Astronomical Spring begins on Sunday at 4:33 p.m. and runs through June 21. During this time, you will be able to see all the planets in the night sky, meteor showers, and see a comet through binoculars. On May 16, a partial lunar eclipse will be visible from the territory of Poland.
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Astrological spring is defined as the moment the sun reaches the point of the vernal equinox, known as the point of Aries. The exact moment is on March 20th at 4:33 PM.
This spring we have the opportunity to see all the planets in the sky.
Mercury, the first planets at a distance from the sun, will be available for observation after sunset in the western sky from April to May. It will become more evident at the end of these two months. At maximum luminescence, its strength will be -1.9 degrees.
Parade of planets
Reported luminosities are technically called “magnitudes” in astronomy. On this scale, the smaller the number, the brighter the object. The brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, has a magnitude of 1.46. The brightest stars are about 0 degrees. In turn, the weakest star that can theoretically be seen with the naked eye is the sixth degree, but for this you need good eyesight and an unlit sky. In highly lit areas of the night sky, we have the opportunity to see with the naked eye only the brightest stars, planets, and, of course, the moon.
On the other hand Venus It will be visible in the morning sky in the spring, and at -4.4 degrees in the east, then wanes somewhat.
In the morning the planet will also be visible MarsBut it will gradually prolong its appearance, rising earlier and earlier. Its glow is 1.1 degrees at the beginning of spring and 0.6 degrees at the end.
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Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, will behave similarly to Mars in the spring. We will begin to see it in April in the morning sky, then rise 3.5 minutes earlier each day, so that at the end of spring it is around midnight. The brightness of Jupiter will be about -2.0 degrees.
We have a similar situation with SaturnWhich we will see before sunrise in March, after which the night sky will be longer and longer. The brightness of this planet in the sky is about 1.1 degrees.
Through binoculars or telescope
All these planets can be seen with the naked eye. However, it can be observed Uranus You will need binoculars or a telescope. This planet wanders through the sky in the early part of the night, starting around 11pm, and in early April/May it is already in line with the sun. Uranus has a radiation of 5.9 degrees.
The last planet in the solar system, i.e. NeptuneIt is also indistinguishable without the aid of an optical instrument. Its strength will be about 8 degrees and it will behave similarly to Jupiter with its sunrise and period of visibility.
Close-ups of planets or planets with the moon, called conjunctions, are an interesting sight in the sky. In the morning sky at the end of April, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn will be visible in one line for a certain period of time, with Venus wandering between them. In addition, between April 25 and 27, the Moon will move below the line of these planets.
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From the constellations visible at the beginning of spring, we can also see Orion with bright stars arranged in a manner resembling the silhouette of a man, including three stars arranged in a line, forming the so-called belt of Orion. Near Orion is the Great Dog with the star Sirius. On the other side is the constellation Taurus with the bright star Aldebaran. Not far from Orion, you can also see the constellation Gemini with a pair of bright stars, Casto and Pollux.
In the spring you can also look at the so-called spring triangle. It is not a constellation, but a star, a distinct star system that is not in the list of constellations (for example, the Big Dipper is also an asterism, not a constellation). The spring triangle consists of stars: Regulus of the constellation Leo, Arcturus of Volarz and Spika of Virgo.
An easily recognizable constellation is Cassiopeia with stars arranged in the letter W and some people can find the Big Dipper, which is part of the Ursa Major constellation, and the Little Dipper, which is part of the Little Bear constellation. The Pole Star can be seen in the Little Dipper.
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Comet shower and meteors
In the spring there will be a chance to see Comet C/2021 O3 (PanSTARRS). It was discovered on July 26, 2021. According to calculations, on April 21, it will reach perihelion, the point of its orbit closest to the Sun. Then it will be in the sky in the constellation Pisces, somewhat imperceptible due to its close proximity to the Sun. On the other hand, May 8 will be closest to Earth, and the expected brightness is 7 degrees, which is within the range of binoculars. During this period, he will be in the constellation Perseus, available for all-night observation.
Among the meteor swarms, it is worth looking at the Liryids, which are active from April 16-25, with a maximum of April 21 or 22. It’s not a very abundant meteorite, but we have a chance to spot up to 18 fast-moving meteorites. Associated with this swarm is comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher), which was discovered in 1861 and returns every 415 years.
The spring full moon will occur on April 16, May 16, and June 14, followed by the new moon on April 1, April 30, and May 30. On May 16 there will be a total lunar eclipse, in Poland it will be visible as a partial eclipse at sunset.
In turn, on April 30, there will be a partial solar eclipse (Pacific Ocean, South America). In Poland, this eclipse will not be visible.
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