pegasus, Andromeda, Aries, Pisces, Cetus, Aquarius



        East:           Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, Puppis, Carina, Eridanus
        South:        Carina, Musca, Pavo
        West:          Capricornus, Aquarius, Grus, Piscis Austrinus, Phoenix
        North:         Pegasus, Andromeda, Aries, Perseus, Cetus



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