CLOSE ENCOUNTERS AND FLYING TEAPOTS?
This info is assembled by an amateur volunteer. If you believe any information on this page is incorrect, please let us know.
- 3rd 1976, Viking 2 lands on Mars
- 12 1758 Charles Messier begins to catalogue galaxies, Nebulae and clusters
- 24th 1970 USSR Luna brings back soil sample from Moon
- 1st Jupiter, Venus and Mercury form a nice triangle in the early evening
- 3rd Venus close to crescent moon
- 9th Moon, Mars, Saturn and Antares close
- 17th Saturday Time: 4h54m18s This months Challenge: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse.
Note: This event is hard to see as the as the shadowed part is only a little bit fainter than the rest of the Moon.
Eclipse starts at 2:52 for Brisbane with mid eclipse at 4:54am and finishing at 6:56am. Twilight is 4:26am and the moon sets at 5:25.
More info at Time & Date. and at CalSky.
Asterism of the month: The Teapot (in Sagittarius)
As seen from the northern hemisphere, Sagittarius's brighter stars form an easily recognizable asterism known as 'the Teapot'. The stars Kaus Media, ε Kaus Australis, Ascella, and Albaldah form the body of the pot; Kaus Boreali is the point of the lid; Alnasl is the tip of the spout; and Nunki and τ Sgr the handle. These same stars originally formed the bow and arrow of Sagittarius.
Marking the bottom of the teapot's "handle" (or the shoulder area of the archer, are the bright star (2.59 magnitude) Zeta Sagittarii (ζ Sgr), named Ascella, and the fainter Tau Sagittarii (τ Sgr). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittarius_(constellation)
To complete the teapot metaphor, under good conditions, a particularly dense area of the Milky Way can be seen rising in a north-westerly arc above the spout, like a puff of steam rising from a boiling kettle.
Around the teapot are some wonderful telescope targets including a number of Messier objects including the Triffid Nebula (M20). Have a look at our messier list or Messier Hunt gallery.
Trivia: Russell's teapot
Russell's teapot, sometimes called the celestial teapot or cosmic teapot, is an analogy, coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970), to illustrate that the philosophic burden of proof lies upon a person making scientifically unfalsifiable claims, rather than shifting the burden of disproof to others. Russell specifically applied his analogy in the context of religion. He wrote that if he were to assert, without offering proof, that a teapot orbits the Sun somewhere in space between the Earth and Mars, he could not expect anyone to believe him solely because his assertion could not be proven wrong.
Note: The information on this page is for viewers in Brisbane Australia. There are other significant astronomical events during 2016, such as a Solar Eclipse and a Transit of Mercury, but these cannot be seen from Brisbane so are not included.
For Transits of ISS across the Moon and Sun, Iridium flares and other events we suggest you create an account at CalSky
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