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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

 

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

The First Quarter Moon is Monday April 11. Venus is visible in the morning sky in the constellation of Aquarius. Mars is visible below Venus in the early morning. Saturn is well placed for telescopic observation in the evening sky.

Morning sky looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:00 am daylight saving time on Thursday April 14 showing Venus in Aquarius, above Mars. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The First Quarter Moon is Monday April 11. Bright white Venus is readily seen in the early morning sky. This week it is in Aquarius.

Venus is "gibbous" phase, and will progressively become more full (and smaller) over the coming weeks.

Mars has returned to the morning sky and is faintly visible low in the eastern twilight below Venus. As the week progresses it will become more prominent.


Evening sky on Saturday April 9 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 10:00 pm daylight saving time in South Australia showing Saturn near Spica. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time.

Inset, the telescopic view of Saturn on the 14th , you will need a fairly large telescope to see any moon other than Titan. Click to embiggen.

Saturn is rising with sunset, and is visible all night long. It is high enough for telescopic observation in the late evening. It readily visible as the bright yellowish object not far from the bright star Spica.

The big storm on Saturn is now so large that it is visible in even small telescopes.

Even in small telescopes you can see Saturn's rings and it's moon Titan. Saturn is at opposition on April 4th, this is when Saturn will be at its biggest and brightest. While opposition is on the 4th, Saturn will be big and beautiful for many weeks to come.

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.

The asteroid Vesta is quite faint (magnitude 7.6), so you need binoculars to see it and may need to watch over a number of nights to make sure you are seeing it. Currently Vest is not near anything interesting. Vesta is brightening and will be (just) visible to the unaided eye in a few months time.

Mercury is too close to the Sun to be seen.

Jupiter is too close to the Sun to be seen.

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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