Today the beginning of astronomical spring
On Tuesday, March 20, at 17.15 The sun will pass through the so-called. Aries point, also known as the point of the vernal equinox, and the astronomical spring will begin. At this time of year, it will be possible to admire the m.in. Meteor swarms and conjunctions of the Moon with the planets.
Interestingly, the point of Aries is not currently in the constellation of Aries at all. It lies in the constellation of Pisces. In the constellation of Aries was located more than 2 thousand years ago, hence its name. However, due to the precession of the Earth’s axis of rotation, this point is moving. In less than 600 years, the point of Aries will be in the area of the constellation Aquarius.
The point of Aries, as well as the autumn point of Libra, are two places where theorych the Sun passes through the point of intersection of the ecliptic (a circle on the celestial sphere, along whichowhich the Sun apparently moves, the plane of the ecliptic corresponds to the plane of the Earth’s orbit) with roin the celestial plane (its plane, in turn, coincides with the plane of roterrestrial element). These are points roOn the nights of spring and autumn, respectively.
Astronomical spring will last until the summer solstice, ktore will take place on June 21.
Currently, the brightest astronomical object in the sky (after the Moon and Sun) is the planet Venus. In early April, it will set around 9 pm and will be visible in the evening sky throughout the spring. In March, Venus can helpoc in spotting Mercury, as the two bodies will be visible close to each other (Mercury to the right of Venus). The conjunction of the two planets at a distance of 4 degrees will occur on the first day of astronomical spring – March 20.
Venus can also pomoc in finding Uranus. For this task, however, you will already need binoculars or a telescope (with the naked eye there is no chance to see Uranus). On the night of March 28-29, the conjunction of Venus and Uranus will occur. The two planets will then be separated by a distance of only 0.3 degrees. PoAfter that, Uranus will cease to be visible for several weeks and in the second half of spring it will be possible to start looking for it in the morning sky.
The second of the fainter planets – Neptune – rowill also be visible in spring in the second half of the night. Initially, it will rise krotko before sunrise, but in late May and early June it will – already around one o’clock at night.
Of the bright planets, Jupiter will be very visible in spring. At the beginning of spring, it does not rise until around 11 pm, but already in early May its risingod will coincide with sunset. Mars, on the other hand, is slowly gearing up for its summer so called “summer”. great opposition, that is, a period of very good visibility. At the beginning of spring it will rise around 3 a.m., and at the end of this season it will rise a little after 3 a.m. 22.
In spring there will be several conjunctions of the Moon with bright planets. Already on April 3, the Moon will approach Jupiter at 3.8 degrees; it will happen again on April 30, at a similar distance. In turn, on April 18, the Moon will be 5.2 degrees to Venus. On the other hand, May will see the conjunction of the Moon with Venus (May 17) and the Moon with Jupiter (May 27).
With the swarmoin the meteorow worth notingoNote that roj Lyridsoin whichowhich radiate in the second half of April. The maximum will occur on the night of April 22-23. Roj this is known since ancient times. Scientists already know that it is related to the periodic comet C/1861 G1 (Tchacher) with a period of circulation around the Sun rownym 415 years. The years 1803 and 1922 saw meteor showersoin the swarm of Liridsoin reaching up to 1,800 phenomena per hour. Usually, however, the roThis j has an average activity, reaching a maximum of about 18 „of falling stars” within an hour.
From mid-April to the end of May, Eta Aquarida is active. The maximum is scheduled for May 6. In the case of this swarm, there can be up to 50 phenomena per hour. Roj that is related to the famous Halley’s comet. It has been known since the early Middle Ages.
EndoThe middle of March and the first half of April is a very favorable period for observing the International Space Station (ISS) flying through the evening sky over Poland. Usually two bright flies per day will be visible, roughly between hrs.20.00 a 22.30. The exact moments of flight for a particular locality are best checked for a given day in specialized smartphone apps, or on the Heavens Above website. Next period of visible flybyoat the ISS will occur in May.
From interesting constellationsow, at the beginning of spring you can see Orion setting in the evenings, ktorego bright stars are arranged in a schematic silhouette of a man. Next to Orion, low over the horizon, the star Sirius will also be visible – the brightest star in the night sky.
However, the spring sky will be dominated by other constellations. In detailoThe luminaries Leo, Virgo and Libra, from which theorych each has a bright star in its area. In the case of Leo, it is Regulus (also known as the Heart of the Lion), in Virgo we have the star Spica (Spika, also known as the Spike), and in Libarius we have the star Arcturus (also known as the Spring Star). Together, these three stars form the so-called. TroSpring swarm, extending over a large area of the sky.