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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

 

Thursday June 20 to Thursday June 27

The Full Moon is Saturday, June 22. The Earth is at solstice on the 21st. By the weeks end Mercury is visible in the evening twilight. Saturn enters the evening sky around midnight, but is still best in the morning. On the 27th there is an occultation of Saturn low on the eastern horizon near midnight. In a telescope Saturn's famous rings are almost edge on. In the morning the lineup of planets is Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. Jupiter is between the red star Aldebaran and the Pleiades cluster.

The Full Moon is Saturday, June 22. The Earth is at solstice, when the night is longest, on the 21st.

Western evening sky on Thursday, June 27 as seen from Adelaide at 17:41 ACST (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).   

Mercury is above the western horizon at the end of civil twilight, you may need a clear, unobstructed horizon and binoculars to see it.





Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset).

Morning sky on Saturday, June 22  as seen from Adelaide at 06:22 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). Saturn and Mars are readily visible. Jupiter is between the red star Aldebaran and the Pleiades cluster.
 




 

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).
 
The Moon at 23:47pm AEST in Brisbane looking east on Thursday 27 June just as Saturn reappears. The inset shows the binocular view as Saturn reappears (click to embiggen).

Saturn is just emerging from behind the dark limb of the Moon.





Similar views will be seen from east coast, and some southern central Australia at a similar time.Detailed times and spotters charts are at my occultation site.

Whole sky on Saturday, June 22 as seen from Adelaide at 18:43 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).


Bright Sirius is still dominant low in the north-western sky in the early evening. Scorpius now well visible above the Eastern horizon. The Southern Croos is prominent in the Southern sky. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. The fainter clusters are lost in the light of the waxing, then Full, moon.

 

 

   

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

 

 

Mercury returns to the evening twilight

Venus is lost in the twilight.

Mars is rising in the morning sky.

Jupiter is rising in the the morning twilight sky. Jupiter is between the red star Aldebaran and the Pleiades cluster.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky. Saturn is occulted by the Moon on the 27th.

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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Occultation of Saturn, Thursday, 27June 2024.

The Moon at 23:07pm ACST in Adelaide looking east on Thursday 27 June just as Saturn reappears. The inset shows the binocular view as Saturn reappears (click to embiggen).The Moon at 23:47pm AEST in Brisbane looking east on Thursday 27 June just as Saturn reappears. The inset shows the binocular view as Saturn reappears (click to embiggen).The Moon at 23:39pm AEST in Canberra looking east on Thursday 27 June just as Saturn reappears. The inset shows the binocular view as Saturn reappears (click to embiggen).

On the evening of Thursday, June 27, between 11pm and midnight  there is an occultation of Saturn. The second of three occultations seen from Australia this year. This best as a binocular and telescope event. The Moon will have just risen, so this will be difficult for telescopes.

The path of the occultation, taken from the the IOTA site 


This occultation is visible from the eastern states from Cairns to Melbourne. and part of central Australia.

In the rest of Australia the Moon and Saturn will be very close when the Moon rises.  

Start watching about half an hour beforehand to get set up and familiar with the sky. Saturn will disappear behind the bright limb of the Moon very close to the horizon. In Cairns, Melbourne and Adelaide the Moon will rise with Saturn behind the Moon, you will need a level, unobscured horizon to see the occultation. 

Again, as the Moon is close to the horizon when ingress occurs it will be difficult to get telescopes to point that low, and binoculars will be required. By the time Saturn reappears the Moon will be higher (around 15°) so telescopes may be successful.  As Saturn reappears from behind the dark limb of the moon this should be quite dramatic.

Imaging Saturn and the Moon together will be a challenge, due to the differences in brightness, again however, as Saturn appears from behind the dark limb, some over exposure of the Moon will not really affect Saturn. You will need a high ISO (3200 to 1600) to have a short enough exposure time to stop Saturn from trailing. Try practicing the night or morning before to get an idea of your cameras/mobile phones performance. You will need a tripod for your camera or binoculars, and possibly some wy to attach the camera to binoculars or telescope (dedicated amateur astronomers will already have this kit). See this post for some examples.

PlaceDisappears Bright LimbReappears Dark Limb
Adelaide ACST- 23:07
Brisbane AEST22:5023:47
Carins AEST-23:08
Canberra AEST22:5823:39
Darwin ACST--
Hobart AEST--
Melbourne AEST-23:39
Perth AWST--
Sydney AEST22:5623:41
Rockhampton AEST22:4923:46
Townsville AEST22:5123:44


More cities in Australia and New Zealand can be found at the IOTA site (UT times only).

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

 

Thursday June 13 to Thursday June 20

The First Quarter Moon is Friday, June 14. Comet 12P Pons-Brooks is no longer visible in binoculars. Saturn enters the evening sky around midnight, but is still best in the morning. In a telescope Saturn's famous rings are almost edge on. In the morning the lineup of planets is Saturn, Mars and Jupiter. with Jupiter low on the horizon.

The First Quarter Moon is Friday, June 14. The moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, at this time.

Eastern evening sky on Saturday, June 15 as seen from Adelaide at 18:41 ACST (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).   

The constellation of Scorpius is now clearly visible above the eastern horizon. If your skies are dark enough, you can see the indigenous dark constellation of the Emu.





Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Morning sky on Saturday, June 15  as seen from Adelaide at 06:22 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). Saturn and Mars are readily visible. Jupiter is below the pair and is now more visible but still low on the horizon.
 
The inset is the telescopic view of Saturn at this time.
 



 

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise). 
 
Whole sky on Saturday, June 15 as seen from Adelaide at 18:41 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).


Bright Sirius is still dominant low in the north-western sky in the early evening. Scorpius now well visible above the Eastern horizon. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. The fainter clusters will be begin to be lost as the moon waxes.

 

 

   

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

 

 

Mercury is lost in the twilight

Venus is lost in the twilight.

Mars is rising in the morning sky.

Jupiter is low the the morning twilight sky.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky.

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, June 04, 2024

 

Thursday June 6 to Thursday June 13

The New Moon is Thursday, June 6. Comet 12P Pons-Brooks is fading, this will be the last week to view it in binoculars as it moves past Sirius in  Canis Major. In the morning the lineup of planets is now Saturn, Mars and Jupiter as Mercury is lost in the twilight.

The New Moon is Thursday, June 6.

Evening sky on Saturday, June 8 as seen from Adelaide at 18:42 ACST (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).   Comet 12P is now not far from the bright star Sirius when the sky is fully dark. The inset shows the binocular view at this time.

The comet has faded to magnitude 7, and you need strong binoculars or a telescope to see it. Over the week the comet will climb higher into darker skies fading as it goes. Updated spotters charts are here.




Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Morning sky on Saturday, June 8  as seen from Adelaide at 06:19 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). Saturn and Mars are readily visible. Jupiter joins the pair low on the horizon. Mercury is lost in the twilight.
 
The inset is the telescopic view of Saturn at this time.
 



 

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).
Whole sky on Saturday, June 8 as seen from Adelaide at 18:41 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).


Orion is lost to view. Bright Sirius is still dominant in the north-western sky. Scorpius now well visible above the Eastern horizon. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. The fainter clusters will be be better with the moon no longer in the evening sky.

 

 

   

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

 

 

Mercury is lost in the morning twilight

Venus is lost in the morning twilight.

Mars is rising in the morning sky.

Jupiter is low the the morning twilight sky.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky.

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, June 03, 2024

 

An over hyped "Parade of Planets" 3-5 June

Morning sky on Monday, June 3  as seen from Adelaide at 06:18 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The crescent Moon, Saturn, Mars and Mercury make an attractive lineup. The Moon is close to Mars. Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time.Morning sky on Monday, June 3  as seen from Adelaide at 06:18 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The planets positions are labeled, including the ones not visible to the unaided eye.
Morning sky on Monday, June 3  as seen from Adelaide at 06:48 ACST, (30 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The crescent Moon, Saturn, Mars and Mercury make an attractive lineup. Jupiter and mercury are deep in the twilight.Morning sky on Monday, June 3  as seen from Adelaide at 06:48 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The planets positions are labeled, including the ones not visible to the unaided eye.
Morning sky on Wednesday, June 5  as seen from Adelaide at 06:18 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The crescent Moon, is close to Jupiter and Mercury deep in the twilight.Morning sky on Wednesday, June 5  as seen from Adelaide at 06:18 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The planets positions are labeled, including the ones not visible to the unaided eye.
Morning sky on Wednesday, June 5  as seen from Adelaide at 06:48 ACST, (30 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The crescent Moon, is close to Jupiter and Mercurydeep in the twilight.Morning sky on Wednesday, June 5  as seen from Adelaide at 06:48 ACST, (30 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The planets positions are labeled, including the ones not visible to the unaided eye.

You may have see some rather breathless statements on the internet about the "planetary Parade" coming up on 3 June.  With statements such as "stunning alignment" and "solar spectacle", this vastly overplays what you will see. Yes, there will be 6 planets in a line in the morning skies from 3-5 June. But Uranus and Neptune are not visible to the unaided eye.  On the 3rd Mercury will be difficult to see as it is low in the twilight and Jupiter is too deep in the twilight to be readily seen. You will need a clear, unobstructed horizon to see Jupiter and Mercury as they are very low in the twilight.

The crescent Moon is near Mercury an Jupiter deep in the twilight. You may need binoculars to see Jupiter and Mercury (Binoculars will make for much better viewing even if you can see them).  By the time Jupiter and Mercury  have risen sufficiently to see Saturn and mars will be very difficult to see.

Nonetheless the early morning effort is worthwhile.

 

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

 

Thursday May 30 to Thursday June 6

The last Quarter Moon is Friday, May 31. Comet 12P Pons-Brooks is visible when the sky is fully dark but remains a binocular only object. The comet leave  the iconic Orion constellation behind and moves into Canis Major. In the morning the Moon moves down the lineup of Saturn, Mars and Mercury. Despite claims of a rare alignment of planets being visible to the unaided eye on June 3, the actual alignment on June 5 will be difficult to see.

The last Quarter Moon is Friday, May 31. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closet to earth, on June 2.

Evening sky on Saturday, June 1 as seen from Adelaide at 18:42 ACST (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).   Comet 12P is now above the bright star Arneb in Lepus when the sky is fully dark. The inset shows the binocular view at this time.

The comet has faded to magnitude 6, and you need binoculars. With the Moon rising out of the way  the comet is easier to see now. Over the week the comet will climb higher into darker skies heading towards Canis Major. Updated spotters charts are here.




Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Morning sky on Monday, June 3  as seen from Adelaide at 06:18 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The crescent Moon, Saturn, Mars and Mercury make an attractive lineup. Despite what some sources say, while Uranus and Neptune are in the line-up they are not visible to the unaided eye. Jupiter is too deep in the twilight to be readily seen.The Moon is close to Mars.
 
 
The inset is the telescopic view of Saturn at this time.


 



 

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).
 
Morning sky on Wednesday, June 5  as seen from Adelaide at 06:32 ACST, (45 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The crescent Moon is near Mercury an Jupiter deep in the twilight. You may need binoculars to see Jupiter and Mercury. Saturn and Mars will be barely visible. The inset is the binocular view of Mercury and Jupiter at this time.


 



 

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).
 
Whole sky on Saturday, June 1 as seen from Adelaide at 18:42 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).


Orion is low on the north-west horizon. Bright Sirius is still dominant in the north-western sky. Scorpius now well visible above the Eastern horizon. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. The fainter clusters will be be better with the moon no longer in the evening sky.

 

 

   

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

 

 

Mercury sinks into the twilight and is soon lost to view. Mercury and Jupiter are close on the 5th.

Venus is lost in the morning twilight.

Mars is rising in the morning twilight. Mars is close to the crescent Moon on the 3rd.

Jupiter returns to the the morning twilight sky. Mercury and Jupiter are close on the 5th.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning twilight. Saturn is close to the crescent Moon on the 1st.

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


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to 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, May 21, 2024

 

Thursday May 23 to Thursday May 30

The Full Moon is Thursday, May 23. Comet 12P Pons-Brooks is now visible when the sky is fully dark but remains a binocular only object. The comet starts the week close to the iconic Orion constellation and is within a binocular field of the bright star Rigel. As the Moon passes from the evening sky the comet becomes easier to see. In the morning the lineup of Saturn, Mars and Mercury makes for nice viewing. By the end of the week the waning Moon joins the lineup.

The Full Moon is Thursday, May 23. 

Evening sky on Thursday, May 23 as seen from Adelaide at 18:44 ACST (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).   Comet 12P is now beside Orion when the sky is fully dark.

While the comet is a reasonable magnitude 5.5, you will still need binoculars. Especially with the Full Moon making it harder to see. Nonetheless the binocular view with the comet near Orion's belt is nice.

 

Over the week the comet will climb higher into darker skies past the bright stars of Orion towards the constellation of Lepus the hare. Updated spotters charts are here.




Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Evening sky on Sunday, May 26 as seen from Adelaide at 18:43 ACST (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).   Comet 12P is now just below the bright star Arneb in Lepus when the sky is fully dark. The inset shows the binocular view at this time.

The comet has faded to magnitude 6, and you need binoculars. With the waning Moon rising later the comet is easier to see now. Over the week the comet will climb higher into darker skies coming closer to the bright star Arneb. Updated spotters charts are here.




Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Morning sky on Thursday, May 30  as seen from Adelaide at 06:15 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The waning Moon, Saturn, Mars and Mercury make an attractive lineup.The inset is the telescopic view of Saturn at this time.


 



 

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).
 
Whole sky on Saturday, May 25 as seen from Adelaide at 18:44 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).


Orion is low in the north-west. Bright Sirius is still dominant in  the north-western sky. Scorpius is rising in the East. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. The fainter clusters will be be better as the Moon fades.

 

 

   

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

 

 

Mercury begins to sink into the twilight but still remains bright in the morning twilight.

Venus is lost in the morning twilight.

Mars is rising in the morning twilight. 

Jupiter is lost in the twilight sky.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning twilight.

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, May 14, 2024

 

Thursday May 16 to Thursday May 23

The Full Moon is Thursday, May 23.  Comet 12P Pons-Brooks is now visible when the sky is fully dark but is still a binocular only object. The waxing Moon may make it harder to see. The comet is close to the iconic Orion constellation and is within a binocular field of the bright star Rigel. In the morning the lineup of Saturn, Mars and Mercury makes for nice viewing.

The Full Moon is Thursday, May 23.  The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 18th.

Evening sky on Sunday, May 19 as seen from Adelaide at 18:46 ACST (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).   Comet 12P is now just below Orion when the sky is fully dark. The inset shows the binocular view at this time.

While the comet is a reasonable magnitude 5.5, you will still need binoculars. Especially with he waxing Moon making it harder to see. Over the week the comet will climb higher into darker skies past the bright stars of Orion. but will remain within a binocular field of the bright star Rigel. Updated spotters charts are here.




Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Morning sky on Saturday, May 18  as seen from Adelaide at 06:08ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). Saturn, Mars and Mercury make an attractive lineup.The inset is the telescopic view of Saturn at this time.


 



 

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).
 
Whole sky on Saturday, May 18 as seen from Adelaide at 18:47 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).


Orion is low in the north-west. Bright Sirius is still dominant in  the north-western sky. Scorpius is rising in the East. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. The fainter clusters will be washed out by the light of the waxing, then full Moon.

 

 

   

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

 

 

Mercury begins to sink into the twilight.

Venus is lost in the morning twilight.

Mars is rising in the morning twilight. 

Jupiter is lost in the twilight sky.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning twilight.

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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