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Manchester Astronomical Society
Established 1903

Manastro Journal for June

In the Sky for the next few weeks:-









The Moon

1st Quarter on the 28th

Full Moon on 5th

3rd Quarter on the 13th

New Moon on 21nd

On the 5th there will be a penumbral lunar eclipse. During this eclipse, the Earth's main shadow does not cover the Moon. As the Earth's shadow (umbra) misses the Moon during a penumbral lunar eclipse, there are no other locations on Earth where the Moon appears partially or totally eclipsed during this event. A penumbral lunar eclipse can be a bit hard to see as the shadowed part is only a little bit fainter than the rest of the Moon.

This will start at 18:45, will reach it's maximum at 21:25 (in Manchester), finishing at 22:04

Planet of the month:Mars

Diameter: 6792 km 0.5325 Earths
Mass: 0.1074 Earths
Density: 3.93 g/cc (water=1)
Gravity: 0.379 G
Rotation Period: 1.03 days = 1d 00h 37m 23s


© NASA, ESA, and STScI

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System after Mercury. In English, Mars carries the name of the Roman god of war and is often referred to as the 'Red Planet'. The latter refers to the effect of the iron oxide prevalent on Mars' surface, which gives it a reddish appearance distinctive among the astronomical bodies visible to the naked eye. Mars is a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere, with surface features reminiscent of the impact craters of the Moon and the valleys, deserts and polar ice caps of Earth.

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, passing within 2°32' of each other. The Moon will be 22 days old.

From Manchester, the pair will be difficult to observe as they will appear no higher than 18° above the horizon. They will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 01:41 (BST) – 2 hours and 59 minutes before the Sun – and reaching an altitude of 18° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks around 04:07.

The Moon will be at mag -11.8; and Mars will be at mag -0.2. Both objects will lie in the constellation Aquarius.

They will be too widely separated to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.

Constellation of the Month: Hercules (shown 15th June 22:00)


Hercules constellation is located in the northern sky. It was named after Hercules, the Roman version of the Greek hero Heracles.

Heracles, in turn, was often associated with the Sumerian hero Gilgamesh, and the constellation itself has a long history, dating back to Sumerian times

Hercules is the fifth largest constellation in the sky, but has no first magnitude stars. In traditional depictions, the star Ras Algethi (Alpha Herculis) represents Hercules’ head and a prominent asterism, the Keystone, marks his torso, as he stands victoriously on Draco’s head.

In mythology, the constellation Hercules is usually associated with the penultimate labour of Heracles, which involved killing the dragon Ladon, who guarded the garden of the Hesperides. The dragon is represented by the constellation Draco. Hercules constellation was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.

Notable deep sky objects in Hercules include the Great Globular Cluster (Messier 13), the globular cluster Messier 92, the planetary nebulae Abell 39 and NGC 6210, the Hercules Cluster of galaxies, and the galaxy cluster Abell 2199.


M13 © Mike Oakes


M92 © Mike Oates

Meteor Showers

Daytime Arietids - May 14 - Jun 24, Peak Jun 07 (ZHR 50) - Daytime shower

June Bootids - Jun 22 - Jul 02, Peak Jun 27 (ZHR Var)

MAS Society & MAS Facebook members' recent images

Here is a selection of some of the recent images from our members


M51 - ©Mike Gallimore - 08/05/20


M61 (with supernova) - ©Mark Waddington - 12/05/20


M64 - ©Phil Swift - 12/05/20


NGC40- ©Bob Stuart - 14/05/20


NGC4631 - ©Bob Stuart - 09/05/20


Venus - ©Stephen Faulder - 06/05/20




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