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Wednesday, July 13, 2011


The Sky This Week - Thursday July 14 to Thursday July 21

The Full Moon is Friday July 15. Jupiter is high in the morning sky. Mars heads towards the horns of Taurus the Bull. Mercury closes in on the star Regulus. Saturn is still close to the star Porrima, gamma Virginis.

Morning sky looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 6:30 am local time on Sunday July 17 showing Jupiter Mars and the constellations. Mars is close to the red star Aldebaran. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The First Quarter Moon is Friday July 8.

In the morning Jupiter is high above the north-eastern sky. Mars is low in the eastern sky, below bright red star Aldebaran, heading towards the stars that form the horns of the bull.

After dominating the morning sky for months, bright white Venus is now lost in the twilight glow.

Evening sky on Thursday July 21 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 6:00 pm local time in South Australia showing Mercury near the bright star Regulus. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).

Mercury continues to become more prominent in the evening sky in July. Mercury closes in on the bright star Regulus, becoming very close by the end of the week.

Saturn is readily visible as the bright yellowish object not far from the bright star Spica. It is getting lower in the sky, and the window for telescopic observation is narrower. Saturn is still close to the star Porrima (gamma Virginis). They are moving apart, but are still reasonably close together.

Even in small telescopes you can see Saturn's rings and it's moon Titan. Despite being past opposition, when Saturn was at its biggest, Saturn is still big and beautiful.

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 location of Vesta as seen at 9:00 pm on July 16th looking east from Adelaide, similar views will be seen at equivalent local times elsewhere. Click to embiggen,

The asteroid Vesta is becoming brighter and is now readily visible in binoculars and is just on the threshold of unaided eye visibility(magnitude 6.0), unfortunately, the waxing moon makes it hard to see by eye alone at the moment.

Vesta i snow near zeta Capricorni, making it very easy to find. Iota Capricorni is the fourth star up and to the right of the brightest star in Capricornus (see image to left). Vesta moves significantly night to night, so will be easy to follow. A chart showing Vesta's location is here.

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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