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Tuesday, April 07, 2020

 

Perigee ("super") Full Moon April 8, 2020

Looking north-east after Full Moon on Wednesday, April 8 at 22:00 ACST

Wednesday April 8 is a perigee full Moon. Strictly Full Moon is at 3:30 ACST and perigee is at 12:00 ACST.

The Full Moon is a perigee Moon when the Full Moon is closest to the Earth. This is the best Perigee Full Moon this year and better than the March 10 perigee Moon.



 Full Moon April 8 22:00 AEDST, 16 hours after perigee compared with the Full Moon of November 1 02:00, apogee -20h Click to embiggen.

As perigee is when the moon is below the horizon, at moon rise the Moon is receding from Earth but still larger than March Full Moon at the Same time.

However, don't look just at Moon rise as the horizon illusion will make the Moon look bigger than it is, wait until it is a decent way above the horizon. anywhere between  9 am to 11 am the Moon will still be a decent diameter. The location of the Moon to the north-east will be obvious.


You won't see much of a difference if you compare it with them memory of last months full Moon (which was also a perigee Moon). You will need to either remember the apogee Moon of September 13/14 or wait until the October 31/November 1 apogee Moon for the best size contrast.

A full Moon at perigee has been called a "Super Moon", this is not an astronomical term (the astronomical term is perigee syzygy, but that doesn't trip off the tongue so nicely), but an astrological one first coined in 1979 (see here).

Still, it is a good excuse to get people out and looking at the Moon. A guide to photographing the Perigee Full Moon is here.


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Monday, April 06, 2020

 

Sky This Week - Thursday April 9 to Thursday April 16

The Last  Quarter Moon is Wednesday, April 15. Venus is prominent in the evening sky well after twilight.  Four bright planets are visible in the morning skies. From the 14th to the 16th the waning Moon climbs down the ladder of planets. Jupiter dominates the morning skies as Mars leaves Saturn behind. Mercury is just visible below the trio.

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday, April 15.

Evening sky at 18:51 ACST on Saturday, April 11 (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus is prominent in the sky above the iconic Pleiades cluster. The inset shows the telescope view of Venus.

Venus is a distinct "half Moon" shape in even small telescopes.




Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.



Morning sky at 5:44 ACST (60 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Wednesday, April 15.

Four bright planets are dominating the morning skies. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with Mercury is bright below.The moon is close to Jupiter in the line-up


Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).




Morning sky at 5:45 ACDST (60 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Thursday, April 16.

The Moon is now between Saturn and Mars in the line-up.


Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).




Venus is prominent above the western horizon in the early evening sky. Venus is readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset and will be at greatest brilliance next week. Venus is above the beautiful Pleiades cluster early in the week, and will move away from it during the week.

Four bright planets grace the morning sky. On the mornings of the 14th, 15th and 61th the waning Moon joins the line-up, making an attractive sight.

Mercury is still visible in the early twilight, but is rapidly sinking towards the horizon.

 Mars is visible high in the morning sky. Mars is leaving the pair of  Saturn and Jupiter behind. The Moon is between Saturn and Mars on the 16th.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky, moving away from Mars. Jupiter and Saturn stay around a hand-span apart during the week.The Moon is close to Jupiter on the 15th.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky below Jupiter drawing away from Mars. The Moon is between Saturn and Mars on the 16th.

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 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, April 01, 2020

 

Southern Skywatch April 2020 edition is now out!

Sky at 20:02 ACDST on Friday April 3 (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus is prominent in the sky and on top of the iconic Pleiades cluster. The inset shows the binocular  view of Venus and the Pleiades at this time.

Venus is a distinct "half Moon" shape in even small telescopes.



Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.


The April edition of Southern Skywatch is now up.

Saturn and Mars close 1 April. Venus in the Pleiades 3-4 April. Perigee Syzygy "super" Moon on April 8. Until around mid-month four bright planets will be seen in the morning sky, the moon traces down this ladder of planets, with an excellent massing on the 16th.

Mercury is an excellent in the morning sky until mid month , then is rapidly lost in the twilight.

Venus is high in the evening sky. It passes through the Pleiades 3-4 April. Venus is visited by the crescent Moon on the 26-27th and is at its greatest brilliance on the 28th.

 Mars comes close to Saturn on the 1st.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky.

Saturn   climbs higher in the morning sky and is close to Mars on the 1st.

April 8, Moon at perigee (8 hours before Full Moon, this is a perigee Syzygy "super" Moon). April 16; Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the waning Moon close. April 21; Moon at Apogee. April 22, Mercury and the thin crescent Moon close low in the morning twilight. April 26-27; crescent Moon and Venus near.

April 8, Moon at perigee, April 21; Moon at Apogee.

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Monday, March 30, 2020

 

Sky This Week - Thursday April 2 to Thursday April 9

The Full Moon is Wednesday, April 8. This is a perigee Syzygy Moon, the closest this year. Daylight savings ends on the 5th. Venus is prominent in the evening sky well after twilight and is in the Pleiades on the 3rd and 4th.  Four bright planets are visible in the morning skies. Jupiter dominates the morning skies as Mars leaves Saturn behind. Mercury is visible below the trio. The Red Giant star Betelgeuse in Orion is still dim but is brightening.

The Full Moon is Wednesday, April 8. This is a perigee Syzygy Moon, where the full moon occurs at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth. This is the closest perigee Syzygy Moon this year. Daylight savings ends on the 5th.

Sky at 20:02 ACDST on Friday April 3 (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus is prominent in the sky and on top of the iconic Pleiades cluster. The inset shows the binocular  view of Venus and the Pleiades at this time.

Venus is a distinct "half Moon" shape in even small telescopes.



Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.



Morning sky at 6:07 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Saturday, April 4.

Four bright planets are dominating the morning skies. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with Mercury is bright below.


Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise).




Looking north-east after Full Moon on Wednesday, April 8 at 22:00 ACST (strictly Full Moon is at 13:00 ACST and Perigee at 4:00). The Full Moon is a perigee Moon when the Full Moon is closest to the Earth. This is the closest perigee Syzygy Moon this year. Don't look just at moon rise as the horizon illusion will make the Moon look bigger than it is, wait until it is a decent way above the horizon. The size contrast will be best when comparing to the October 31/November 1 apogee Moon.

A full Moon at perigee has been called a "Super Moon", this is not an astronomical term (the astronomical term is perigee syzygy, but that doesn't trip off the tongue so nicely), but an astrological one first coined in 1979 (see here).

Still, it is a good excuse to get people out and looking at the Moon.
Evening sky looking north-west at 20:30 ACDST on Saturday, April 4. (90 minutes after sunset). Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Orion is readily visible. Betelgeuse is the bright red star to the right of the "saucepan" of Orion.

Betelgeuse continues brightening, so keep watching this iconic star.

Betelgeuse is a red giant star which forms a distinctive part of the Constellation of Orion. It is a variable star, with small fluctuations in brightness not visible to the casual observer.

Betelgeuse had dimmed substantially and reached a 50 record minimum of around magnitude 1.6, but is now brightening again and is about magnitude 1 around the brightness of magnitude 1 Aldebaran, the next brightest star just to the west of (below) Betelgeuse. Keep an eye on this historic dimming and re-brightening event, observing hints and stars for magnitude estimation are given here. The waxing moon will interfere with estimates of  Betelgeuses' brightness towards the end of  the week.

Venus is prominent above the western horizon in the early evening sky. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset. Venus will come closer to the beautiful Pleiades cluster early in the week, and will pass through it on the 3rd and 4th.

Four bright planets grace the morning sky..

Mercury is at its highest in the morning sky and bright. After this week it will begin to sink again

 Mars is visible high in the morning sky. Mars is leaving the pair of  Saturn and Jupiter behind.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky, moving away from Mars. Jupiter and Saturn stay around a hand-span apart during the week.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky below Jupiter drawing away from Mars

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 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/

Monday, March 23, 2020

 

Sky This Week - Thursday March 26 to Thursday April 2

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday, April 1. Venus is prominent in the evening sky well after twilight as it heads towards the Pleiades. Venus is near the crescent Moon on March 28. Four bright planets are visible in the morning skies. Jupiter dominates the morning skies as Mars heads towards Saturn with Mercury below. Mars and Saturn  are closest on April 1. The Red Giant star Betelgeuse in Orion is still dim but is brightening.

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday, April 1.

Sky at 20:10 ACDST on Saturday, March 28 (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus is prominent in the sky. The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time. Venus is a distinct "half Moon" shape.






Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.



Morning sky at 6:04 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Wednesday, April 1.

Four bright planets are dominating the morning skies. Mars is at its closest to Saturn  and Mercury is bright below. The inset shows the wide field telescopic view at this time.


Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise).




Evening sky looking north-west at 20:40 ACDST on Saturday, Saturday, March 28. (90 minutes after sunset). Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Orion is readily visible. Betelgeuse is the bright red star to the right of the "saucepan" of Orion.

Betelgeuse has begun brightening again, so keep watching this iconic star.

Betelgeuse is a red giant star which forms a distinctive part of the Constellation of Orion. It is a variable star, with small fluctuations in brightness not visible to the casual observer.

Betelgeuse had dimmed substantially and reached a minimum of around magnitude 1.6, but is now brightening again and is about magnitude 1.1. It is still  dimmer than magnitude 1 Aldebaran, the next brightest star just to the west of Betelgeuse. Keep an eye on this historic dimming and re-brightening event, observing hints and stars for magnitude estimation are given here. The waxing moon will not interfere with estimates of  Betelgeuses' brightness during the  week.

Venus is prominent above the western horizon in the early evening sky. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset. Venus will come closer to the beautiful Pleiades cluster over the coming week, and will pass through it next week. Venus is close to the crescent Moon on the 28th.

Four bright planets grace the morning sky..

Mercury climbs higher the morning sky and getting visibly brighter as it goes.


 Mars is visible high in the morning sky. Mars comes closer to Saturn and is at its closest on April the 1st.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky, moving away from Mars.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky below Jupiter. Mars comes closer to Saturn and the pair are closest on April the 1st.

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 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, March 18, 2020

 

The Moon climbs down the ladder of Planets (March 18-22. 2020)

Morning sky at 5:52 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Wedensday, March 18.Morning sky at 5:53 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Thursday, March 19.
Morning sky at 5:55 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Saturday, March 21.Morning sky at 5:56 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Sunday, March 22.

Staring on the morning of Wednesday 18 March there is a outstanding line up of 4 bright planets and the Moon, each day the Moon moves down the line-up bring superb views.

Two outstanding ones are on the 19th when Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the crescent moon from an attractive grouping in the sky and on the 21st When Mars is cloosest to Jupiter. 

The display finishes on the 22nd with the thin crescent Moon near mercury.

This is an excellent opportunity of astrophotography, as well as just being great to watch with the unaided eye.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday March 19 to Thursday March 26

The New Moon is Tuesday, March 24. Venus is prominent in the evening sky well after twilight and is at its greatest distance from the Sun on the 25th. Four bright planets will be visible in the morning skies. Mars heads towards Jupiter with Saturn below. On the 19th Mars, Jupiter Saturn and the crescent moon from an attractive grouping in the sky. Mars and Jupiter are closest on the 21st. Mercury is low to the horizon and is close to the crescent Moon on the 22nd. The Red Giant star Betelgeuse in Orion is still dim but is brightening.

The New Moon is Tuesday, March 24.The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 25th.

Sky at 20:20 ACDST on Saturday, March 21 (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus is prominent in the sky. The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time. Venus is a distinct "half Moon" shape.






Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.





Morning sky at 5:53 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Thursday, March 19.

Four bright planets are dominating the morning skies. Mars is coming closer to Jupiter and the crescent Moon forms an attractive pattern with Jupiter, Mars and Saturn on the 19th.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise).



Morning sky at 5:55 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Saturday, March 21.

Mars is at its closest to Jupiter;Saturn the crescent Moon and Mercury are below the pair. The inset shows the wide filed telescopic view at this time.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise).




Morning sky at 5:56 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Sunday, March 22.

Mercury is close to the thin crescent Moon.






Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise).



Evening sky looking north-west at 20:50 ACDST on Saturday, Saturday, March 21. (90 minutes after sunset). Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Orion is readily visible. Betelgeuse is the bright red star below the "saucepan" of Orion.

Betelgeuse has begun brightening again, so keep watching this iconic star.

Betelgeuse is a red giant star which forms a distinctive part of the Constellation of Orion. It is a variable star, with small fluctuations in brightness not visible to the casual observer.

Betelgeuse has dimmed substantially and reached a minimum of around magnitude 1.6, but is now brightening again and is about magnitude 1.2. It is still visibly dimmer than magnitude 1 Aldebaran and brighter than Bellatrix. The next brightest star just to the west of Betelgeuse. Keep an eye on this historic dimming and re-brightening event, observing hints and stars for magnitude estimation are given here. The new moon will not interfere with estimates of  Betelgeuses' brightness during the  week.

Venus is prominent above the western horizon in the early evening sky. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset. Venus will come closer to the beautiful Pleiades cluster over the coming weeks. Venus is at its greatest distance from the Sun on the 25th.

Four bright planets grace the morning sky and are joined by the crescent moon on the 19th-22nd. On the 19th Mars, Jupiter Saturn and the crescent moon from an attractive grouping in the sky.

Mercury climbs higher the morning sky and getting visibly brighter as it goes. It is close to the thin crescent Moon on the 22nd.


 Mars is visible high in the morning sky. On the 19th Mars, Jupiter Saturn and the crescent moon from an attractive grouping in the sky. Mars comes closer to Jupiter and is at its closest on the 21st.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky, closing in on Mars. It is near the thin crescent Moon on the 19th.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky below Jupiter. It is near the thin crescent Moon on the 19th and 20th.


Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEDST, Western sky at 10 pm AEDST. 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 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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