Welcome to the summer time! Right here at AOP we’ve began our summer time programme and we’re delighted to welcome the general public again by means of our doorways. It might be a late evening in the summertime however stargazing remains to be a really worthwhile exercise! Take a look out for a few of these occasions and objects by means of the month of July.
Picture Credit score: Wikipedia
Globular Cluster M13
Messier 13 or M13, additionally designated NGC 6205 and generally referred to as the Nice Globular Cluster in Hercules or the Hercules Globular Cluster, is a globular cluster of a number of hundred thousand stars within the constellation of Hercules. It is among the brightest star clusters seen from the Northern Hemisphere. A globular cluster is a spherical assortment of stars that are very tightly sure by gravity, which provides them their spherical shapes and excessive concentrations of stars towards their facilities. M13 is 25,000 light-years away from Earth and could be very outdated, at 11.65 billion years outdated. In truth, it may very well be one of many oldest objects within the universe. To provide you context, the universe appears to be 13.eight billion years outdated, and earth is four billion.
Globular Cluster. Picture Credit score: Wikipedia
In comparison with the celebrities within the neighborhood of the Solar, the celebrities of the M13 inhabitants are greater than 100 occasions denser. They’re so densely packed collectively that they often collide and produce new stars. The newly shaped, younger stars, so referred to as “blue stragglers”, are notably fascinating to astronomers.
Full and New Moons
The Moon will undergo its typical cycle this month, going from a crescent to gibbous, from invisible to brilliant and full within the sky. The New moon this month will seem on the 10th, when the moon and solar are on the identical facet of the earth as one another. That is the perfect time of the month to go stargazing for faint objects, because the moon’s gentle gained’t hinder you.
Two weeks later, on the 24th July we’ll see the total moon, when the moon and solar face one another and the total face of the moon is illuminated. This month’s moon was identified by Native People because the Buck Moon – as this was the time of the 12 months that bucks (male deer) would start to regrow their antlers, after shedding them for winter. Various names are the thunder moon (resulting from summer time storms happening presently of 12 months) and the Hay moon (after the summer time hay harvest).
Full Moon. Picture Credit score: NASA
We even have just a few meteor showers this month. First to reach are the gradual and regular Alpha Capricornids, beginning on the 2nd July, and ending across the 14th August. The height of this bathe will probably be on the 30th July, however the variety of meteoroids doesn’t change a lot general from begin to end, and solely 5 of the meteoroids are normally seen per hour of the bathe. The mother or father physique from which the Capricornids originate is a comet referred to as 169P/NEAT. The Earth passes by means of this comet’s orbit every year, and the particles that follows the comet round will get pulled into Earth’s ambiance, the place it burns up as many capturing stars. This bathe which seems to return from Capricorn will probably be considerably eclipsed by the one originating from its neighbour within the sky, Aquarius.
Picture Credit score: Stellarium
Beginning on the 13th of July, however peaking in the direction of the top of July, the Delta Aquariids will streak by means of the sky. They seem to originate within the constellation of Aquarius, which will probably be low within the southern sky all evening. Aquarius will attain its highest level round three:30am, so begin your meteor watch from round 2am to extend your possibilities of recognizing capturing stars. Coincidentally, Jupiter will even be on this constellation presently, so maintain your eye out for the biggest planet in our photo voltaic system amongst the meteors! This meteor bathe isn’t probably the most prolific bathe, regardless of being rather more intense than the Alpha Capricornids. The Aquariids will peak with a fee of 16 meoteroids per hour and path off with fewer meteors every day into August. The mother or father physique of this meteor bathe is presently unknown – there are just a few contenders, however we don’t know for positive. The suspected origin is comet 96P/Machholz, which is named a sungrazing comet – it comes nearer to the solar than most different comets, with its closest level to the solar effectively contained in the orbit of Mercury.
Comet 96P/Machholz. Picture Credit score: Wikipedia
There’s one meteor bathe although, that outshines all of the others, and that’s the Perseids. The Peak of this bathe could not occur till August, but it surely may be value searching for some meteors within the time main as much as the height, which can be from mid-July on. This meteor bathe originates from the well-known Comet Swift-Tuttle, and steadily will increase to its peak of 150 capturing stars per hour.
The Perseids. Picture Credit score: Wikimedia
Mercury at Best Western Elongation
The planet Mercury reaches best western elongation of 21.6 levels from the Solar. That is the perfect time to view Mercury since it is going to be at its highest level above the horizon within the morning sky. Search for the planet low within the japanese sky simply earlier than dawn.
Mercury. Picture Credit score: NASA
Ophiuchus and Serpens
Ophiuchus is a big constellation sandwiched between the 2 ends of the snake Serpens. It’s seen within the southern sky all through the summer time months and lies on the ecliptic. This can be a line which circles the earth on which the planets, moon and solar normally lie. All of them lie on this line as a result of the photo voltaic system is a flat disc, and all of the planets orbit on the identical airplane.
Ophiuchus additionally lies very close to the centre of our galaxy, as seen from Earth. The centre of the milky approach additionally lies on the ecliptic (as a result of your entire galaxy is usually disk formed) between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus.
Ophiuchus and Serpens. Picture Credit score: Stellarium
The constellation has many deep-sky objects situated inside it, resulting from it being so near the centre of the galaxy. Many of those deep sky objects are globular clusters, together with M9, M10, M12, M14, M19 and M62. Globular clusters are among the oldest objects within the universe, with many of those ones giving us an thought of how outdated the universe truly is. Detection of those star clusters additionally allowed us to find out that our photo voltaic system just isn’t on the centre of our galaxy.
The centre of the Milky Means as seen from the Northern Hemisphere. Picture Credit score: Stellarium.
There’s additionally a really fascinating and weird object inside the boundaries of the constellation Ophiuchus referred to as NGC 6240 – it’s a remnant of two galaxies which began to merge. There are two supermassive black holes inside the object, orbiting each other 3000 gentle years aside. There’s a variety of vitality within the object left over from the collision and being generated from the black holes. This vitality is used to type new stars, making it a starburst galaxy as effectively. It’s anticipated that the 2 black holes will merge in one other billion or so years from now. For now, the remnant appears to be like like a butterfly in house.
NGC 6240. Picture Credit score: Wikipedia
Serpens, the constellation surrounding Ophiuchus is a novel constellation; it’s the just one to be break up over two elements. The 2 elements of Serpens are Serpens Caput, and Serpens Cauda, that means head and tail respectively. Serpens comprises the Eagle Nebula, well-known for its spectacular Pillars of Creation, as seen by Hubble.
Pillars of Creation, shot by the Hubble Telescope. Picture credit score: Wikipedia