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Monday, October 26, 2020

 

Thursday October 29 to Thursday November 5

The Full Moon is Sunday November 1 (Saturday October 31 in WA), this is an apogee (mini) Moon and a Blue Moon in WA. The bright planets Venus and Mars are visible in the early morning skies.  Three bright planets are dominate the evening sky. Mars is past opposition but is still making the sky stunning along with  Jupiter and Saturn. On the 29th and 30th the Moon is close to Mars.

The Full Moon is Sunday November 1 (Saturday October 31 in WA), this is an apogee (mini) Moon and a Blue Moon in WA .  

Evening sky at 21:18 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset) on Satorday, October 31 facing west as seen from Adelaide. The pair of Jupiter and Saturn are above the north-west horizon.  

 

The insets show the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at the same magnification at this time.

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

 

Whole sky at 21:18 ACDST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, October 31 as seen from Adelaide.

Three bright planets are visible stretching west to east. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. The Moon leaves the lineup later this week. 

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

Evening sky at 21:15 ACDST  on  Thursday, October 29 facing east as seen from Adelaide. Mars is above the north-eastern horizon just below the Moon. Mars is past opposition, but is still excellent. more details here.

The variable start Mira is still visible to the unaided eye but may b difficult to see with the waxing moonlight.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Mars at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.
Morning sky on Saturday, October 31 showing the north-eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 5:16 am ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is getting lower to the horizon.

The inset is the telescopic view of Venus at this time.

 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise), click to embiggen.
 
Morning sky as seen from Adelaide facing north at 1:19 am ACDST on November, elsewhere in Australia will see similar views at the equivalent local time.

The is a apogee full Moon, that is a full Moon that occurs when furthest from the Earth. A "mini Moon if you will. 

This is in contrast to the Perigee "super" Full Moon April 08. If you have a good memory you will see that this full Moon is smaller than the April one (although not by much to the unaided eye, but it will be clear in binoculars and telescopes). 

Apogee actually occurs at 17:17 ACDST on the 31st. For WA, where Full Moon occurs on the 31st at 23:00 AWST their "mini Moon" occurs at the same time as the blue moon (the second full Moon in a month). Every one else has to wait until the end of November for their blue Moon.

 
This week three bright planets,  Jupiter, Saturn and Mars can be  seen at astronomical twilight, 90 minutes after sunset. Mars reasonably high above the horizon and bright red Mars is unmistakable. This week the waxing Moon leaves the line-up after the weekend

Mercury is lost in the twilight..

Venus is still readily visible low above the horizon in the morning.

 Mars is visible in the morning sky to the north-west, It is now readily visible in the evening sky. Mars is close to the variable star Mira, which is still reasonably bright. Mars was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on October the 14th, but is still worthwhile observing. Observing details and more at the Mars Opposition site.
  
Jupiter can be readily seen in the early evening sky. Jupiter and Saturn start around a hand-span apart at the beginning of the week but slowly draw closer. The pair are prominent in the evening skies along with Mars. Jupiter is setting around 1:30 am local time.
 
 Saturn too is visible in the early evening skies and is also still an excellent sight. 
 
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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Monday, October 19, 2020

 

Thursday October 22 to Thursday October 29

The First Quarter Moon is Friday October 23. The bright planets Venus and Mars are visible in the early morning skies.  Three bright planets are dominate the evening sky. Mars is past opposition but is still making the sky stunning along with  Jupiter and Saturn. On the 22nd and 23rd The Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn and on the 29th it is close to Mars. Orionid Meteor shower morning Thursday 22 to Saturday 24th.

The First Quarter Moon is Friday October 23.   

Evening sky at 21:06 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset) on Thursday, October 22 facing west as seen from Adelaide. The pair of Jupiter and Saturn are above the north-west horizon forming a line with the Moon. 

The insets show the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at the same magnification at this time.

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

 

 Whole sky at 21:09 ACDST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, October 24 as seen from Adelaide.

Three bright planets are visible stretching west to east. Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. The Moon joins the lineup this week. 

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

Evening sky at 21:15 ACDST  on  Thursday, October 29 facing east as seen from Adelaide. Mars is above the north-eastern horizon just below the Moon. Mars is past opposition, but is still excellent. more details here.

The variable start Mira is still visible to the unaided eye but may b difficult to see with the waxing moonlight.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Mars at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.


Morning sky on Saturday, October 24 showing the north-eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 5:25 am ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is getting lower to the horizon.

The inset is the telescopic view of Venus at this time.

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

Morning sky as seen from Adelaide facing north-east at 4:30 am ACDST on 22 October, the Orionid radiant is indicated with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at an equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The Orionids are a worthwhile shower that somewhat favours the Southern Hemisphere,best seen between 2-5 am, the radiant, the point where meteors appear to originate from, being just under Betelgeuse, the bright red star in Orion.

If you draw an imaginary line between Procyon and Aldebaran, then drop another imaginary line from Betelgeuse to the horizon, the radiant is just next to the intersection of those two lines.

The Orionids are the debris from Halley's comet. The Orionids maximum is on October 22 UT (October 23 Australian time). but good rates are seen on the 22nd. For more details and observing hints see my Orionid page.
 
 
This week three bright planets,  Jupiter, Saturn and Mars can be  seen at astronomical twilight, 90 minutes after sunset. Mars will be low on the horizon but bright red Mars is unmistakable. This week the waxing Moon joins the line-up.

Mercury is lost in the twilight..

Venus is still readily visible low above the horizon in the morning.

 Mars is visible in the morning sky to the west, It is now readily visible in the evening sky. Mars is close to the variable star Mira, which is still reasonably bright. Mars was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 14th, but is still worthwhile observing. Observing details and more at the Mars Opposition site.
  
Jupiter can be readily seen in the early evening sky. Jupiter and Saturn start around a hand-span apart at the beginning of the week but slowly draw closer. The pair are prominent in the evening skies along with Mars. Jupiter is setting around 1:30 am local time.
 
 Saturn too is visible in the early evening skies and is also still an excellent sight. 
 
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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Sunday, October 18, 2020

 

Orionid Meteor Shower, Morning 21-23 October 2020

Morning sky as seen from Adelaide facing north-east at 4:30 am ACDST on 22 October, the Orionid radiant is indicated with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at an equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The Orionids are a worthwhile shower that somewhat favours the Southern Hemisphere,best seen between 2-5 am, the radiant, the point where meteors appear to originate from, being just under Betelgeuse, the bright red star in Orion.

If you draw an imaginary line between Procyon and Aldebaran, then drop another imaginary line from Betelgeuse to the horizon, the radiant is just next to the intersection of those two lines.

The Orionids are the debris from Halley's comet. The Orionids maximum is on October 21 UT (October 22 Australian time).

This year the waxing Moon sets before the radiant rises significantly so won't interfere with the shower.


The best viewing is the morning of the 22nd, when between 3-5 am under dark skies you should see about a meteor every 3-4 minutes, although reasonable rates will be seen the mornings before and after (see table below).

You can find out the predicted rates for your location using the NASA meteor flux estimator (use 8 Orionids and make sure you set the dates to 21-22 October 2020).
 
Unfortunately, both Chrome and Firefox have changed their security settings to prevent plugins from running, and the flux estimator only runs under Internet Explorer now.
You can follow the progress of the shower at the IMO Orionids live page.

If you decide to get up, allow at least 5 minutes for your eyes to adjust, and be patient, it may be several minutes before you are rewarded with you first meteor, then a couple will come along in quick succession.

Choose a viewing spot where you can see a large swathe of sky without trees or buildings getting in the way, or with street-lights getting in your eyes. The darker the spot the better (but do be sensible, don't choose a spot in an unsalubrious park for example). Look to the north-east, and the distinctive red star Betelgeuse below the saucepan will be easy to spot. The meteors should originate just below here. However, let your eyes roam a bit to pick up meteors that begin their "burn" a fair distance from the radiant.

A lawn chair or something similar will make your observing comfortable (or a picnic rug spread on the ground and a nice pillow), and having a Thermos of hot coffee, tea or chocolate to swig while watching will increase your comfort. (Here's some hints on dark adaption of your eyes so you can see meteors better).

The following table show the predicted peak rates at around 5 am local time on the mornings of the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of October for a number of cities under dark sky conditions (rates under suburban or city light conditions will be lower). Rates will be similar at the same latitude as these cities, and rates will be intermediate at spots between these cities (eg Sydney will be a roughly the Same as Perth).

TownMorning October 21Morning October 22Morning October 23
Adelaide12 meteors/hr16 meteors/hr12 meteors/hr
Brisbane13 meteors/hr18 meteors/hr14 meteors/hr
Darwin18 meteors/hr22 meteors/hr17 meteors/hr
Perth13 meteors/hr17 meteors/hr13 meteors/hr
Melbourne11 meteors/hr14 meteors/hr11 meteors/hr

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds http://satview.bom.gov.au/
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.   

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Thursday, October 15, 2020

 

The Opposition of Mars was last night (Wedensday, 14 Octorber) but Don't Worry, it's still great

Evening sky at 21:00 ACDST  on  Wednesday, October 14 facing east as seen from Adelaide. Mars is above the eastern horizon just above the Moon. Mars is at opposition, the best until 2033. more details here.

The variable start Mira is still visible to the unaided eye.

 
The inset shows the telescopic view of Mars at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen. 
 

Last night (Wednesday 14 October), was the opposition of Mars. I was too busy writing a lectureto get my scope out, so I had to content my self with briefly viewing the glowing red planet rising above the trees.Tonight it is raining of course. 

But don't worry, Mars will be bright for some time, and a worthwhile telescopic object in even small telescopes for a couple of weeks. For more details and observing hints, see my Opposition of Mars page

Comparison of Mars on the 14th of October (left) and the 22 nd (right). Mars is getting smaller over this time, but is still a worthwhile telescopic object.Of course small and modest telescopes will see something more like the inset above.

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Monday, October 12, 2020

 

Thursday October 15 to Thursday October 22

The New Moon is Saturday October 17. The bright planets Venus and Mars are visible in the early morning skies.  Four bright planets are (just) visible in evening sky. Mars is past opposition but is still making the sky stunning along with  Jupiter and Saturn. Mercury is lowering in the evening twilight and is visited by the Moon on the 18th. Orionid Meteor shower morning Thursday 22.

The New Moon is Saturday October 17.  The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 17th.

Evening sky at 20:30 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset) on Sunday, October 18 facing west as seen from Adelaide. Mercury is low seen above the Western horizon in the late twilight.  The thin crescent Moon is not far from Mercury.

 

 

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

Whole sky at 20:29 ACDST  (60 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, October 17 as seen from Adelaide.

Four bright planets are visible stretching west to east. Mercury Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.  The insets show the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at the same magnification at 21:35when Callisto emerges from behind Jupiter. 

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

Evening sky at 21:00 ACDST  on  Saturday, October 17 facing east as seen from Adelaide. Mars is above the eastern horizon. Mars was at opposition last week, but is still excellent. more details here.

The variable start Mira is still visible to the unaided eye.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Mars at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

Morning sky on
Saturday, October 17 showing the north-eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 5:43 am ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is getting lower to the horizon.

The inset is the telescopic view of Venus at this time.
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise), click to embiggen.


Morning sky as seen from Adelaide facing north-east at 4:30 am ACDST on 22 October, the Orionid radiant is indicated with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at an equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The Orionids are a worthwhile shower that somewhat favours the Southern Hemisphere,best seen between 2-5 am, the radiant, the point where meteors appear to originate from, being just under Betelgeuse, the bright red star in Orion.

If you draw an imaginary line between Procyon and Aldebaran, then drop another imaginary line from Betelgeuse to the horizon, the radiant is just next to the intersection of those two lines.

The Orionids are the debris from Halley's comet. The Orionids maximum is on October 22 UT (October 23 Australian time). but good rates are seen on the 22nd.
 
 
This week four bright planets, Mercury , Jupiter, Saturn and Mars can be (just) seen at nautical twilight, 60 minutes after sunset. Mercury and Mars will be low on the horizon but bright red mars is unmistakable. This is the last week to see all 4 planets easily.

Mercury is lowering in the evening twilight and is close to the thin crescent Moon on the 18th..

Venus is still readily visible low above the horizon in the morning.

 Mars is visible in the morning sky to the west, It is now readily visible in the late evening sky. Mars is close to the variable star Mira, which is still reasonably bright. Mars was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 14th, but is still worthwhile observing. Observing details and more at the Mars Opposition site.
  
Jupiter can be readily seen in the early evening sky. Jupiter and Saturn stay around a hand-span apart during the week and the pair are prominent in the evening skies along with Mars.
 
 Saturn too is visible in the early evening skies and is also still an excellent sight. 
 
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, October 06, 2020

 

Thursday October 8 to Thursday October 15

The Last Quarter Moon is Saturday October 10. The bright planets Venus and Mars are visible in the early morning skies. Venus is below the bright star Regulus. On the 14th Venus is close to the crescent Moon. Four bright planets are (just) visible in evening sky. Brightening Mars is at opposition on the 14th making the sky stunning along with  Jupiter and Saturn. This is the best opposition of Mars until 2033. Mercury is high in the evening twilight but soon gets lower.

The Last Quarter Moon is Saturday October 10. 

Evening sky at 20:22 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset) on Saturday, October 10 facing west as seen from Adelaide. Mercury is easily seen above the Western horizon in the late twilight. Mercury is high in the evening twilight.
 

 

 

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

Whole sky at 20:53 ACDST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, October 10 as seen from Adelaide.

Four bright planets are visible stretching west to east. Mercury Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.  The insets show the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at the same magnification at this time. 

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

Evening sky at 21:00 ACDST  on  Wednesday, October 14 facing east as seen from Adelaide. Mars is above the eastern horizon just above the Moon. Mars is at opposition, the best until 2033. more details here.

The variable start Mira is still visible to the unaided eye.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Mars at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

Morning sky on Wednesday, October 14 showing the north-eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 5:38 am ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is below the bright star Regulus in Leo. and close to the crescent Moon.

The inset is the telescopic view of Venus at this time.
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise), click to embiggen.


 
This week four bright planets, Mercury , Jupiter, Saturn and Mars can be (just) seen at astronomical twilight, 90 minutes after sunset. Mercury and Mars will be low on the horizon but bright red mars is unmistakable.

Mercury is lowering in the evening twilight but is still high this week.

Venus is below the bright star Regulus. It is close to the crescent Moon on the 14th.

 Mars is visible in the morning sky to the north, It is now readily visible in the late evening sky but is still best after midnight. Mars is close to the brightening variable star Mira. Mars is at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 14th. Observing details and more at the Mars Opposition site.
  
Jupiter can be readily seen in the early evening sky. Jupiter and Saturn stay around a hand-span apart during the week and the pair are prominent in the evening skies along with Mars. Jupiter was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on July the 14th, but is still an excellent sight.
 
Saturn too is visible in the early evening skies. Saturn was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on July the 21st, but is still an excellent sight. 
 
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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