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Tuesday, October 12, 2021

 

Bright ISS Passes Near Bright Planets and International Observe the Moon night (14-19 October, 2021)

The ISS as seen from Brisbane  on the evening of Saturday 16 October at 18:48 AEST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), the white line is the path of the ISS, the other lines are paths of other satellites. Click to embiggen.The ISS  as seen from Adelaide on the evening of  Saturday 16 October at 20:53 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), the white line is the path of the ISS, the other lines are paths of other satellites. Click to embiggen.The ISS as seen from Perth on the evening of  Saturday 16 October at 19:56 AWST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), the white line is the path of the ISS, the other lines are paths of other satellites. Click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Saturday 16 October for Brisbane.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Saturday 16 October for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for  Saturday 16 October for Perth.

If it is not bucketing down rain where you are, over the next few days there are a series of  bright ISS passes in the late evening twilight/early evening. The ISS passes close to the the bright planets Jupiter, Saturn and Venus on some occasions. On the 16th, which is International Observe the Moon night, most locations except Alice Springs and Darwin see the ISS pass close to the lineup of Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon. 17th sees a close pass to Jupiter from Adelaide. 16th a close pass to Saturn from Hobart. 15th a close pass to Venus from Perth and Saturn from Sydney.

The following tables are from data provided from Heavens Above. Particularly impressive passes are highlighted in yellow.

Passes from Adelaide (ACDST)
Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
12 Oct-0.404:08:2510°SSE04:08:5910°SSE04:09:3210°SSEvisible
12 Oct-3.005:43:0210°SW05:46:2656°SE05:49:4810°ENEvisible
13 Oct-1.904:56:0512°SSW04:58:5732°SE05:02:0310°ENEvisible
14 Oct-1.104:11:3421°SE04:11:3421°SE04:14:0410°Evisible
14 Oct-3.205:45:0410°WSW05:48:1939°NW05:51:3010°NNEvisible
14 Oct-2.520:49:1510°NNW20:51:1426°N20:51:1426°Nvisible
15 Oct-3.905:00:3466°WSW05:00:5677°NW05:04:2010°NEvisible
15 Oct-2.220:02:3610°N20:05:0319°NE20:07:3110°Evisible
15 Oct-1.921:38:2810°WNW21:40:5932°WSW21:40:5932°WSWvisible
16 Oct-1.605:50:0511°NW05:50:0511°NW05:51:0810°NNWvisible
16 Oct-3.320:50:4610°NW20:54:1064°SW20:57:1113°SEvisible
17 Oct-3.720:03:2010°NW20:06:4367°NE20:10:0810°SEvisible
17 Oct-0.721:41:4210°WSW21:43:5015°SSW21:45:5810°Svisible
18 Oct-1.220:53:2510°W20:56:1123°SSW20:59:0010°SSEvisible
19 Oct-2.020:05:2610°WNW20:08:3635°SW20:11:4910°SSEvisible
20 Oct-0.520:57:2710°SW20:58:2811°SSW20:59:2910°Svisible
21 Oct-0.820:08:3610°WSW20:10:4415°SSW20:12:5310°Svisible


Passes from Brisbane (AEST)
Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
13 Oct-2.904:29:2610°SSW04:32:4853°SE04:36:0710°NEvisible
13 Oct-1.319:30:3710°NNW19:31:1615°NNW19:31:1615°NNWvisible
14 Oct-1.603:42:1910°SSW03:45:1927°SE03:48:1610°ENEvisible
14 Oct-2.718:43:4210°N18:46:3727°NE18:48:0719°Evisible
14 Oct-0.420:20:5410°W20:21:1412°W20:21:1412°Wvisible
15 Oct-0.802:57:3016°SSE02:57:4616°SE02:59:5810°Evisible
15 Oct-3.004:31:3010°WSW04:34:3733°NW04:37:4210°NNEvisible
15 Oct-2.019:32:4510°WNW19:35:5133°SW19:37:5318°SSEvisible
16 Oct-3.903:46:5966°W03:47:1571°NW03:50:3810°NEvisible
16 Oct-3.318:45:0110°NW18:48:2366°SW18:51:4810°SEvisible
17 Oct-0.419:36:5410°SW19:38:0111°SW19:39:0910°SSWvisible
18 Oct-0.818:47:5410°W18:50:2319°SW18:52:5310°Svisible


Passes from Darwin (ACT)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
12 Oct-2.919:41:4310°N19:44:2930°NE19:44:2930°NEvisible
13 Oct-0.405:37:4810°SSE05:38:5611°SE05:40:0510°ESEvisible
13 Oct-1.220:31:2610°W20:33:5920°SW20:34:2420°SWvisible
14 Oct-2.519:43:2010°NW19:46:3343°SW19:49:4710°SSEvisible
15 Oct-2.805:37:3710°SSW05:40:5650°SE05:44:1210°NEvisible
16 Oct-1.304:50:4310°S04:53:2823°SE04:56:1310°ENEvisible
17 Oct-0.204:06:5011°ESE04:06:5011°ESE04:07:1010°ESEvisible
17 Oct-2.705:39:5711°WSW05:42:4226°NW05:45:3510°Nvisible
18 Oct-2.404:56:4530°NNE04:56:4530°NNE04:58:3810°NNEvisible

Passes from Hobart (AEDST) 


Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
12 Oct-0.203:04:5811°ESE03:04:5811°ESE03:05:0510°ESEvisible
12 Oct-3.104:37:5825°SW04:39:4356°SSE04:43:0710°ENEvisible
13 Oct-2.003:53:0433°ESE03:53:0433°ESE03:55:3010°Evisible
13 Oct-3.005:26:0611°WSW05:29:0134°NW05:32:0910°NNEvisible
14 Oct-3.704:41:3456°NW04:41:4057°NW04:45:0210°NEvisible
15 Oct-0.903:57:3011°ENE03:57:3011°ENE03:57:4210°ENEvisible
15 Oct-1.705:30:3513°NW05:30:3613°NW05:32:0910°NNWvisible
15 Oct-2.220:35:2710°N20:37:5319°NE20:37:5319°NEvisible
16 Oct-3.921:23:3210°NW21:26:5884°NE21:27:1275°Evisible
17 Oct-3.520:36:1310°NW20:39:3350°NE20:42:5510°ESEvisible
17 Oct-1.722:13:2210°W22:15:5829°SW22:15:5829°SWvisible
18 Oct-2.521:25:3710°W21:28:5542°SSW21:31:1617°SEvisible
18 Oct-0.323:03:4710°SW23:04:1712°SW23:04:1712°SWvisible
19 Oct-3.220:37:5810°WNW20:41:2262°SSW20:44:4910°SEvisible
19 Oct-1.422:15:5710°WSW22:18:4221°S22:19:1421°Svisible
20 Oct-1.521:28:0610°WSW21:31:0225°SSW21:33:5610°SEvisible
20 Oct-0.423:06:0510°SW23:06:5514°SSW23:06:5514°SSWvisible
21 Oct-1.920:40:1610°W20:43:2331°SSW20:46:3210°SEvisible
21 Oct-1.222:18:2510°SW22:20:5819°S22:21:2818°SSEvisible


Passes from Melbourne (AEDST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
12 Oct-1.304:37:5814°SSW04:39:5722°SSE04:42:4310°Evisible
13 Oct-0.603:53:0416°SE03:53:0416°SE03:54:3710°ESEvisible
13 Oct-3.805:26:0610°SW05:29:3488°NW05:32:5910°NEvisible
14 Oct-3.004:41:3446°S04:42:0752°SE04:45:2810°ENEvisible
14 Oct-1.321:20:3710°NNW21:21:1414°NNW21:21:1414°NNWvisible
15 Oct-0.603:57:3011°E03:57:3011°E03:57:4410°Evisible
15 Oct-2.705:30:3424°WNW05:31:2026°NW05:34:1410°Nvisible
15 Oct-2.720:33:4110°N20:36:3426°NE20:37:5320°Evisible
15 Oct-0.922:10:0910°W22:10:5915°W22:10:5915°Wvisible
16 Oct-1.104:46:5912°NNE04:46:5912°NNE04:47:1710°NNEvisible
16 Oct-3.021:22:2510°WNW21:25:4653°SW21:27:1230°SSEvisible
17 Oct-3.820:34:5310°NW20:38:1887°NE20:41:4610°SEvisible
17 Oct-0.922:13:1310°WSW22:15:3116°SSW22:15:5916°SSWvisible
18 Oct-1.221:25:0410°W21:27:5222°SSW21:30:4010°SSEvisible
19 Oct-1.920:37:0710°W20:40:1532°SSW20:43:2510°SEvisible
19 Oct-0.422:17:1510°SSW22:17:5510°SSW22:18:3510°Svisible
20 Oct-0.621:28:3010°SW21:30:0913°SSW21:31:4710°Svisible
21 Oct-0.820:40:0710°WSW20:42:2416°SSW20:44:4210°SSEvisible


Passes from Perth (AWST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
12 Oct-2.304:46:4410°SSW04:50:0140°SE04:53:1510°ENEvisible
13 Oct-1.303:59:3810°SSW04:02:3024°SE04:05:2010°Evisible
14 Oct-0.703:14:3715°SSE03:14:5415°SSE03:17:0110°ESEvisible
14 Oct-3.504:48:3510°SW04:51:5650°NW04:55:1410°NNEvisible
14 Oct-3.419:51:3010°NNW19:54:2048°NNE19:54:2048°NNEvisible
15 Oct-3.704:03:3947°SW04:04:3280°SE04:07:5610°NEvisible
15 Oct-2.719:04:3310°N19:07:2927°NE19:10:2610°ESEvisible
15 Oct-1.320:41:2910°W20:44:0422°SW20:44:0422°SWvisible
16 Oct-0.703:20:0511°ENE03:20:0511°ENE03:20:1910°ENEvisible
16 Oct-1.904:53:1213°WNW04:53:3514°NW04:55:2210°NNWvisible
16 Oct-2.319:53:3010°WNW19:56:4338°SW19:59:5810°SSEvisible
17 Oct-3.519:05:5010°NW19:09:1473°SW19:12:4010°SEvisible
18 Oct-0.619:56:5210°WSW19:58:5115°SSW20:00:5210°Svisible
19 Oct-1.119:08:2710°W19:11:1222°SW19:14:0010°SSEvisible


Passes from Sydney (AEDST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
12 Oct-1.004:39:0610°SSW04:41:4219°SSE04:44:1710°Evisible
13 Oct-0.603:53:0412°S03:54:0513°SSE03:55:5010°ESEvisible
13 Oct-3.805:27:5110°SW05:31:1780°NW05:34:4110°NEvisible
14 Oct-3.004:41:3419°SSW04:43:5153°SE04:47:1210°ENEvisible
14 Oct-1.719:46:2010°NNE19:47:4512°NE19:48:0712°ENEvisible
14 Oct-0.821:20:5110°WNW21:21:1412°WNW21:21:1412°WNWvisible
15 Oct-1.403:57:3024°ESE03:57:3024°ESE03:59:2610°Evisible
15 Oct-2.405:30:3411°W05:33:0121°NW05:35:3910°Nvisible
15 Oct-3.920:33:2010°NW20:36:4584°NE20:37:5340°SEvisible
16 Oct-2.504:46:5927°N04:46:5927°N04:48:5410°NNEvisible
16 Oct-3.319:46:0710°NNW19:49:2142°NE19:52:3810°ESEvisible
16 Oct-1.121:23:4810°W21:26:1919°SSW21:27:1217°SSWvisible
17 Oct-1.720:35:4110°W20:38:4329°SW20:41:4710°SSEvisible
18 Oct-2.719:47:5110°WNW19:51:1050°SW19:54:3310°SEvisible
19 Oct-0.620:39:1710°WSW20:40:5513°SSW20:42:3410°Svisible
20 Oct-0.919:50:4410°W19:53:1419°SSW19:55:4610°SSEvisible

 

When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use  Heavens Above  to get site specific predictions for your location, a small difference in location can mean the difference between the ISS passing over a star or planet or missing it completely. 

As always, start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted. Be patient, there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions. Use the most recent prediction for your site.

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Monday, October 11, 2021

 

Thursday October 14 to Thursday October 21

The Full Moon is Thursday, October 21.  Three bright planets are seen in the early evening sky. Venus is readily visible in the early evening sky and is climbing the Scorpion. Venus is close to bright star Antares on the 17th.  Saturn and Jupiter are visible in the evening sky with Jupiter dominating once Venus has set. The waxing Moon is close to Jupiter on the 15th. The waxing Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn on the 16th, which is International Observe the Moon Night. The International Space station passes between Venus and the lineup from many states at this time.

The Full Moon is Thursday, October 21.

Evening sky on Sunday, October 17 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:52 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset).  Venus is close to the bright star Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius.

 

 

The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).


Evening sky on Friday, October 15 showing the north-western sky as seen from Adelaide at 20:58 pm ACDST (90 minutes after sunset). Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the evening sky with the waxing Moon close to Jupiter. 

 The insets shows the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at this time. Ganymede is behind Jupiter and will emerge around 22:16 ACDST. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset), click to embiggen.

 

Whole sky showing the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, The International Space Station and Venus on international Observe the Moon night, Saturday October 16th, 20:53 ACDST, 82 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). 

 

 Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar planetary line up that the equivalent time (82 minutes after sunset). You will need a specific prediction for your site for the ISS (eg from Heavens above

 

 Mercury  is lost in the 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 3 hours after sunset, longer if you have a clear western horizon.  When the sky is fully dark you can see Venus above the western horizon and bright Jupiter above the north-eastern horizon. Venus is climbing the body of the Scorpion making a rather beautiful sight in the early evening. Venus is close to bright star Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius, on the 17th.

Mars is lost in the twilight.
   
Jupiter is rising before sunset and is readily visible when the sky is fully dark. Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the sky. Jupiter was at Opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth on August the 19th, and is still excellent in even small telescopes. The waxing Moon is close to Jupiter on the 15th. The waxing Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn on the 16th, which is International Observe the Moon Night.
 
Saturn is now rising well before sunset. Saturn was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on August 2nd. But it is still is an excellent time 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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Sunday, October 10, 2021

 

International Observe the Moon Night, Saturday October 16, 2021

 Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, The International Space Station and Venus on international Observe the Moon night, Saturday October 16th, 20:53 ACDST, 82 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). 

 

 

Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar planetary line up that the equivalent time (82 minutes after sunset). You will need a specific prediction for your site for the ISS (eg from Heavens above)  

International Observe the Moon Night is on Saturday October 16. Although the moon is past last quarter, which is good for crater viewing, there is a lot to see with the unaided eye or binoculars. As well, on the 16th the waxing moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn. 

For most of Australia there is a spectacular addition as the international space station shoots between Venus and the other planets in the late twilight. The time and exact location will be different for each site, so you will need a specific prediction for your site for the ISS (eg from Heavens above)

At this time the Moon is at maximum libration, with Mare Humboldtanium now visible in binoculars or telescopes.While the moon keeps on face towards the earth, changes in perspective form the Earth and Moons relative positions in their orbits means that sometimes we can see bits of the Moon normally hidden, this is libration

Other features visible are the very obvious Copernicus crater, Gassendi crater right on the dark/light boundary and Sinus Iridium. See the map to the left, click to embiggen.

There are many ways to observe the Moon. Unaided eye, binoculars, telescope. No matter what approach you choose, it will be well worth it to go out and just look up. 


Average view of the Moon
Maximum libration on October 16, showing Mare Humboldtanium at the edge of the Moon (click to embiggen for a clearer view)


In the week  leading up to international Observe the Moon night on the 16th the Moon is rather beautiful as it dances amongst the planets. On the 10th (tonight) Venus, the crescent Moon and the bright star Antares from a triangle.  The First Quarter Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn on the 13th and the waxing Moon is close to Saturn on the 14th. Then the waxing Moon is close to Jupiter on the 15th. On the 15th the waxing moon is close to Jupiter and the pair fit into the FOV of 10x50 binoculars. So happy Moon viewing all!

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Tuesday, October 05, 2021

 

Thursday October 7 to Thursday October 14

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday, October 13.  Three bright planets are seen in the early evening sky. Venus is readily visible in the early evening sky and is close to the bright star delta Scorpii on the 9th. On the 10th Venus, the crescent Moon and the bright star Antares from a triangle.  Saturn and Jupiter are visible in the evening sky with Jupiter dominating once Venus has set. The First Quarter Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn on the 13th and the waxing Moon is close to Saturn on the 14th.

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday, October 13. The Moon is at Perigee, when it is closest to the earth, on the 9th.

Evening twilight sky on Saturday, October 9 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:52 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset).  Venus is close to the bright star delta Scorpii with the crescent Moon below.

 

The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Evening twilight sky on Sunday, October 10 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:52 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset).  Venus, the crescent Moon and the bright star Antares from a triangle.


 

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

 
Evening sky on Thursday, October 14 showing the north-western sky as seen from Adelaide at 20:57 pm ACDST (90 minutes after sunset). Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the  evening sky with the waxing Moon close to Saturn. 

 

 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 (90 minutes after sunset), click to embiggen.

 

Whole sky at 20:56 ACDST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Wednesday, October 13 as seen from Adelaide.  Three bright planets can be seen in the sky. The first Quarter Moon forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter.

 

 

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

 

 Mercury  is lost in the 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.  When the sky is fully dark you can see Venus above the western horizon and bright Jupiter above the north-eastern horizon. Venus is below the head of the Scorpion making a rather beautiful sight in the early evening.

Mars is lost in the twilight.
   
Jupiter is now rising before sunset and is readily visible when the sky is fully dark. Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the sky. Jupiter was at Opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth on August the 19th, and is still excellent in even small telescopes. The First Quarter Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn on the 13th.
 
Saturn is now rising well before sunset. Saturn was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on August 2nd. But it is still is an excellent time for telescopic observation. The waxing Moon is close to Saturn on the 14th.
 
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 03, 2021

 

Southern Skywatch October 2021 edition is now out!

Western evening sky on Sunday, October 10, at 20:52 ACDT, 90 minutes after sunset showing showing Venus near delta Scorpii forming a triangle with the crescent Moon and the bright star Antares. 

 

 

 

(similar views will be seen from other cities at 90 minutes after sunset)

 The October edition of Southern Skywatch is now up. 

This month the planetary action remains mostly in the evening skies, with 4 bright planets visible after the sky is fully dark in the first week, with the pair of Venus and Mercury in the east and the pair of Saturn and Jupiter in the west. Mercury is then lost to view but the remaining three bight planets dominate the sky. The Moon meets bright Venus and forms a triangle with the bright star Antares, then later Venus is close to Antares.  The Orionid meteor Shower is washed out by the bright full Moon.

October 3, daylight savings begins (SA, NSW, VIC, TAS). October 6; New Moon. October 9; Venus is close to the star Delta Scorpii with the crescent Moon below. October 9; perigee Moon. October 10; thin crescent Moon form a triangle with Antares and Venus. October 13; First Quarter Moon, October 14; the Moon close to Saturn. October 15; the waxing moon is near Jupiter. October 17; Antares and Venus are at their closest. October 21; Full Moon. Morning October 22; Orionid meteor shower peaks. October 23-24; Venus close to globular cluster M19 (binocular or telescope). October 25; apogee Moon. October 29; Last Quarter Moon.

 Mercury is visible in the early evening in the first week of this month. It is then rapidly lost to view and returns to the morning sky, but never really gets out of the twilight. On the 1st Mercury is just under a hand-span from the western horizon an hour after sunset, just above Spica and below Venus. by the 15th Mercury lost in the twilight in the morning sky.  By the 30th Mercury is just under a two finger-widths from the eastern horizon an half and hour before sunrise.

Venus is easily visible in the evening sky from 30 minutes after sunset (I can see it as early as 5 minutes after sunset) until well after the sky is fully dark. Mercury, Venus and Spica make a nice line in the late evening twilight in the first week of October, before Mercury and Spica vanish in the twilight. At astronomical twilight, we can enjoy the sight the sight of bright Venus in the west and bright Jupiter in the north. Venus dominates the evening twilight as it climb the Scorpion,comes closer to, and then passing, first Delta Scorpii then the bright star Antares. Venus now a distinct "Half Moon" shape. Overall, in the early part of the Month, the sight of Venus below the reversed question mark of Scorpius will be very attractive. If you have an ocean or lake horizon, try to catch the reflection of Venus and Scorpius in the water (if its still). On the 9th and 10th thin crescent Moon brackets Venus. On the 10th Venus, the Moon and Antares form an attractive triangle. On the 9th Venus is one degree (a finger width) from Delta Scorpii in the head of the scorpion. The pair fit into the field of view of a 10x50 binoculars. Venus continues passing through Scorpio heading towards the bright star Antares. Venus is closest to Antares on the 16th and 17th (about one and a half finger widths) and will fit into the FOV of 10x50 binoculars. Venus continues to climb Scorpius (although technically it enters Ophiuchus in the latter part of the month) and is close to the globular cluster M19 on the 23rd-24th (binocular or telescope only, bright Venus may drown out the light of the dimmer M19).

Mars is lost in the twilight

Jupiter is readily visible from astronomical twilight and continues to climb into the evening sky. Jupiter was at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on August 19th, but is still bright and an excellent object in even small telescopes. This month at astronomical twilight, we can enjoy the sight the sight of bright Venus in the west mirroring bright Jupiter in the north. Once Venus has set Jupiter dominates the night sky. On the 13th the waxing moon forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter. On the 15th the waxing moon is close to Jupiter and the pair fit into the FOV of 10x50 binoculars. Then on the 16th the waxing moon again forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn. Telescopically Jupiter will be best evening to the early morning when it is highest above the northern horizon.

Saturn can be easily seen from astronomical twilight (an hour and a half after sunset) during October. Saturn was at Opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 2nd of August. However it will remain great viewing for many weeks to come. On the 13th the waxing moon forms a line with Saturn and Jupiter. On the 14th the waxing moon is close to Saturn and the pair fit into the FOV of 10x50 binoculars. Then on the 16th the waxing moon again forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn. Telescopically Saturn will be best from astronomical twilight to midnight when it is highest above the northern horizon. At the beginning of the month Saturn should be best for scopes around 8:30 pm local time (it will be good before then, but it is better when it is highest and in still air and twilight is encroaching).

October 9; perigee Moon. October 25; apogee Moon.


Monday, September 27, 2021

 

Thursday September 30 to Thursday October 7

The New Moon is Wednesday, October 6.  Four bright planets are seen in the early evening sky. Venus and Mercury are readily visible in the early evening sky at the beginning of the week but Mercury is rapidly lost to view.  Saturn and Jupiter are visible in the evening sky with Jupiter dominating once Venus has set. 

The New Moon is Wednesday, October 6.   

Evening twilight sky on Saturday, October 2 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 19:15 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). 


 

 

The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus and Mercury at this time. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

 

Evening sky on Saturday, October 2 showing the north-eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 19:45 pm ACST (90 minutes after sunset). Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the  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 (90 minutes after sunset), click to embiggen.

Whole sky at 19:45 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, October 2 as seen from Adelaide.  Three bright planets can be seen in the sky.

 

 

 

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

 

 Mercury  is lowering in the twilight and will be difficult to see by the weeks end

 
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.  When the sky is fully dark you can see Venus above the western horizon and bright Jupiter above the north-eastern horizon. Venus is below the head of the Scorpion making a rather beautiful sight in the early evening.

Mars is lost in the twilight.
   
Jupiter is now rising before sunset and is readily visible when the sky is fully dark. Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the sky. Jupiter was at Opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth on August the 19th, and is still excellent in even small telescopes.
 
Saturn is now rising well before sunset. Saturn was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on August 2nd. But it is still is an excellent time for telescopic observation.
 
Printable PDF maps of the Western 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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