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Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The Sky This Week - Thursday July 22 to Thursday July 28

The Full Moon is Monday July 26. Four of the 5 classic planets are visible together in the early evening sky. Venus is close to Mars and Saturn. During the week Mercury becomes more prominent and comes close to Regulus. Mars and Saturn come closer. Jupiter is prominent in the morning sky.

Evening sky looking east as seen from Adelaide at 11:30 pm on Thursday July 28 showing the Moon and Jupiter. Click to embiggen.

The Full Moon is Monday July 26.

Jupiter rises before midnight, but is still clearly visible in the northern sky as the brightest object in the early morning. Jupiter is now high enough in the morning sky for telescopic observation to be rewarding. Jupiter looks a little different now that one of its bands has disappeared. Jupiter and Uranus are close together and can be seen near each other in a pair of binoculars.

Evening sky looking North-west showing Mercury,Venus, Mars, Saturn and Regulus at 6:00 pm local time on Thursday July 28. Click to embiggen.

Mercury can be seen above the western horizon from half an hour after sunset at the beginning of the week. It becomes easier to see during the week rising in the evening sky and coming closer to Regulus. On Wednesday July 27 Mercury is less than a fingerwidth from Regulus.

Bright white Venus is readily visible above the western horizon from half an hour after Sunset, (even before) until past the end of twilight (about an hour and a half after sunset). Venus is in Leo the lion, not far from Mars and Saturn. During the week Venus comes closer to Mars and Saturn.

In the evening Mars can be seen low in the north-western sky. Mars is to the right of Venus, close to Saturn at the beginning of the week. Mars comes closer to Saturn during the week and are nearly side by side by . Mars is now only slightly brighter than Regulus, but is distinguishable by its reddish colouring.

Saturn is easily visible in the western evening sky as the bright yellow object close to red Mars. Telescopic observation of the ringed world is now difficult as Saturn sets earlier. On the 28th of July, Saturns' Moon Titan cruises just above the planets North pole.

If you don't have a telescope, now is a good time to visit one of your local astronomical societies open nights or the local planetariums.

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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