Mercury is best seen from 9.40 pm until 10.45 pm in the constellation of Taurus. Venus is best seen from 8.40 pm until 0.40 am in the constellation of Taurus. Mars is best seen from nearly 9.35 pm until 9.45 pm in the constellation of Taurus. Jupiter is best seen from 9 pm until nearly 3 am in the constellation Cancer. Saturn is best seen from 10 pm until 4.40 am in the constellation Scorpius.
Sun rises on Wednesday 6 May at 5h24 am and sets at 8.43 pm. Its Last Quarter Moon on Monday 11 May.
Wednesday 6 May
Today In 1840, the adhesive postage stamp was first sold in Great Britain. The "penny black" and "twopenny blue" stamps showed the profile of Queen Victoria.
At 11.10 pm the Moon is in maximum libration West. The Crater Grimaldi is tipped into our view.
The Great Red Spot transits Jupiter at 1.31 am in the early morning. You will need a small telescope or binoculars to observe. At 2.40 am a very bright Iridium flare is visible in the South East at an altitude of 45° in the constellation of Ophiuchus. Another flare is at 3.59 am in the East at an altitude of 25° in the constellation of Pegasus.
Mercury reaches its greatest elongation at 21 degrees east of the Sun at 5 am.
Thursday 7 May
Today in 1774 Sir Francis Beaufort was born. As a British inventor, he created the wind force scale.
Mercury reached its greatest elongation at 21.2 degrees east of the Sun at 5.00 am. It means Mercury is the most East from the Sun. Look in the evenings from 09.40 pm until 10.45 pm in the constellation of Taurus.
The Great Red Spot transits Jupiter at 9.23 pm. You will need a small telescope or binoculars to observe. A bright Iridium flare is visible at 2.25 am in South South East at an altitude of 47° in the constellation of Ophiuchus.
Friday 8 May
Today in 1926 Sir David Frederick Attenborough was born.
Nearly at noon, at 11.29 am the Moon is in Maximum Libration South. The South Pole of the Moon is tipped into our view.
An Iridium flare is visible in the early morning of Saturday at 2.32 am in South East at an altitude of 47° in the constellation of Ophiuchus. At 3.10 am The Great Red Spot transits Jupiter. You will need a small telescope or binoculars to observe. At 3.56 am, at dawn, a bright Iridium flare might be visible in the East at an altitude of 28° in the constellation of Pegasus.
Saturday 9 May
Today in 1962, a laser beam was bounced off the Moon from Earth. The area of the light beam on the surface was estimated at a diameter of 4 miles. And today in 1949, Britain's first launderette opened in Queensway London.
The Great Red Spot transits Jupiter at 11.02 pm. You will need a small telescope or binoculars to observe. A bright Iridium flare can be seen at 11.28 pm in the West South West at an altitude of 33° in the constellation of Leo. Another Iridium flare appears at 0.55 am in the morning in the South South West at an altitude of 49° in the constellation of Bootes. And at 3.51 am another Iridium flare appears in the East at an altitude of 29° in the constellation of Pegasus.
About an hour before sunrise, at about 4 am, the Moon is close to the star Dabih. Limb separation of 1.88° or 3.52 lunar diameters.
Sunday 10 May
After midnight, Monday morning at 0.49 am an Iridium flare appears in the South South West at an altitude of 49° in the constellation of Bootes.
Monday 11 May
Today in 1871 Sir John Herschel died at age 79 (born 7 March 1792). Sir John Frederick William Herschel was an English astronomer, chemist and chemist (1st Baronet), who, as a successor to his father Sir William Herschel, discovered a further 525 nebulae and clusters. Also today, 1924, Antony Hewish born. British physicist and astronomer. Studied the Solarwind and got the Nobelprice of physics in 1974.
If the calculations are right, the International Space Station (ISS) will crosses the surface of the Sun at 8.53 am Monday morning for Tissington. Transit duration is 0.97sec. Please contact me for accurate calculations nearer the event. Do not look at the Sun! You will need a special Solar telescope to observe this event!
It is Last Quarter Moon at 11.36 am. Moon set is 12.18 pm noon in daylight.
After midnight, at 0.41 am The Great Red Spot transits Jupiter. You will need a small telescope or binoculars to observe. At 3.47 am an Iridium flare appears in the East South East and an altitude of 31° in the constellation of Pegasus.
Tuesday 12 May
The International Space Station (ISS) will crosses the surface of the Sun at 9.43 am for Hulland Ward and Belper. Transit duration is 1.2 sec. Please contact me for accurate calculations nearer the event. Do not look at the Sun! You will need a special Solar telescope to observe this event!
At 11.19 pm an Iridium flare appears in the West at an altitude of 30° in the constellation of Cancer. Look for the Moon’s Earthshine in the early morning before Sun rise at 4.30 am.
More details needed, see the webpages of Patrick Poitevin at http://patrickpoitevin.weebly.com/blog
Facts about the International Space Station (ISS)
The International Space Station (ISS) is in low Earth orbit. It is the largest artificial body in orbit, size of a football field and can often be seen with the naked eye. ISS components have been launched by American Space Shuttles as well as Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets. After the US Space Shuttle program ended in 2011, Soyuz rockets became the only provider of transport for astronauts at the International Space Station, and Dragon became the only provider of bulk cargo-return-to-Earth services. Sometimes we can see the Proton or Dragon in the night sky ahead or after an ISS appearance in the same orbit.
The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology, human biology, physics, astronomy, meteorology and other fields. The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars. The ISS maintains an orbit with an altitude of between 330 and 435 km or 205 and 270 miles by means of reboost manoeuvres using the engines of the Zvezda module or visiting spacecraft. It completes 15.54 orbits per day and sees between 15 and 16 sunsets and sunrises a day. The average speed is 7.66 kilometers per second which is 27,600 km/h or 17,100 mph. The orbital period is 92.69 minutes. That's why sometimes we can see ISS passes more than once an evening.
ISS is the ninth space station to be inhabited by crews, following the Soviet and later Russian Salyut, Almaz, and Mir stations as well as Skylab from the US. The station has been continuously occupied for 14 years and 174 days since the arrival of Expedition 1 on 2 November 2000. This is the longest continuous human presence in space, having surpassed the previous record of 9 years and 357 days held by Mir. The station is serviced by a variety of visiting spacecraft: Soyuz, Progress, the Automated Transfer Vehicle, the H-II Transfer Vehicle, Dragon, and Cygnus. It has been visited by astronauts and cosmonauts from 15 different nations.
• It took an astounding 136 space flights on seven different types of launch vehicles to build it.
• It flies at 4.791 miles per second (7.71 km/s). That's fast enough to go to the Moon and back in about a day.
• It weighs almost 1 million pounds including visiting spacecraft. Picture 120000 gallons of milk in supermarket cartons in your mind.
• It has 8 miles of wire just to connect the electrical power system. That will be enough to connect a hairdryer in Ashbourne to Tissington and back.
• It has a complete surface area the size of a football field.
• It has more livable space than a 6-bedroom house.
• It has two bathrooms, a gymnasium and a 360-degree bay window.
• It's been the spaceport for at least 89 Russian Soyuz spacecraft, 37 Space Shuttle missions, three SpaceX Dragons, four Japanese HTV cargo spacecraft, and four European ATV cargo spacecraft.
• All its research experiments and spacecraft systems are housed in a bit more than one hundred telephone-booth sized racks.
• The US solar array surface area on the is 38400 sq. feet (.88 acre), which is large enough to cover 8 basketball courts
• According to NASA, "there are 52 computers controlling the ISS." Just for the US segment, there are "1.5 million lines of flight software code run on 44 computers communicating via 100 data networks transferring 400000 signals."
• Its internal pressurized volume is 32333 cubic feet, which is about the same of a Jumbo Boeing 747.
• The ISS crews have eaten at least 25000 meals since 2000. That's a staggering "seven tons of supplies per three astronauts for six months." That's 32558 Big Macs.
• At least 211 people from 15 countries have visited the ISS so far.
• When it reaches the end of its life, some of the most modern Russian modules—like Nauka—will be reused to make a third space station to support interplanetary mission to Mars, the Moon and Saturn, serving as a launching and return point.