.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, August 27, 2015

 

The Return of The Bride of the Son of the Zombie Mars Hoax that will not Die



Early morning sky on Saturday August 29 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:30 ACST showing Mars and Venus just above the horizon.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).



Here we are again! The Mars hoax is circulating once more. No, Mars will not be as big as the full Moon, there will be no double Moon in the sky. In fact, Mars is far from opposition and is quite small (it won't be at opposition again until 22 May, 2016 nearly 8 months).

However, on August 27, in the early morning Mars, Venus and Procyon form a nice triangle although Mars will be very difficult to see in the twilight  (the image above is at 6:30 am ACST, as seen from Adelaide).

For an overveiw of what the Mars hoax is and why it is so wrong, see the Return of the Zombie Mars Hoax that will not Die.

Labels: ,


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday August 27 to Thursday September 3

The Full Moon is Sunday August 30. Jupiter is lost in the twilight. Mercury rises higher in the evening twilight. Saturn is near the head of the Scorpion. Mars is visible low in the morning twilight. Venus climbs higher in the morning twilight.

The Full Moon is Sunday August 30. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to Earth, on the 31st.

Early evening sky on Saturday August 29 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:30 ACST showing Mercury.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mercury climbs higher into the evening sky, becoming readily visible. The next few weeks will be the best time to watch this fleeting world as it rises into darker skies.
  
Jupiter  is lost in the twilight.

Evening sky on Saturday August 29 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST.  Saturn is  easily visible high above the western horizon  near the head of the Scorpion. The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Saturn is easily visible from twilight near the head of the constellation of the Scorpion not far from the bright red star Antares. The sight of the distinctive constellation of the Scorpion rising up to the zenith, with bright Saturn close to its head, is very nice indeed.

While Saturn is  readily visible from the end of twilight, it is best for telescope observation from around 19:00 until shortly after midnight. By 22:00 Saturn is above the western horizon. This is also a good time to scan Scorpius and Sagittarius with binoculars to reveal the clusters in and around the Scorpions tail.

Early morning sky on Saturday August 29 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:30 ACST showing Mars and Venus just above the horizon.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen). 

Mars  is low the morning skies this week.  While it is climbing out of the twilight it still requires binoculars and a flat unobstructed horizon to see effectively.

Venus climbs higher in the morning twilight. It is a  thin crescent and impressive in a small telescope.You will need an unobstructed horizon to see it before the approaching dawn swallows it up.

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Mercury and Saturn in the sky. If you don't have a telescope, now is a good time to visit one of your local astronomical societies open nights or the local planetariums.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEDST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky

Labels:


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday August 20 to Thursday August 27

The Last Quarter Moon is Sunday August 23. Jupiter is lost in the twilight. Mercury rises higher in the evening twilight. Saturn is near the head of the Scorpion and is visited by the waxing Moon on the 22nd. Mars is visible low in the morning twilight and is near the Beehive cluster on the 20th and 21st. Venus reappears low in the morning twilight near Mars.

The Last Quarter Moon is Sunday August 23.

Early evening sky on Saturday August 22 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:30 ACST showing Mercury.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mercury climbs higher into the evening sky, becoming readily visible. The next few weeks will be the best time to watch this fleeting world as it rises into darker skies.
  
Jupiter  is lost in the twilight.

Evening sky on Saturday August 22 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST.  Saturn is  easily visible high above the western horizon  near the head of the Scorpion. The Moon is close to Saturn. The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Saturn is easily visible from twilight near the head of the constellation of the Scorpion not far from the bright red star Antares. The sight of the distinctive constellation of the Scorpion rising up to the zenith, with bright Saturn close to its head, is very nice indeed.

While Saturn is  readily visible from the end of twilight, it is best for telescope observation from around 19:00 until shortly after midnight. At 18:00 Saturn is at it's highest above the northern horizon near the zenith (with Saturn facing west). By 22:00 Saturn is high above the western horizon. This is also a good time to scan Scorpius and Sagittarius with binoculars to reveal the clusters in and around the Scorpions tail.

Early morning sky on Friday August 21 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:15 ACST showing Mars and Venus just above the horizon.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mars  is low the morning skies this week.  While it is climbing out of the twilight it still requires binoculars and a flat unobstructed horizon to see effectively. On the 20th and 21st Mars is close to the Beehive, the the twilight makes it nearly impossible to see these faint stars, even in binoculars

Venus reappears in the morning twilight. It is a very thin crescent.You will need a flat unobstructed horizon to see it before the approaching dawn swallows it up.

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Mercury and Saturn in the sky. If you don't have a telescope, now is a good time to visit one of your local astronomical societies open nights or the local planetariums.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEDST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky

Labels:


Sunday, August 16, 2015

 

Aurora Watch Tonight (Sunday 16 August 2015)

UPDATE: 7:00 pmConfirmed aurora from Batemans bay and Bicheno Tas just now. Not clear if unaided eye or camera only. Seems to be sporadic, flaring up and dying down. 

The Australian IPS has just issued an aurora alert for high latitudes BUT despite a good southward magnetic field -8 nT the Launceston  Kindex is 5 and the NOAA site a G2 storm current (and a G1 storm predicted later). I leave it up to you folks to decide if it is worthwhile.
Currently, the Kindex is 5. Velocity: 534 km/sec Bz: -5.0 nT Density = 4.0 p/cc

Dark sky sites have the best chance of seeing anything, and always allow around 5 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted.
As always look to the south for shifting red/green glows, beams have been reported consistently over the last few aurora and a large green "blob" has been seen.

The storm is unlikely to produce aurora as good as seen last night, which was visible from Southern South Australia and Northern Victoria, with beams "fenceposts" and proton arcs even! Still, Tasmanian and Southern Victoria should be on alert!

The all sky aurora camera in Northern Tasmania at Cressy may be helpful.
<http://www.ips.gov.au/Geophysical/4/2>

SUBJ: IPS AURORA ALERT HIGH LATITUDES
ISSUED AT 0720 UT ON 16 Aug 2015 BY IPS RADIO AND SPACE SERVICES
FROM THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE
     

GEOMAGNETIC STORM IN PROGRESS. AURORA MAY BE OBSERVED
DURING LOCAL NIGHT TIME HOURS IN GOOD OBSERVING CONDITIONS
AT HIGH LATITUDES.

IPS would appreciate any feedback from people observing an
aurora giving details of location and time. Please provide
details at: http://www.ips.gov.au/Geophysical/2/5Previous reports of observed aurora are archived under
http://www.ips.gov.au/mailman/listinfo/ips-aurora-sightingsFollow the progress of this event on the IPS web site
by following the links to the Space Weather Status Panel,
Home > Space Weather


Further monitoring at
http://www.ips.gov.au

Labels:


Saturday, August 15, 2015

 

Aurora visible NOW (15 August)

Aurora are Happening NOW. Unaided eye Aurora and beams have been reported in Tasmania, from a wide variety of locations, Inverlock Victoria and some faint camera only colour in South Australia.

UPDATE 10:33: Still ongoing in Tassie, camera only colour at Mornington Vic  with fog (colour from Melbourne's western suburbs at 10 pm AEST), unaided eye visible at Rickettes Point Vic. The IPS has just issued and Aurora Alert (well after people were seeing them)
UPDATE 11:16: Still ongoing Tassie, Bacchus Marsh Victoria and South Australia (south of Port Lincoln).

An Aurora Alert and a geomagnetic alert had been issued by the Australian  IPS for the 16th due to an anticipated impact from a coronal mass ejection, this activity is possibly due to its early arrival.
Currently, the Kindex is 5. Velocity: 453 km/sec Bz: -7.0 nT Density = 26.0 p/cc
10:30 pm the Kindex is 5,  Velocity: 452 km/sec Bz: -6.0 nT Density = 22.0 p/cc (still good)

Dark sky sites have the best chance of seeing anything, and always allow around 5 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted.

As always look to the south for shifting red/green glows, beams have been reported consistently over the last few aurora and a large green "blob" has been seen.

The all sky aurora camera in Northern Tasmania at Cressy may be helpful.
<http://www.ips.gov.au/Geophysical/4/2>

SUBJ: IPS GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCE WARNING 15/32
ISSUED AT 0147UT/14 AUGUST 2015
BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE.

A partial halo CME observed in LASCO C2 imagery at 14:48 UT on
12 August associated with the long duration B7.0 flare and the
filament eruption from the southwest quadrant is expected to
cause a glancing blow early in the UT day, 16 August. Expect
periods of Unsettled to Active levels in Australian region with
chance of isolated periods of minor storms at higher latitudes.

INCREASED GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY EXPECTED
DUE TO CORONAL MASS EJECTION
FOR 16 AUGUST 2015
_____________________________________________________________

GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY FORECAST
16 Aug:  Unsettled to Active

SUBJ: IPS AURORA OUTLOOK
ISSUED AT 0153 UT ON 14 Aug 2015 BY IPS RADIO AND SPACE SERVICES
FROM THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE

A partial halo CME observed in LASCO C2 imagery at 14:48 UT on 12
August associated with the long duration B7.0 flare and the filament
eruption from the southwest quadrant is expected to cause a glancing
blow early in the UT day, 16 August. Expect periods of Unsettled to
Active levels in Australian region with chance of isolated periods of
minor storms at higher latitudes. Aurora sighting may be possible on
the local nighttime hours on 16 August from the Southern regions of
Australia.


Follow the progress of this event on the IPS web site
by following the links to the Space Weather Status Panel,
Home > Space Weather


Further monitoring at
http://www.ips.gov.au

Labels:


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday August 13 to Thursday August 20

The New Moon is Saturday August 14. Venus is lost in the twilight. This is the last week to see Jupiter before it disappears below the horizon. Mercury is close to the Moon on the 16th. Saturn is near the head of the Scorpion. Perseid meteor shower 13th-14th.

The New Moon is Saturday August 14. The Moon at apogee,(furthest from the Earth) on the 18th.

Early evening sky on Sunday August 16 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:30 ACST showing Mercury and the thin crescent Moon.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mercury climbs higher into the evening sky, abandoning Venus and Jupiter. On the 16th, the thin crescent Moon joins Mercury, both will be readily visible in the late twilight sky. You will need a fairly level, unobstructed horizon to see them at their best.

Venus is lost in the twilight.

Jupiter  is also becoming harder to see in the early evening twilight sky and is lost in the twilight by around mid-week.

Evening sky on Saturday August 15 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST.  Saturn is  easily visible high above the western horizon  near the head of the Scorpion. The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Saturn is easily visible from twilight near the head of the constellation of the Scorpion not far from the bright red star Antares. The sight of the distinctive constellation of the Scorpion curled across the zenith, with bright Saturn close to its head, is very nice indeed.

While Saturn is  readily visible from the end of twilight, it is best for telescope observation from around 19:00 until shortly after midnight. At 18:30 Saturn is at it's highest above the northern horizon near the zenith (with Saturn facing west). By 22:00 Saturn is high above the western horizon. This is also a good time to scan Scorpius and Sagittarius with binoculars to reveal the clusters in and around the Scorpions tail.




Early morning sky on Sunday August 16 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:15 ACST showing Mars just above the horizon.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mars  is low the morning skies this week.  While it is climbing out of the twilight it still requires binoculars to see effectively.









Perseid radiant as seen from Darwin at 5:00 am local time, August the 13th, looking north.

The Perseid Meteor Shower peaks on the morning of Wednesday August 13 between 11am am-midnight AEST (01:30h to 14h on August 13 UT). The best time to observe is on the mornings of the 13th and 14th between 4 am to 5 am AEST when the shower radiant is highest above the horizon.

Despite this being a quite reasonable meteor shower in the Northern Hemisphere, for most of Australia and a large chunk of the Southern Hemisphere the radiant is below the horizon, and only the very occasional meteor will be seen shooting up from the northern horizon.

Basically, anywhere south of the latitude of Brisbane (27.3 degrees South) will see few, if any, meteors under ideal conditions. This year, despite having Moonless skies, with  the peak occurring during local daylight hours,  the chance of anywhere in Australia seeing decent Perseids is low.
 
More detailed viewing instructions are here.
 
Meteor rates for your location can be checked with the Meteor Flux Estimator

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Mercury and Saturn in the sky. If you don't have a telescope, now is a good time to visit one of your local astronomical societies open nights or the local planetariums.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEDST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky

Labels:


Monday, August 10, 2015

 

Venus, Mercury and Jupiter 8 August 2015

Venus (left) Jupiter (bottom right) and Mercury (top right). You will have to click on the image and embiggen it to see them properly. Canon IXUS 400 ASA 0.4 Seconds exposure at around 6:15 pmClose up of Venus (left) Jupiter (bottom right) and Mercury (top right). Canon IXUS 400 ASA 0.4 Seconds exposure 3 x Zoom at around 6:17 pm. Click to embiggen.

The weather finally cleared briefly on the 8th so I got a glimpse of Venus, Jupiter and Mercury on the horizon for long enough to get a photo. No chance to get the scope out though to see Venuses ultra thin crescent.

The skies had cleared briefly the night before, so I could see Jupiter and Mercury side by side as I was walking home, but I had no chance to image them.

Now it is back to our regularly scheduled rain and cloud.

Labels: , ,


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?