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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The Sky This Week - Thursday July 30 to Thursday August 6

Evening sky looking west at 6:15 pm local time on August 3. Click to embiggen.

The Full Moon is Thursday August 6. The Moon passes in front of the bright star Sigma Scorpii around 10:15 pm (AEST) on Friday July 31.

Mercury is now visible in the evening twilight, low in the western sky. On Sunday and Monday (August 2 and 3), Mercury is very close to the bright star Regulus (see diagram left).

Saturn is visible in the early evening and can be easily seen as the second brightest object above the north-western horizon but now sets around 9:00 pm local time. Although Saturn is poorly placed for telescopic viewing, its rings are nearly edge on now.

Jupiter is easily seen as the brightest object above the eastern horizon from around 9 pm local time. Jupiter's Moons are readily visible in binoculars or a small telescope. The early morning of Thursday July 30 has a very interesting Moon alignment.

Mars, Venus, Aldebaran, Pleiades and Hyades at 6:00 am local time on Friday morning July 31, click to embiggen.

In the morning, Venus and Mars are readily visible in the eastern sky. Red Mars is below the A-shaped Hyades cluster, which forms the head of Taurus the Bull (see image above) . Bright white Venus is well below Aldebaran, and forms a triangle with Aldebaran and red Betelguese in Orion. On Thursday August 6 the Moon is near Jupiter.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm, Western sky at 10 pm.


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