The full Moon is interesting to view as the Sun shines directly on the Lunar surface and we see Tycho rays stretching hundreds of miles.
For astronomers interested in deep sky observing the full Moon tends to wash out views of fainter objects, below are the dates for the full Moon for 2023 which should help you plan your observing over the coming year. 6 January 5 February 7 March 6 April 5 May 4 June 3 July 1 August 31 August 29 September 28 October 27 November 27 December
International Space Station Sighting Information
The International space station has been a bright naked eye object from the UK regularly, moving quite slowly from west to east outshining all the stars visible. Timings vary of sightings but pre dawn and after dark passes are very common.
We managed to see the solar panels a few years ago through an 80mm refractor at just 50x magnification and the shuttle Atlantis could be seen in close proximity for a couple of days after.
There are many satellites visible to the naked eye, even the shuttle itself can be spotted but most move too fast to catch in a telescope. Many modern goto telescopes use a system that allows you to see them pass through by means of a countdown timer. To check sighting information in your location please visit the NASA website Click here
Jupiter 2023 Opposition
Jupiter will be visible in the South once again revealing it's cloud belts and moons through telescopes from 60mm or larger. Even modest binoculars will show the moons strung out in a line close to the giant planet.
Jupiter is a favourite for new astronomers and old with the ever changing cloud structure and the clearly visible moons circling the giant planet.
Jupiter will reach opposition November 3rd 2023 and remain visible from Autumn through Winter.
Saturn 2023 Opposition
The ringed planet will be visible throughout the summer and Summer and Autumn of 2023, reaching opposition on August 27th.
The rings are spectacular and are easily visible even through instruments as small as 60mm.
Saturn is a naked eye object but magnifications of 50x and above are required to see the rings well, five of Saturns moons are visible in modest telescopes.