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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday January 21 to Thursday January 28

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday January 23. Occultation of the Pleiades Monday January 25. Jupiter is the brightest object low in the western twilight sky. Mars is now visible low in the late evening sky. In the morning, Mars and Saturn are easily seen above the northern horizon near the bight stars Regulus and Spica. Mercury is low in the morning twilight.

Morning sky looking South-east showing Mercury at 5:30 am local daylight saving time (5:30 am non-daylight saving) on Sunday January 14. Click to embiggen.

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday January 23.

In the morning, Mars is readily visible in the northern sky. Red Mars is in the constellation of Cancer this week. Mars is a distinct nearly full disk in a small telescope, and becomes bigger and brighter during the week in the lead up to opposition on January 30th. In the evening Mars can be seen from around 10:oo pm local daylight saving time low in the north-eastern sky.

Saturn is visible in the morning sky between the bright stars Regulus and Spica.

The asteroid Vesta is visible in binoculars not far from Regulus and will become visible to the unaided eye in February.

Mercury is low in the morning twilight, and passes close to some of the brighter stars of Sagittarius.

Bright white Venus is invisible the twilight glow and will not reappear until February.

North-eastern horizon showing Mars and the Moon at 10:00 pm local daylight saving time (9:00 pm non-daylight saving) on Sunday January 24, click to embiggen.

Jupiter is the brightest object low in the western twilight sky. Jupiter's proximity to the horizon makes telescopic observation very difficult, and will get progressively more difficult this week with less than an hour between twilight and when Jupiter sets.

In the early evening of Monday January 25 the Moon passes in front of the beautiful Pleiades star cluster from around 9:00pm AEDT (8:00 pm non-daylight saving time)in northern and eastern Australia. More information and local timings for the event is at http://home.mira.net/~reynella/skywatch/ssky.htm#Occult

The Moon in front of the Pleiades as seen from Darwin, facing north at around 8:00 pm ACST. While impressive to the unaided eye, it will be even better in binoculars or a small telescope.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm ADST, Western sky at 10 pm ADST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch. Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

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