AP 30

Venus-Neptune Conjunction 2020

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Jan 27 2020, 1806 UT; Just 7 arc-minutes separate mag -4.1 Venus from mag 7.9 Neptune, as seen through an 8-inch SCT. The closest planetary conjunction of 2020. Venus lies 27 times closer (105 ml miles v 2.86 bn miles) and shines 63,000 times brighter. Neptune’s diameter is 4 times greater (30,500 miles v 7,500 miles). Below: 1813 UT.

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Lunar Flypast

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An Airbus A340 from Frankfurt to Bogota passes 0.8 of a degree north of the 3-day afternoon Moon. Nov 29 2019, 1434 UT.

Panoramic Western Sky

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Mar 28 2020, 2159 UT. A multitude of glistening jewels, featuring Venus on extreme right, approaching the Pleiades; Sirius on extreme left, 62 degrees distant; a 4.5 day Moon, overexposed; with Orion, Taurus and the Twins (top left)

C/2019 Y1 – Comet ATLAS

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Discovered in December 2019 by the Hawaii-based survey (35th discovery). Reportedly a fragment of C/1988 A1 Liller, as are C/1996 Q1 Tabur and C/2015 F3 Swan. Imaged here (arrowed) sliding past the Sailboat Cluster (NGC 225), 110 million miles from Earth. Perihelion – Mar 16 at 0.9 AU; perigee – May 3 at 1.17 AU. Est mag 8.4. C/2019 Y1 has an orbital period of ~3,500 years. With (a) mag 6.6 HIP 3532 in Cassiopeia. Apr 13 2020, 2343 IST. [32nd observed comet]