Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 19th, and Thursday, April 20th, 2017

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, April 19th, and Thursday, April 20th, written by Louis Suarato.

The Moon reaches its Last Quarter phase at 5:57 a.m.,Wednesday. The Last Quarter Moon will set at 14 minutes past noon later that day. The Moon will rise as a waning crescent at 2:52 a.m., Thursday. After sunset, Mars will be setting within the constellation Taurus. Look for the Pleiades about 4 degreesto Mars’ upper right. The red planet and star cluster may be seen in the same field of view through binoculars or a small telescope. Jupiter rises at 6:25 p.m. in the constellation Virgo and will remain in the sky until setting at 5:45 a.m. Thursday. At 9:10 p.m. Wednesday, Jupiter’s moon Io will reappear from eclipse. Saturn rises at 18 minutes past midnight Thursday, above the Teapot asterism in Sagittarius. Venus rises at 4:38 a.m. Thursday in the constellation Pisces, joining the crescent Moon and Saturn in the pre-dawn sky. Mercury is at inferior conjunction, between Earth and the Sun, and will join Venus and Saturn as morning planets at the end of the month.

Comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak is now at 6th magnitude. At midnight, Comet 41P can be found about 40 degrees above the northeastern horizon, and 17 degrees to the upper right of Lyra’s brightest star, Vega. More precisely, the comet is located 2 degrees east of the star, Pastaban in the constellation Draco. To the comet’s right is the Great Square in Hercules. Look for the Great Cluster in Hercules, globular cluster M13, along the line connecting the two top stars, closer to the northernmost star, at the top of the square.

The Albany Area Amateur Astronomers invite you to join them at their monthly meeting to be held at miSci in Schenectady this Thursday night at 7:30. This month’s speaker is RebeccaKoopmann, Professor and Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Union College. She will be discussing Exploring Galaxy Evolution and Large Scale Structure with theUndergraduate ALFALFA Team. The NSF-sponsored Undergraduate ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Team (UAT) is a consortium of 20 institutions across the U.S., founded to promote undergraduate research and faculty development within the extragalactic ALFALFA HI blind survey project and follow-up programs. Koopmann will summarize the UAT program and discuss results from two ongoing collaborative research projects: (1) the UAT Groups project, a coordinated study of gas and star formation properties ofgalaxies in and around 36 nearby clusters, and (2) the Arecibo Pisces Perseus Supercluster Survey(APPSS), a project tomeasure in fall of galaxies onto the Pisces Perseus filament to determine for the first time the mass over density of a supercluster.

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