The Sky This Month: May—June 2003



Upcoming Events:
 
May 15 Thu Full Moon: total lunar eclipse
May 22 Thu Third quarter Moon
May 26—29 Mon—Thu Deep Sky Observing: first clear night
May 29 Thu Venus, Mercury, and the Moon in conjunction at dawn
May 31 Sat New Moon
May 31 Sat CAO Open House
Jun 2—5 Mon—Thu City Observing: first clear night
Jun 3 Tue Mercury at greatest elongation west (morning sky)
Jun 7 Sat First quarter Moon
June 9 Mon Pluto at opposition
Jun 14 Sat Full Moon

 

Virgo:
 
 

Double stars:
 
Star Colour Magnitude Separation Position Angle
g Gamma: Porrima yellow yellow 3.5, 3.5 < 1.8" 267°
qTheta white yellow ? 4.4, 9.4, 10.4 7.1", 69.6" 343°, 298°
f Phi yellow orange blue 4.8, 9.3, 12.4 4.8", 93" 110°, 205°

Variables:
 
Name Type Range Per Charts
R Vir Mira 6.9-11.5 146d http://www.aavso.org/charts/VIR/R_VIR/RVIR-B.GIF
http://www.aavso.org/charts/VIR/R_VIR/RVIR-C.GIF
http://www.aavso.org/charts/VIR/R_VIR/RVIR-D.GIF
U Vir Mira 8.2-13.1 207d http://www.aavso.org/charts/VIR/RU_VIR/RUVIR-B.GIF
http://www.aavso.org/charts/VIR/U_VIR/UVIR-D.GIF

Deep sky objects:

These include the three Messiers which lie outside the main Virgo Cluster of galaxies, two nice paired galaxies within the Virgo Cluster, and the brightest quasar, about the most distant object observable with amateur telescopes.
 
Object NSOG Type Magnitude Surface brightness
Messier 61 ***** Galaxy 9.6 13.4
NGC 4435 The Eyes *** Galaxy 10.8 12.5
NGC 4438 The Eyes *** Galaxy 10.2 13.6
3C 273 = HIP60936 ** Quasar 12.0 ­
Messier 49 ***** Galaxy 8.4 13.2
NGC 4568 Siamese Twins *** Galaxy 10.8 13.1
NGC 4567 Siamese Twins *** Galaxy 11.3 13.1
Messier 104 Sombrero ***** Galaxy 8.0 11.6

There are good charts for finding 3C 273 on the AAVSO web site:
 http://charts.aavso.org/VIR/3C_273/3C273-B.GIF
 http://charts.aavso.org/VIR/3C_273/3C273-D.GIF