Events in Astronomy 2004
 
 
 

 

   
January

Main Highlights: Last chance to get a great view of Mars, it fades to a magnitude of +1.0 during the month. Quadrantid meteor shower promises to be good.

4th Quadrantid meteor shower peaks
6th The moon passes 5º north of Saturn
9th Asteroid Ceres is at opposition
12th Moon passes 3º north of Jupiter
14th Venus passes 0.9º south of Uranus
17th Mercury is at greatest western elongation
19th The Moon passes 5ºsouth of Mercury
23rd The Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
24th The Moon passes 4º south of Venus
27th The Moon passes 3º south of Mars

February

Main Highlights: Venus shines brilliantly at -4.0 as it approaches it greatest elongation (which is on March 29th), throughout this Month the disk of Venus changes by quite an amount. On January 24th the planet’s phase is 77% and by the end of February in has dropped to 65% lit, however its size has increased from 13” to 18”.

2nd Neptune is in conjunction with the Sun; The Moon passes 4º north of Saturn
8th The Moon passes 3º north of Jupiter
15th Mercury passes 2º south of Neptune
18th The Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
21st Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun
23 The Moon passes 3º south of Venus
25th The Moon passes 0.9º south of Mars

March

Main Highlights: Jupiter at Opposition on the 3rd and so will be very bright, apparent magnitude of -2.5, becoming the 3rd brightest object in the sky. Mercury normally is very hard to see as the Sun rarely pulls away far enough for a good view but during the end of March and start of April there is a great opportunity to view this planet. It is visible during the twilight and has a magnitude of -1.1. Best opportunity is on the 29th of March.

1st Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
3rd Mercury is in superior conjuction; Jupiter is at opposition
6th Moon passes 3º north of Jupiter
17th Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
18th Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
20th Spring Equinox
21st Moon passes 4º south of Mercury
24th Moon passes 2º south of Venus
25th Moon passes 0.8º north of Mars
28th Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
29th Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation (19º); Venus is at greatest elongation 46º

April

Main Highlights: Mercury is still in a good position, see last month. Lyrid meteor shower.

2nd Moon passes 3º north of Jupiter; Venus south of Pleiades
7th Mars passes 7º north of Aldebaran
13th Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
14th Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
16th Venus passes 10º north of Aldebaran; Mercury is in inferior conjuction
21st Lyrid meteor shower peaks
23rd Moon passes1.5º south of Venus; Moon passes 2º north of Mars
25th Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
29th Moon passes 4º north of Jupiter

May

Main Highlights: Total Lunar Eclipse, 4th. During this month there is a planetary line-up of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.

2nd Venus is at greatest brilliancy, apparent magnitude of -4.5
4th Total lunar eclipse; Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks
10th Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
12th Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
14th Mercury is at greatest western elongation (26º)
16th Moon passes 3º north of Mercury
21st Moon passes 0.3º north of Venus
22nd Moon passes 3º north of Mars; Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
24th Moon passes 1.6º north of Saturn
27th Moon passes 4º north of Jupiter

June

Main Highlights: Transit of Venus (8th), the first time it has occurred since 1882 so an event not to miss (the next one is in 2012).

7th Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
8th Venus is in inferior conjuction, transit; Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
11th Pluto is at opposition
14th Mars passes 6º south of Pollux
18th Mercury is in superior conjunction
19th Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
20th Moon passes 4º north of Mars; Summer Solstice
23rd Moon passes 3º north of Jupiter
24th Venus passes 2º north of Aldebaran

July

Main Highlights: Venus at greatest brilliancy (-4.5)

4th Venus passes 1.1º north of Aldebaran; Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
5th Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
8th Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun
8th Asteroid Juno is at opposition
10th Mercury passes 0.2º north of Mars
13th Moon passes 8º north of Venus
14th Venus is at greatest brilliancy (-4.5 magnitude)
18th Moon passes 4º north of Mars
19th Moon passes 5º north of Mercury
21st Moon passes 3º north of Jupiter
25th Mercury passes 1.5º north of Regulus
26th Mercury is at greatest eastern elongation (27º)
31st Moon passes 5º south of Neptune

August

Main Highlights: The Perseid Meteor shower (12th)

2nd Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
5th Neptune is at opposition
11th Moon passes 8º north of Venus
12th Perseid meteor shower peaks
13th Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
16th Mercury passes 6º south of Mars
17th Venus is at greatest western elongation (46º)
18th Moon passes 3º north of Jupiter
23rd Mercury is in inferior conjunction
27th Uranus is at opposition
28th Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
29th Moon pases 4º south of Uranus
31st Venus passes 1.9º south of Saturn

September

Main Highlights: A month for the asteroids to show. These are 4 Vesta and 4179 Toutatis. Asteroid 4 Vesta reaches its peak on September 13th and has a magnitude of 6.1 so is just within the reach of the naked eye. Asteroid 4179 Toutatis is not very big or very bright but it does have an usual orbit, this orbit brings it close to the Earth every few years. This September 4179 Toutatis makes the closest approach to the Earth that any numbered asteroid has within more than 30 years, it is going to be just 963,000 miles away from us (just 4 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon).

1st Venus passes 9º south of Pollux
9th Mercury is at greatest western elongation (18º); Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
10th Mercury passes 0.06º south of Regulus; Moon passes 7º north of Venus
11th Saturn passes 7º south of Pollux
12th Moon passes 4º north of Mercury
13th Asteroid 4 Vesta is at opposition
15th Mars is in conjunction with the Sun
21st Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun
22nd Autumn Equinox
24th Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
25th Moon passes south of Uranus
29th Asteroid 4179 Toutatis passes close to approach

October

Main Highlights: Lunar Eclipse early morning 28th October with totality lasting 81.3 minutes. Also the Orionid meteor shower.

3rd Venus passes 0.2º south of Regulus
5th Mercury is in superior conjunction
7th Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
10th Moon passes 4º north of Venus
12th Moon passes 1.6º north of Jupiter
13th Partial Solar Eclipse (Alaska, Hawaii)
21st Orionid meteor shower; Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
23rd Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
27th / 28th Total Lunar Eclipse
31st Mars passes 3º north of Spica

November

Main Highlights: Venus and Jupiter passes close by on the 4th produces a fantastic sight in the sky and on the 9th Jupiter is again in action as the mon occults Jupiter producing a fantastic sight. Also to remember is the Leonid meteor shower which peaks of the 17th hopefully to give us a fantastic night of ‘shooting stars’.

3rd Moon passes 5º north of Saturn
4th Venus passes 0.6º north of Jupiter
9th Moon passes 1.0º north of Jupiter; Moon passes 0.2º south of Venus
10th Moon passes south of Mars
11th Mercury passes 2º north of Antares
13th Moon passes 0.9º south of Mercury
16th Venus passes 4º north of Spica
17th Leonid meteor shower peaks; Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
19th Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
20th Mercury is at greatest elongation (22º)
30th Moon passes 5º north of Saturn

December

Main Highlights: Geminid meteor shower

5th Venus passes 1.3º north of Mars
7th Moon passes 0.3º north of Jupiter
9th Moon passes 2º south of Mars; Moon passes 4º south of Venus
10th Mercury is in inferior conjunction
13th Pluto is in conjunction with the Sun; Geminid meteor shower peaks
15th Moon passes 5º south of Neptune
16th Moon passes 4º south of Uranus
21st Winter Solstice
23rd Venus passes 6º north of Antares
28th Moon passes 5º north of Saturn; Mercury passes 1.2º north of Venus
29th Mercury is at greatest western elongation (22º)

Quick Month:

by Samuel George, January 2004. Also available in pdf here.

     

This site is maintained by Alexandra Yannacopoulou, Communications Officer. Site originally designed by Emma Robinson.

Last updated: 16/06/2004

© The University of Birmingham Astronomical Society, unless otherwise stated. Email: astrosoc@bugs.bham.ac.uk