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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

 

Thursday January 20 to Thursday January 27

The Last Quarter Moon is Tuesday, January 25.  After months of exciting evening planetary action Jupiter is now alone in the night sky, setting  around the time the sky is full dark. Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard is just visible in binoculars below the star Gamma Grusis when the Moon is below the horizon. Mars is readily visible in the morning sky below Scorpius. Venus is low in the morning twilight.

The Last Quarter Moon is Tuesday, January 25.

Morning sky on January 22 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:21 ACDST (45 minutes before sunrise). Mars is above the horizon below Scorpius and Venus is low to the horizon.


 Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). 


Evening sky on Saturday January 22  looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:36 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset).  Jupiter is setting.

 

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Whole sky on January 22, 22:16 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades can be seen above the eastern horizon.

 

 

Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard as seen looking west from Adelaide at January 22, 21:39 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Similar views will be seen in elsewhere in Australia 90 minutes after sunset.

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is a nice little binocular object, but fading. It is  now relatively easy to find as it is in a binocular field of the brightish star Gamma Grusis, easily found by following the trail for stars from the two prominent stars of the constellation of Grus, the Crane.

Mercury  is lost in the twilight

Venus is low in the morning twilight.

Mars is rising higher, and is visible in the morning sky below Scorpius.
   
Jupiter is readily visible in the western sky but is setting when the sky is fully dark.
 
Saturn is lost in the twilight.  
 
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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Tuesday, January 11, 2022

 

Thursday January 13 to Thursday January 20

The Full Moon is Tuesday, January 18.  Three bright planets are seen forming a line in the early evening twilight. These are Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter.  Mercury and Saturn are low in the twilight and difficult to see. Jupiter is prominent but sets around the time the sky is full dark.Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard is visible in binoculars below the star Gamma Grusis but fading and the waning moon may make to more difficult to see.

The Full Moon is Tuesday, January 18. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on January 14.


Morning sky on January 15 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 4:19 ACDST (90 minutes before sunrise). Mars is low above the horizon below Scorpius and the bright red star Antares.


 Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). 


Evening sky on January 15  looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:03 ACDST (30 minutes after sunset).  Mercury and Saturn are low in the the twilight.

 

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


Evening sky on January 15  looking west as seen from Adelaide at 22:14 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset).  Jupiter is setting.

 

 

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Whole sky showing the Jupiter and the Moon, January 15, 22:14 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades can be seen above the eastern horizon.

 

 

Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard as seen looking west from Adelaide at January 15, 21:39 ACDST, 60 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Similar views will be seen in elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset.

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is a nice little binocular object. It is yet again in outburst and has a very clear little tail. It is  now relatively easy to fins as it is in a binocular field of the brightish star Gamma Grusis, easily found by following the trail for stars from the two prominent stars of the constellation of Grus, the Crane.


Mercury  is lowering in the early evening twilight and forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter. It may be difficult to see in then twilight glow.

Venus is lost in the twilight.

Mars is rising higher in the twilight.
   
Jupiter is readily visible in the western sky but is setting when the sky is fully dark. Mercury , Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the early twilight sky
 
Saturn is now too low for telescopic observation and difficult or see in the twilight.  
 
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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Tuesday, December 28, 2021

 

Occulation of Mars, Morniing January 1, 2020

The Moon looking east at 04:53 am ACDST in Adelaide on Saturday 1 January, 2022 before Mars disappears behind the Moon. The Moon and Mars are below the bright star Aldebaran (click to embiggen).
The Moon looking east at 05:26 am AEDST in Melbourne on Saturday 1 January, 2022 before Mars disappears behind the Moon.The Moon and Mars are below the bright star Aldebaran (click to embiggen).
Close up view of the start of the occulation at the same time
Close up view of the start of the occulation at the same time

The occultation of Mars will seen in south eastern and south central Australia in the early morning on New Years Day. It will be visible from Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra. Sydney sees a graze 12 minutes before sunrise. The occultation will be low to the horizon with the thin crescent Moon covering Mars. In Adelaide this is after astronomical twilight and in the east with the best views, for Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra this is around nautical twilight.Egress of Mars from behind the Moonis close to Sunrise for the eastern states, so care is needed if young binoculars or telescopes. .


PlaceDisappears bright LimbReappears dark Limb
Adelaide ACDST 04:53 05:37
Canberra AEDST 05:31 05:47
Hobart AEST 05:30 06:11
Melbourne AEST 05:26 06:00
Sydney AEST 5:36 -


More cities in Australia can be found at the IOTA site (UT times only, which is why is says DEC 31).


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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

 

Thursday December 30 to Thursday January 6

The New Moon is Monday, January 3.  Occultation of Mars, morning January 1. Three bright planets are seen forming a line in the early evening twilight. These are Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter. The thin crescent Moon is between Mercury and Saturn on the 4th and between Saturn and Jupiter on the 5th. Then the crescent moon is then close to Jupiter on the 6th. Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard is visible in binoculars but fading.

The New Moon is Monday, January 3. The Moon is at Perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on January 2.

 

Morning sky on January 1 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 4:53 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Mars is low in the twilight below the bright red star Antares and the Moon is just about to pass in front of Mars. Details for other sites are below.

 Similar views will be seen from South-eastern Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

 

Evening sky on January 4 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:38 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset).  The thin crescent Moon is between mercury and Saturn. Mercury forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter.

 

 

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). 

 

Whole sky showing the Jupiter, and comet C/2021 A1 Leonard, January 1, 22:18 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades can be seen above the eastern horizon.

 

 

Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view line up that the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

 


Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard as seen looking west
from Adelaide at January 1, 22:18 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). The inset shows the approxinmate binoclar view of the comet at this time. Similar views will be seen in elsewhere in Australia 90 minutes after sunset.

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is is a nice little binocular object. It is currently in outburst and has even been reported to be (just) visible to the unaided eye. Whether it will remain bright is uncertain.

Mercury  climbs higher in the evening twilight and forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter. The thin crescent Moon is between Mercury and Saturn on the 4th

Venus is lost in the twilight.

Mars is rising higher in the twilight in the twilight. On Jan 1 2022 Mars is occulted by the thin crescent Moon. The occultation of Mars is seen in south eastern and south central Australia in the early morning on New Years Day. It will be visible from Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra. Sydney sees a graze 12 minutes before sunrise. The occultation will be low to the horizon with the thin crescent Moon covering Mars. In Adelaide this is after astronomical twilight and in the east with the best views, for Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra this is around nautical twilight.

PlaceDisappears bright LimbReappears dark Limb
Adelaide ACDST 04:53 05:37
Canberra AEDST 05:31 05:47
Hobart AEST 05:30 06:11
Melbourne AEST 05:26 06:00
Sydney AEST 5:36 -
   
Jupiter is readily visible in the western sky when the sky is fully dark. Mercury , Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the twilight sky. The crescent Moon is between Saturn and Jupiter on the 5th. Then the crescent moon is then close to Jupiter on the 6th.
 
Saturn is now too low for telescopic observation.  
 
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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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

 

Thursday December 23 to Thursday December 30

The Last Quarter Moon is Monday, December 27.  Four bright planets are seen forming a line in the early evening twilight. These are Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter. Venus is rapidly lowering in the sky heading towards Mercury. Mercury and Venus are parallel to the horizon on the 27th and closest on the 29th. Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard may be visible to the unaided eye and is clearly visible in binoculars. Mars is occulted by the Moon on the morning of 1 January 2022.

The Last Quarter Moon is Monday, December 27. 

 Morning sky on December 30 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 4:58 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Mars is low in the twilight below the bright red star Antares with the Moon not far away.  On January 1 the Moon occults Mars as seen from south east Australia. The inset shows the Moon and Mars at 4:53 ACDST as the Moon is just about to pass in front of Mars. Details for other sites are below.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Evening twilight sky on December 27 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:01 ACDST (30 minutes after sunset).  Venus and Mercury are parallel to the horizon and Venus forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter.

 

The insets shows the telescopic views of Venus, and Mercury at this time. Venus is a very thin crescent now. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). 

Whole sky showing the Jupiter, Saturn and comet C/2021 A1 Leonard, December 25, 22:18 ACDST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades can be seen above the eastern horizon.

 

 

Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar planetary line up that the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset). 

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard as seen looking west
from Adelaide at 21:37 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset) on 25 December (Christmas day). Similar views will be seen in elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset.

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is this years “Christmas comet”. While not as spectacular as the “searchlight comet” Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy, it isa nice little binocular object. It is currently in outburst and has even been reported to be (just) visible to the unaided eye. 

As it climbs higher we will get better views but it will fade rapidly, however, it should be easily visible in binoculars on Christmas day (unless it spectacularly disintegrates). More details and printable black and white charts here.

Mercury  climbs higher in the evening twilight.

Venus is visible in the early evening twilight.  I have been able to see Venus from just after sunset and it is easily seen over 2 hours after sunset, longer if you have a clear western horizon.  Venus forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter. It is now a distinct crescent in even small telescopes. Venus is now heading rapidly towards the horizon.

Mars is rising higher in the twilight in the twilight. On Jan 1 2022 Mars is occulted by the thin crescent Moon. The occultation of Mars is seen in south eastern and south central Australia in the early morning on New Years Day. It will be visible from Adelaide, Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra. Sydney sees a graze 12 minutes before sunrise. The occultation will be low to the horizon with the thin crescent Moon covering Mars. In Adelaide this is after astronomical twilight and in the east with the best views, for Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra this is around nautical twilight.

PlaceDisappears bright LimbReappears dark Limb
Adelaide ACDST 04:53 05:37
Canberra AEDST 05:31 05:47
Hobart AEST 05:30 06:11
Melbourne AEST 05:26 06:00
Sydney AEST 5:36 -
   
Jupiter is readily visible in the western sky when the sky is fully dark. Venus, Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the twilight sky which is joined by Mercury later in the week. Jupiter is still excellent in even small telescopes, but the window of telescopic observation is closing as it sets earlier.
 
Saturn is still excellent in even small telescopes, but the window of telescopic observation is closing rapidly as it sets earlier.  
 
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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Comet C/2021 A1 leonard is in outburst (21 Dec)

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard as seen looking west from Adelaide at 21:35 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset) on Tuesday 21 December. Similar views will be seen in elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).Approximate binocular view of Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard as seen looking west from Adelaide at 21:35 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset) shown at daily intervals from 21 to 23 December. The guide stars omega Capricornii, Psi Capricornii and Gamma Microscopium are shown (see the printable charts). Similar views will be seen in elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset.

 

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is in outburst (the image to the left I took on the 20th, 9 x15 second 80 ASA canon IXUS, stacked in deep sky stacker). 

Various reports have ranged from Magnitude 2 (easily visible to the unaided eye, to nearly magnitude 4 (difficult to see in the twilight). I was unable to see it with the unaided last night but it was very clear and obviously brighter in binoculars and picked up in photographic images.

How long it will remain in outburst is uncertain, but as it climbs higher in the sky it will be easier to observe as the background sky becomes darker. But definitely go out and look if you can tonight (21 December) around 60 minutes after sunset. Binoculars are a must even if it is unaided eye visible. 

You will need to let your eyes dark adapt to get the best view of the comet, and there is a relatively narrow window between nautical twilight (60 minutes after sunset) , when you have the best chance of picking it up, until it becomes too low to the horizon and is obscured by horizon murk (about half an hour).

On the 21st the comet is around 2 binocular fields south of Saturn,  sweeping south (left) and a bit up from Saturn brings you to the pair of brightish stars, Omega and Psi Capriconii,  left again by one and a half binocular fields from Psi Capriconii is the comet,neat a dimmish star. 

On the 22nd sweeping left from omega Capriconii  will bring you to the comet, just above a dimmish star.

On the 23rd sweeping left and up from omega Capriconii will bring you to the comet, forming a shallow triangle with the stars alpha and gamma Microscopium .

Black and white chart suitable for use with binoculars (you can click to embiggen and print this out, or download and print the PDF files below). 

Use the spotters mas to guide yuo and star hop from Saturn to Omega and Psi Capriconii, then on to the comet. 

A black and white spotters chart suitable for printing is here . A B&W chart suitable for binoculars from the 21st to 25th is available here , the large circle is the approximate field of view of 10x50 binoculars. 

 

 

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Thursday, December 16, 2021

 

Phases of Venus, 2021

Venus 25/9/21 8" Newtonian, 2x Barlow, ToUCam at 640x480 resolution , 113 frames staked in Registax.
Venus 10/10/21 8" Newtonian, 2x Barlow, ToUCam at 640x480 resolution , 113 frames staked in Registax.
Venus 7/11/21 8" Newtonian, 2x Barlow, ToUCam at 640x480 resolution , 101 frames staked in Registax.Venus 9/12/21 8" Newtonian, 2x Barlow, ToUCam at 640x480 resolution , 100 frames staked in Registax.

My 2021 Phases of Venus campaign has been somewhat disrupted, but I have still managed to capture so decent shots of the increasing size and increasing crescent phase of Venus. Still trying to optimize the gain, shutter speed for the best contrast, not tp mention focus, but not shabby despite my fluffing about.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

 

Thursday December 16 to Thursday December 23

The Full Moon is Sunday, December 19.  This is an apogee, or "mini" Moon. The earth is at Solstice on the 22nd. Three bright planets are seen forming a line in the early evening sky. Venus forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter  in the western evening sky. Venus is rapidly lowering in the sky. Late in the week Mercury joins the lineup low in the twilight. Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard may be visible from the 16th.

The Full Moon is Sunday, December 19.  This is an apogee, or "mini" Moon, with apogee occurring on the 18th. The earth is at Solstice on the 22nd, when the day is longest.

 Morning sky on December 18 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 4:51 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Mars is low in the twilight, you may need binoculars to see Mars clearly.  

 

 

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). 

 

 Evening sky on December 18 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:57 ACDST (30 minutes after sunset).  Venus forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter.

 

 The insets shows the telescopic views of Venus, Saturn and Jupiter at this time. Venus is a distinct crescent now. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). 

Whole sky showing the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus in a line , December 18, 21:34 ACDST, 60 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion, Taurus and the Pleiades can be seen above the eastern horizon.

 

 

Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar planetary line up that the equivalent time (60 minutes after sunset). 

Comet C/2021 A1 Leonard as seen looking west from Adelaide at 21:34 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset) daily from 18 December. Similar views will be seen in elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset.

Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard) is this years “Christmas comet”. While not as spectacular as the “searchlight comet” Comet C/2011 W3 Lovejoy, it will be a nice little binocular object. It is predicted to reach magnitude 4 at its brightest but it will be too close to the sun to see, the earliest we can expect to see it in the southern hemisphere is around the 16th, low in the twilight. As it climbs higher we will get better views but it will fade rapidly. More details and printable black and white charts here.

Mercury  returns to the evening twilight.

Venus is visible in the early evening when the sky is fully dark.  I have been able to see Venus from just after sunset and it is easily seen over 2 hours after sunset, longer if you have a clear western horizon.  Venus forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter. It is now a distinct crescent in even small telescopes. venus is now heading rapidly towards the horizon.

Mars is low in the twilight.
   
Jupiter is readily visible in the western sky when the sky is fully dark. Venus, Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the sky. Jupiter is still excellent in even small telescopes, but the window of telescopic observation is closing as it sets earlier.
 
Saturn is is still excellent in even small telescopes, but the window of telescopic observation is closing as it sets earlier.  
 
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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