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Wednesday, June 09, 2021

 

Planet dance of Venus, Mars and the crescent Moon (12-14 June, 2021)

Evening twilight sky on Saturday June 12 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 17:54 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon close to the thin crescent Moon. The pair will fit easily into the field of view of 10x50 binoculars. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).Evening twilight sky on Sunday June 13 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 17:54 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).Evening twilight sky on Monday June 14 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 17:54 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).


On the weekend and extending to Monday, weather permitting, there will be a delightful planet dance where the crescent Moon visits first Venus and then Mars. 

Venus and the Moon can be easily seen from as soon as 15 minutes after sunset, but you may have to wait until 45 minutes after sunset to see Mars clearly. You will need a level unobstructed horizon to see Venus at its best. 

On the 12th Venus is close to the Moon, the pair will fit easily into the field of view of 10x50 binoculars and may even fit into wide field telescope eye-pieces. On the 13th the crescent Moon is now between Venus and Mars and on the 14th the moon is close to Mars. 

Definitely worth a look.

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Monday, June 07, 2021

 

Thursday June 10 to Thursday June 17

The New Moon is Thursday, June 10. Saturn and Jupiter are visible late in the evening sky. Venus is visible in the evening twilight and is close to the crescent moon on the 12th. Mars forms a line with the bright stars Castor and Pollux and is bracketed by the Moon on the 13th and 14th.

The New Moon is Thursday, June 10.

Evening sky on Saturday June 12 showing the eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 23:59 pm ACST (just before midnight). Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the late evening sky.
 
The insets shows the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at this time. 
  
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (just before midnight), click to embiggen.
Whole sky at 18:41 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, June 12 as seen from 
Adelaide
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). click to embiggen.
 
Evening twilight sky on Saturday June 12 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 17:54 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon close to the thin crescent Moon. The pair will fit easily into the field of view of 10x50 binoculars.
 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
Evening sky at 18:41 ACST (90 minutes after sunset), on Monday June 14 facing north-west as seen from Adelaide. 
 
Mars is a low above the horizon forming a line with the bright stars Pollux and Castor.  The Moon is not far from Mars.
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time  (90 minutes after sunset)
 

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Venus is becoming more visible low in the twilight.  I have been able to see Venus from 15 minutes after sunset and it is easily seen 30 minutes after sunset.  Venus s close to the crescent moon on the 12th and both will fit in a 10x50 binocular field.

Mars is readily visible in the evening sky above the north-western horizon in the early evening. Mars is in Gemini forming a line with the bright stars Pollux and Castor.On the 13th and 4th the thin crescent Moon brackets Mars.
   
Jupiter is high in the morning sky forming a line with Saturn above the north-western horizon. Jupiter is now above the eastern horizon before midnight.
 
 Saturn is now rising well before midnight.  It is still best in the morning sky and is easily seen near Jupiter above the north-western horizon
 
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the current time.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/ 





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Wednesday, June 02, 2021

 

Southern Skywatch June 2021 edition is now out!

 

 Evening sky on Saturday, June 12 showing the western sky as seen from Adelaide at 17:39 ACST (30 minutes after sunset). Venus is close to the crescent Moon. 

 

 

 (similar views will be seen Australia wide at the equivalent local time, 30 minutes after sunset) click to embiggen. 

 

The June edition of Southern Skywatch is now up.

This month the planetary action is mostly in the evening skies, Saturn and Jupiter are now readily visible in the late evening skies, Venus becomes easier to see, the Earth is at solstice and fading Mars crosses the beehive cluster.

1-8 June; Mars forms a line with the bright stars Pollux and Castor. June 2 Last Quarter. June 8; apogee Moon. June 10; New Moon. June 12; thin crescent Moon and Venus close. June 13-14; Mars and crescent Moon close. June 18; First Quarter Moon, June 21; Earth at Solstice. June 23; perigee Moon. June 23rd and 24th; Mars passes directly over the Beehive cluster. June 25; Full Moon. June 27; the Moon close to Saturn. June 28; the waning moon is near Jupiter.

 Mercury Mercury returns to the morning twilight by mid-month. However, it is only visible in the last week of June, below the bright red star Aldebaran.

Venus is now easily visible in the evening sky 30 minutes after sunset (I can see it as early as 15 minutes after sunset). Venus begins to dominate the early evening twilight and on the 12th is a mere 2 finger-widths from the crescent Moon.

Mars  is low above the western horizon, best seen an hour to an hour and a half after sunset. Mars starts in Gemini this month then moves into cancer. On the 1st Mars forms a line with the bright “twins” Pollux and Castor. Mars is then bracketed by the crescent Moon on the 13th and 14th by about a hand-span. On the 23rd and 24th Mars passes directly over the Beehive cluster

 Jupiter Jupiter is readily visible around midnight and continues to climb in to the late evening sky. On the 1st Jupiter is a handspan from the waning Moon, and again on the 28th.

Saturn rises well before midnight from the beginning of the month but is still best seen in the morning. On the 26th the waning moon is above Saturn and Jupiter. On the 27th the Moon close to Saturn and Jupiter. On the 28th the moon is near Jupiter, then on the 29th the waning moon again forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn.

Apogee June 8; Moon at perigee June 23.

 

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Monday, May 31, 2021

 

Thursday June 3 to Thursday June 10

The New Moon is Thursday, June 10. Saturn and Jupiter are visible late in the evening sky. Venus is visible in the evening twilight. Mercury is lost in the twilight. Mars forms a line with the bright stars Castor and Pollux.

The New Moon is Thursday, June 10. Apogee, when the Earth is furthest from the earth, is on June 8.

Evening sky on Saturday
June 5 showing the eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 23:59 pm ACST (just before midnight). Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the late evening sky.
 
The insets shows the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at this time. 
  
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (just before midnight), click to embiggen.

Whole sky at 18:42 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, June 5 as seen from 

Adelaide
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). click to embiggen.
 
Evening twilight sky on Saturday June 5 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 17:39 ACST (30 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon.

 
 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
Evening sky at 18:10 ACST (60 minutes after sunset), on Saturday June 5 facing north-west as seen from Adelaide. 
 
Mars is a low above the horizon forming a line with the bright stars Pollux and Castor.

 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time 
 

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Venus is becoming more visible low in the twilight.  I have been able to see Venus from 15 minutes after sunset and it is easily seen 30 minutes after sunset.  

Mars is readily visible in the evening sky above the north-western horizon in the early evening. Mars is in Gemini forming a line with the bright stars Pollux and Castor.
   
Jupiter is high in the morning sky forming a line with Saturn above the north-western horizon. Jupiter is now above the eastern horizon before midnight.
 
 Saturn is now rising well before midnight.  It is still best in the morning sky and is easily seen near Jupiter above the north-western horizon
 
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the current time.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/ 





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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

 

Don't forget, Total Lunar Eclipse and Perigee Moon tonight (Wednesday, May 26, 2021)

Eastern horizon as seen from Sydney on  26 May at 21:00 AEST. The Moon is at Perigee when it is closest to Earth and the eclipse is about 10 minutes from totality. The inset shows the telescopic/binocular view at this time. Click to embiggenEastern horizon as seen from Adelaide on 26 May at 20:30 ACST. The Moon is at Perigee when it is closest to Earth and the eclipse is about 10 minutes from totality. The inset shows the telescopic/binocular view at this time. Click to embiggenEastern horizon as seen from Perth on 26 May at 19:00 AWST. The Moon is at Perigee when it is closest to Earth and the eclipse is about 10 minutes from totality. The inset shows the telescopic/binocular view at this time. Click to embiggen

A reminder that tonight ( Wednesday, May 26), there will be an excellent total eclipse of the Moon, the first in Australia since 2018. Even though it will be cloudy in most of southern Australia, it is still worth going out to catch the eclipse between gaps in the cloud, or shining weirdly through the cloud layer. Times for the eclipse at cities around Australia are below. 

A guide I wrote for the October 2014 lunar eclipse to taking photos of the eclipse is here. And here is a more general (and more recent) link to lunar photography with mobile phones and adapters that is useful for mobile phone imaging of the eclipse.

See here for a map and contact timings in Universal Time for sites outside Australia.

City Civil Twilight Nautical Twilight Astronomical twilight Eclipse Start Totality Start Maximum Eclipse Totality End Eclipse End
Adelaide
(ACST)
17:42 18:13 18:43 19:15 20:40 
(perigee 20:30)
20:49 20:58 22:23
Alice Springs (ACST) 18:21 18:48 19:16 19:15 20:40 
(perigee 20:30)
20:49 20:58 22:23
Auckland (NZT) 17:43 18:15 18:46 21:44 23:09 23:18 23:27 00:52
Brisbane (AEST) 18:21 18:48 19:16 19:45 21:10 (perigee 21:00) 21:19 21:28 22:53
Cairns (AEST) 18:13 18:40 19:06 19:45 21:10 (perigee 21:00) 21:19 21:28 22:53
Canberra (AEST) 17:29 18:00 18:31 19:45 21:10 (perigee 21:00) 21:19 21:28 22:53
Christchurch (NZT) 17:37 18:12 18:47 21:44 23:09 23:18 23:27 00:52
Darwin (ACST) 18:50 19:16 19:42 19:15 20:40 
(perigee 20:30)
20:49 20:58 22:23
Hobart (AEST) 16:50 17:25 17:59 19:45 21:10 (perigee 21:00) 21:19 21:28 22:53
Melbourne (AEST) 17:41 18:14 18:45 19:45 21:10 (perigee 21:00) 21:19 21:28 22:53
Perth (AWST) 17:49 18:18 18:48 17:45 19:10 (perigee 19:00) 19:19 19:28 20:53
Rockhampton (AEST) 17:44 18:12 18:39 19:4521:10 (perigee 21:00) 21:19 21:28 22:53
Sydney (AEST) 17:24 17:55 18:26 19:45 21:10 (perigee 21:00) 21:19 21:28 22:53
Townsville (AEST) 18:05 18:32 18:59 19:45 21:10 (perigee 21:00) 21:19 21:28 22:53

Weather: Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

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Tuesday, May 25, 2021

 

My images of the Perigee Moon April 27, 2021.

Full Moon April 27 23:00 AEST, perigee was at April 28 2:00 AEST (+ 11h from full). Overlain is the apogee Moon of October 28, 2020 (click to embiggen).
Perigee Moon of April 27 and apogee Moon of October 28 simulated in Stellarium.
Perigee Full Moon April 27 23:00 AEST, overlain with apogee First Quarter Moon of January 21, 2021.
Perigee Moon of April 27 and apogee Last Quarter Moon of January 21 simulated in Stellarium.

While everyone is eagerly awaiting the Total Lunar Eclipse and Perigee Full Moon, last month was a perigee Full Moon as well. 

Not as big as this months perigee Full Moon but not bad at all. For comparison I have overlain the apogee full moon from last October and the apogee First Quarter Moon from January this year and compared them with the simulated diameters in Stellarium. As you can see there is a clear difference between the Apogee and Perigee Moons which are pretty close to their simulated differences. 

If anything the perigee Moon is slightly larger than expected compared to the two apogee Moons. possibly due to field distortion form not centering the Moon in the eyepiece properly. it will be interesting to compare the full Moon at perigee and total eclipse with the apogee  moons as well.

The images were taken with an Xperia mobile phone (Focus at infinity, 1/4000 second, ISO 200 Full Moon, ISO 800 First Quarter Moon, through a 25 mm eyepiece on a tracking 8" Newtonian (Saxon EQ6 mount).

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Monday, May 24, 2021

 

Thursday May 27 to Thursday June 3

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday, June 2. Saturn and Jupiter are visible late in the evening sky and are visited by the waning Moon from the 30th to the 1st. Venus and Mercury are visible in the evening twilight and are close together on the 29th, low in the twilight.

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday, June 2.

Evening sky from SundayMay 29 to Tuesday June 1 showing the eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 23:45 pm ACST (just before midnight). Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the late evening sky being visited by the Moon.
 
The insets shows the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn on June 1. The Jovian Moons Callisto and Io will go have just appeared from behind Jupiter's disk.
  
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (just before midnight), click to embiggen.
 
Whole sky at 18:43 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, May 29 as seen from 
Adelaide
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). click to embiggen.
 
Evening twilight sky on Saturday May 29 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 17:41 ACST (30 minutes after sunset). Venus is just above the horizon with Mercury just next to it. You will need a clear level horizon to see Venus and Mercury and probably binoculars to see Mercury. The inset shows the approximate binocular view of Venus and Mercury.


Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
Evening sky at 18:43 ACST (90 minutes after sunset), on Monday May 24 facing north-west as seen from Adelaide. 
 
Mars is low above the horizon near the bright star Pollux.

 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time 
 


Mercury is visible low in the evening twilight. Best seen from half an hour  after sunset with a level, unobstructed horizon. It is less than a finger-width from Venus on the 29th.

Venus is becoming more visible low in the twilight.  I have been able to see Venus from 15 minutes after sunset and it will be much easier to see this week.  

Mars is readily visible in the evening sky above the north-western horizon in the early evening. Mars is in Gemini not far from the bright star Pollux.
   
Jupiter is high in the morning sky forming a line with Saturn above the northern horizon. Jupiter is now above the eastern horizon before midnight and is close to the waning Moon on the 1st.
 
 Saturn is climbing higher in the morning sky and is now rising well before midnight. On the 30th and 31st the waning Moon is close to Saturn. It is still best in the morning sky and is easily seen above Jupiter above the northern horizon
 
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the current time.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/ 




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