View all Articles

What's Up in November 2016

Take a paddle through a supervoid

6thoct

 

Image: Starchart

November Trivia:

  • 8th 1656 Edmund Halley was born
  • 12th 1980 Voyager passed by Saturn...
  • 14th 1969 Apollo 12 launched
  • 20th 1889 Edwin Hubble born
  • 29th 1961 Mercury spacecraft launched carrying chimp Enos.

October Highlights:

  • Mars close to M75
  • Antares, Venus, Saturn and Moon together

 

28oct

 

Constellation of the month: Eridanus

oct

To find the arrowhead-shaped Capricornus in the sky, look for the Summer Triangle and make a line from Vega through Altair to the lower southern sky.

Capricornus is a faint constellation, with only one star above magnitude 3. Despite its faintness, Capricornus has one of the oldest mythological associations, having been consistently represented as a hybrid of a goat and a fish since the Middle Bronze Age. The constellation was a symbol of the god Ea and in the Early Bronze Age marked the winter solstice. The constellation is located in an area of sky called the Sea or the Water, consisting of many water-related constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces and Eridanus. It is the smallest constellation in the zodiac.

Several galaxies and star clusters are contained within Capricornus. Messier 30 is a globular cluster located 1 degree south of the galaxy group NGC 7103. The constellation also harbors the wide spiral galaxy NGC 6907. One galaxy group located in Capricornus is HCG 87, a group of at least three galaxies located 400 million light-years from Earth. It contains a large elliptical galaxy, a face-on spiral galaxy, and an edge-on spiral galaxy. The face-on spiral galaxy is experiencing abnormally high rates of star formation, indicating that it is interacting with one or both members of the group. Furthermore, the large elliptical galaxy and the edge-on spiral galaxy, both of which have active nuclei, are connected by a stream of stars and dust, indicating that they too are interacting. Astronomers predict that the three galaxies may merge millions of years in the future to form a giant elliptical galaxy.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capricornus

Other info from various sources

  • Capricornus measures 414 square degrees and contains two stars with known planets
  • In Chinese astronomy, constellation Capricornus lies in The Black Tortoise of the North
  • The Nakh peoples called this constellation Roofing Towers
  • In the Society Islands, the figure of Capricornus was called Rua-o-Mere, "Cavern of parental yearnings"

Member Challenges

Messier objects for members to find and photograph are:
M30, and M72, M73 and M75 just outside the boundaries


References: Astronomy 2016 by Quasar Publishing. ABC Science By Dr Ian Musgrave. Star Chart App for ipad

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
Follow us on FACEBOOK for spur-of-the-moment social and astronomical events and news.