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Tuesday, January 05, 2010


The Sky This Week - Thursday January 7 to Thursday January 14

The Last Quarter Moon is Thursday January 7. Jupiter is easily seen as the brightest object low in the western evening sky. In the morning, Mars and Saturn are easily seen above the north-eastern horizon near the bight stars Regulus and Spica. Mercury returns to the morning sky and is close to the Moon January 14.

Morning sky looking north-east showing the Moon, Mars, Saturn, Regulus and Spica at 3:00 am local daylight saving time (2:00 am non-daylight saving) on Friday January 8. Click to embiggen.

The Last Quarter Moon is Thursday January 7.

In the morning, Mars is readily visible in the eastern sky. Red Mars enters 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 rising just as Jupiter is setting (between 10-10:30 local daylight saving time)

Saturn is visible low in the morning sky between the bright stars Regulus and Spica. Mars, Regulus, Saturn and Spica from a nice line-up with the Moon on January 8.

Note the location of Vesta, which is visible in binoculars and will become visible to the unaided eye in February.

Mercury returns to the morning twilight, and is close to the thin crescent Moon on the morning of January 14.

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

South-Western horizon showing Jupiter at 21:00 pm local daylight saving time (20:00 pm non-daylight saving) on Thursday January 7, click to embiggen.

Jupiter is easily seen as the brightest object low in the western early evening sky. Jupiter is big enough to be appreciated in even the smallest telescope but its proximity to the horizon makes seeing surface features difficult, and will get progressively more difficult this week. Jupiter's Moons are readily visible 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.


Hi Ian- want to get you onboard for ASC science blogging event- give me an email at lbailey@riaus.org.au if you haven't got the invite already!
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