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Monday, May 16, 2022

 

Thursday May 192 to Thursday May 26

The Last Quarter Moon is Monday, May 23. Four bright planets are visible in a line in the morning sky. Saturn, Mars, Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter is climbing higher in the sky leaving Venus behind and coming closer to Mars. On May 22-23 the Moon is close to Saturn, on May 25 the crescent Moon forms a triangle with Mars and Jupiter.

The Last Quarter Moon is Monday, May 23. 

 
Morning sky on Sunday, May 22 as seen from Adelaide at 5:39 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. The waning Moon is close to Saturn.


The insets show the telescopic appearance of the Saturn at this time. 


 

 

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


Morning sky on Wednesday, May 25 as seen from Adelaide at 5:41 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. The crescent Moon forms a triangle with Mars and Jupiter . The trio fit withing the field of view of 10x50 binoculars.

The inset show the binocular appearance of the Mars, Jupiter and Venus at this time. 
 

 

 

 

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

Whole sky on Saturday, May 21, 18:46 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion can be seen just above the western horizon. As Orion sinks Scorpius rises above the Eastern horizon. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Mercury is difficult to see low in the twilight glow.

Venus is lowering in the morning twilight.

Mars forms a line with Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus. Mars draws closer to Jupiter. On May 25 the crescent Moon forms a triangle with Mars and Jupiter.


Jupiter climbs higher in the morning twilight below Saturn and Mars. Over the Week Jupiter leaves Venus behind and closes in on Mars. On May 25 the crescent Moon forms a triangle with Mars and Jupiter.

Saturn climbs away from Mars, Jupiter, and Venus. On May 22-23 the Moon is close to Saturn.

 
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, May 15, 2022

 

How to view the may 16, 2022 Lunar eclipse via live stream

 

The first Luna eclipse of 2022, on May 16, is not visible from Australia. It starts from 2:27 UT May 16, (12:27 AEST 11:57 ACST and 10:27 AWST).

However there are a number of Livesterams available so we can watch it

NASA: 

https://moon.nasa.gov/news/173/livestream-the-eclipse/

Space weather:

https://spaceweather.com/

Time and Date:  https://www.timeanddate.com/live/eclipse-lunar-2022-may-16

Space.com https://www.space.com/super-blood-moon-total-lunar-eclipse-webcasts-may-2022

hopefully some of them will not be chocked with viewers so you can see something.  It will tide us over until the 8 November total Lunar Eclipse.

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Monday, May 09, 2022

 

Thursday May 12 to Thursday May 19

The Full Moon is Monday, May 16. Four bright planets are visible in a line in the morning sky. Saturn, Mars, Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter is climbing higher in the sky leaving Venus behind and coming closer to Mars. On the 18th and 19th mars is within binocular distance of Neptune.

The Full Moon is Monday, May 16.  The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on May 18. 

 Morning sky on Saturday, May 14 as seen from Adelaide at 5:34 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. 


The insets show the telescopic appearance of the planets at this time. 


 

 

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


Morning sky on Wednesday, May 18 as seen from Adelaide at 5:37 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. Mars and Neptune are at their closest,

The inset show the binocular appearance of the Mars an Neptune at this time. 
 

 

 

 

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

 Whole sky on Saturday, May 14, 18:49 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion can be seen above the western horizon. As Orion sinks Scorpius rises above the Eastern horizon. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. However, the waxing Moon will make them difficult to see.

 

 

 

 

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

 

Mercury is difficult to see low in the twilight glow.

Venus is lowering in the morning twilight.

Mars forms a line with Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus. Mars draws closer to Jupiter. On the 18th and 19th mars is within binocular distance of Neptune.


Jupiter climbs higher in the morning twilight below Saturn and Mars. Over the Week Jupiter leaves Venus behind and closes in on Mars.

Saturn climbs away from Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.

 
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, May 02, 2022

 

Thursday May 5 to Thursday May 12

The First Quarter Moon is Monday, May 9. Four bright planets are visible in a line in the morning sky. Saturn, Mars, Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter is climbing higher in the sky leaving Venus behind. The Eta Aquariid meteor shower has good rates in the morning between the 7th to 9th of May.

The First Quarter Moon is Monday, May 9. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on May 5. 

 Morning sky on Saturday, May 7 as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. 

The insets show the telescopic appearance of the planets at this time. 


 

 

 

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


The north-eastern horizon as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 am ACST, the eta Aquariid radiant is marked with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen). 
 
The eta Aquariid meteor shower, which is produced by the debris from Halley’s Comet, will peak on May 6, 08h UT, which is sadly after sunrise on May 6 (late afternoon). 
 
Despite this, we will have worthwhile rates on the weekend mornings of May 7, May 8 and May 9, from 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM local time Australia-wide, where people with dark skies should see a meteor around every three minutes. 
 

While the peak is on the morning of the 6th during daylight, the peak is really broad and viewing from the 7-9 will give you decent rates of around 3-4 meteors per minute from dark sky sites.  For more details and rates from various cities see my eta Aquariid site.

 Whole sky on Saturday, May 7, 18:54 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion can be seen above the western horizon. As Orion sinks Scorpius rises above the Eastern horizon. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Mercury is difficult to see low in the twilight glow.

Venus is lowering in the morning twilight.

Mars forms a line with Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus. Mars draws closer to Jupiter.


Jupiter climbs higher in the morning twilight below Saturn and Mars. Over the Week Jupiter leaves Venus behind.

Saturn climbs away from Mars, Jupiter, and Venus.

 
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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Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower 7-9 May, 2022


The north-eastern horizon as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 am ACST, the eta Aquariid radiant is marked with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen). 
 
The eta Aquariid meteor shower, which is produced by the debris from Halley’s Comet, will peak on May 6, 08h UT, which is sadly after sunrise on May 6 (late afternoon). 
 
Despite this, we will have worthwhile rates on the weekend mornings of May 7, May 8 and May 9, from 3:00 AM to 5:00 AM local time Australia-wide, where people with dark skies should see a meteor around every three minutes. 

While the peak is on the morning of the 6th during daylight, the peak is really broad and viewing from the 7-9 will give you decent rates (see table below). Based on the NASA meteor flux program (see below) and my own excel spreadsheet using Jennisken's eta Aquariid stream parameters the best rates will be seen from Australia on the mornings of the 8th and 9th (see table below, but the 7th is very worthwhile too, even the 10th if the other nights are clouded out, as you can see the rate difference between the nights is fairly marginal).

The first Quarter Moon sets before the radiant rises, so we will have a good view this year.

People in the suburbs should see a meteor around once every 4-5 minutes, and in the country about once every 3 minutes. The radiant of the shower is about five hand-spans up from the eastern horizon, and three hand-spans to the left of due east at 4 am (see spotter chart at 5:00 am above). The radiant is close to Mars, which makes a good reference point.

Weather prediction looks good with clear mornings for most of Australia (except the bit where I live)

You may have read that this year the eta Aquariids have a predicted ZHR of 50 meteors. The figure ZHR is zenithal hourly rate. This is the number of meteors that a single observer would see per hour if the shower's "point of origin", or radiant, were at the zenith and the sky was dark enough for 6.5-magnitude stars to be visible to the naked eye.

In practice, you will never see this many meteors as the radiant will be some distance below the zenith. Also, unless you are out deep in the countryside, the darkness will be less than ideal. How many are you likely to see in reality? 

The table below gives predictions below for various towns, but they are only predictions and while based on average steam density there may be some differences year to year, but good rates were seen in previous years, and dark sky sites may possibly see one meteor every 3-4 minutes or so. There were many bright ones reported with persistent trains in 2014. People in the suburbs maybe will see less, but at least one every 6 minutes should be possible. 

Predicted meteor rates for selected towns (taken from NASA shower Flux estimator below). If your city is not on the list you can expect a meteor rate similar to the closest city to you in latitude.


TownMorning May 7 Morning May 8Morning May 9
Adelaide17 meteors/hr20 meteors/hr17 meteors/hr
Brisbane18 meteors/hr22 meteors/hr18 meteors/hr
Darwin19 meteors/hr22 meteors/hr19 meteors/hr
Perth18 meteors/hr20 meteors/hr17 meteors/hr
Melbourne17 meteors/hr20 meteors/hr16 meteors/hr
Hobart16 meteors/hr18 meteors/hr15 meteors/hr
Sydney17 meteors/hr20 meteors/hr17 meteors/hr

The radiant of the shower is about five hand-spans up from the eastern horizon and three hand-spans to the left of due east at 4 am (see above for a spotter chart at 5 am). When looking, be sure to let your eyes adjust for at least 5 minutes so your eyes can be properly adapted to the dark.

Don't look directly at the radiant site, because the meteors will often start their "burn" some distance from it, but around a hand-span up or to the side. The best way to watch the Eta Aquariids is to let your eye rove around the entire patch of the sky above the north-east horizon, between the only two obvious bright stars in the northeast, Altair and Fomalhaut, and Mars as the center of your field (again, see the spotter chart at 5:00 am above).

Be patient, although you should see an average of a meteor every 3 to 4 minutes, a whole stretch of time can go by without a meteor, then a whole bunch turn up one after the other.

Make yourself comfortable, choose an observing site that has little to obstruct the eastern horizon, have a comfortable chair to sit in (a banana lounger is best), or blankets and pillows. Rug up against the cold.  A hot Thermos of something to drink and plenty of mosquito protection will complete your observing preparations. As well as meteors, keep an eye out for satellites (see Heavens Above for predictions from your site).  The Milky way will arch above you, with Mars just next to the radiant and Jupiter and Venus below.

Use the NASA  meteor shower flux estimator for an estimate of what the shower will be like from your location (you may need to enter your longitude and latitude, surprisingly, while Adelaide and Brisbane are hard-wired in, Sydney and Melbourne are not). See the image to the left for typical output. The peak is rather sharp.

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 need to choose 31 Eta Aquariids and remember to set the date to  7-8 or 8-9 May 2022 and turn off daylight saving time. You can follow the progress of the shower at the IMO live Aquariid site.

Guides for taking meteor photos are here and here.

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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Friday, April 29, 2022

 

Southern Skywatch May 2022 edition is now out!

Morning sky on Sunday, May 1 as seen from Adelaide at 5:26 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. Venus and Jupiter are spectacularly close. The inset shows the telescopic image at this time.

 

 

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

 

The May edition of Southern Skywatch is now up. The planetary action is in the morning sky with four bright planets, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter in the morning sky.

May 1; Venus and Jupiter spectacularly close in the morning sky. May 1; New Moon. May 2; Mercury and thin crescent Moon close low above western horizon in the evening. May 5; apogee Moon. 7-8 May; Eta Aquariid meteor shower. May 5-9; Saturn and Asteroid Vesta close. May 9; First Quarter Moon. May 16; Full Moon. May 18; perigee Moon. May 18; Neptune and Mars at their closest. May 23; Last Quarter Moon. May 22-23; the waning Moon is close to Saturn. May 25; the crescent Moon forms a triangle with Mars and Jupiter. May 27; the thin crescent Moon is above Venus. May 28-31; Mars and Jupiter close.

Mercury  returns to the evening sky late in the month but is barely visible above the horizon deep in the twilight.

Venus starts the month spectacularly close to Jupiter on the 1st. The pair will be 0.2° apart and will fit into the field of view of medium power telescope eye pieces. The phase of Venus, Jupiter’s bands and its Moons should be visible. At this time the pair form a line with Saturn and Mars, with Jupiter below, easily seen an hour and a half before sunrise. After this spectacular paring, Venus sinks towards the horizon over the month as Jupiter rises towards Mars. On May 27 the thin crescent Moon is above Venus.

Mars is high the morning sky in May, Mars makes an attractive line with Saturn, Venus and Jupiter at the beginning of the month, and is readily visible an hour an hour and a half before sunrise, above bright Venus and Jupiter. Over the month Jupiter rises towards Mars. Mars's reddish colour contrasting with the yellowish colour of Jupiter and the bright white of Venus. On the 18th and 19th Mars passes within 0.7 ° of Neptune, the pair potentially visible in binoculars and medium field telescope eye pieces. From the 28th to the 31st Mars and Jupiter are within 1 ° (around a finger width) of each other. They are closest on the 30th, when at 0.7 ° apart the pair visible in binoculars and medium field telescope eye pieces (Jupiter’s moons will be visible, but details on Jupiter harder to see, Mars will be a featureless disk). On May 25 the crescent Moon forms a triangle with Mars and Jupiter.

Jupiter continues to rise higher in the morning sky. Jupiter starts the month spectacularly close to Venus on the 1st. The pair will be 0.2° apart and will fit into the field of view of medium power telescope eye pieces. The phase of Venus, Jupiter’s bands and its Moons should be visible. After this spectacular paring, Venus sinks towards the horizon over the month as Jupiter rises towards Mars. From the 28th to the 31st Mars and Jupiter are within 1 ° (around a finger width) of each other. They are closest on the 29th, when at 0.7 ° apart the pair visible in binoculars and medium field telescope eye pieces (Jupiter’s moons will be visible, but details on Jupiter harder to see, Mars will be a featureless disk).

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky and is readily visible an hour and a half before sunrise. Saturn is a worthwhile telescope object this month. Between the 5th and 9th Saturn is within 1 ° of the asteroid 4 Vesta, and should be easily seen with binoculars and wide field telescope eye pieces, Saturn’s rings will just be visible, Vesta will be a bright dot that moves night to night. On the May 22 and 23; the waning Moon is close to Saturn.

Moon: May 5; apogee Moon and May 18; perigee Moon.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2022

 

Thursday April 28 to Thursday May 5

The New Moon is Sunday, May 1. Four bright planets are visible in a line in the Morning sky. Saturn, Mars, Venus and Jupiter. Jupiter is climbing higher in the twilight with Venus sinking to meet it. The beginning of the week sees a planet dance with the crescent Moon coming close to Jupiter (28th) and Venus and Jupiter coming closer, ending with a spectacular close conjunction on May 1. Venus and Neptune have a close conjunction on the 28th (telescope only). On May 2 Mercury is near the thin crescent Moon, low in the evening twilight.

The New Moon is Sunday, May 1. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on May 5. 

 Morning sky on Thursday, April 28 as seen from Adelaide at 5:25 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. The crescent Moon is close to Jupiter.  

Venus and Neptune are at their closest at this time. The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus, and Neptune at this time. 

 

 

 

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

Morning sky on Sunday, May 1 as seen from Adelaide at 5:26 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. Venus and Jupiter are spectacularly close. The inset shows the telescopic image at this time.

 

 

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

 

Whole sky on Saturday April 30, 19:07 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). Orion can be seen above the western horizon. As Orion sinks Scorpius rises above the Eastern horizon. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Mercury is difficult to see low in the twilight glow. On May 2 Mercury is near the thin crescent Moon, low in the twilight, you will need binoculars to see Mercury and a low level horizon like the ocean.

Venus is lowering in the morning twilight and is moving towards Jupiter. Venus forms a line with Mars and Saturn and Jupiter. On the 28th, the crescent Moon is close to the pair of Venus and Jupiter. On the 28th Venus and Neptune are close, visible together in telescope eyepieces. Venus and Jupiter come closer with a spectacular close conjunction on May 1.

Mars is rising higher, forming a line with Saturn, Venus, and Jupiter.


Jupiter climbs higher in the morning twilight below Venus, Saturn and Mars. Over the Week Venus and Jupiter come closer. On the 28th the crescent Moon is close to the pair of Venus and Jupiter. Venus and Jupiter have a spectacular close conjunction on May 1.

Saturn climbs away from Mars, Venus and Jupiter.

 
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, April 25, 2022

 

Planet dance, morning Tuesday April 26-Sunday May 1 2022

Morning sky on Tuesday, April 26 as seen from Adelaide at 5:22 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. The waning Moon is close to Mars. Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).Morning sky on Wednesday, April 27 as seen from Adelaide at 5:23 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. The waning Moon is close to Venus. Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).
Morning sky on Thursday, April 28 as seen from Adelaide at 5:24 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. The waning Moon is close to Jupiter. Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen)Morning sky on Friday, April 29 as seen from Adelaide at 5:25 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. The crescent Moon forms a line the planets. Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen)
Morning sky on Saturday, April 30 as seen from Adelaide at 5:25 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. Venus and Jupiter are very close. Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen)Morning sky on Sunday, May 1 as seen from Adelaide at 5:26 am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn, Mars and Venus form a line with Jupiter. Venus and Jupiter are spectacularly close. The inset shows the telescopic image at this time. Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen)


The next few days will see a continuation of the planet dance that we saw the first installment of this morning for ANZAC day. You will of course have to get up early in the morning to see this spectacle.

The waning moon moves down the ladder of four bright planets as Venus and Jupiter come closer to each other. The spectacular finish is on May 1st, When Jupiter and Venus are within telescopic distance of each other.

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