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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday November 10 to Thursday November 17

The Full Moon is Friday November 11. Venus is easily visible in the western evening twilight with Mercury just above it. Venus and Mercury line up with the bright star Antares on the 10th, and continue to climb the Scorpion during the week. Jupiter now dominates the evening sky once Venus has set. Mars is visible in the morning sky and is closest to the star Regulus on the 11th. The variable star Mira is bright.

Morning sky looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 am local daylight saving time on Friday November 11 showing Mars near Regulus and the brighter stars. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The Full Moon is Friday November 11


Mars is low in the north-eastern morning sky, in the constellation of Leo. Mars is closest to the bright star Regulus on the 11th, and then draws away over the week.

Comet 45P Honda is in the morning sky, but will be very hard to see in the twilight sky without a decent telescope.

In the morning Jupiter low is above the north-western horizon.

Saturn enters the morning twilight at the end of the week, but will be difficult to see unless you have a clear, level eastern horizon.


Evening sky on Thursday November 10 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 8:30 pm local daylight saving time in South Australia showing Venus and Mercury near the bright star Antares. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen)

Bright white Venus and Mercury are now readily visible in the evening western twilight sky from around half an hour after sunset for somewhat over an hour.

Mercury is visible above Venus at the beginning of the week, and the two of them climb the constellation of the Scorpion as the week wears on.

On the evening of Thursday 10th, the planets line up with the bright red star Antares.

Jupiter was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on Saturday the 29th of October. However, Jupiter will be a great binocular and telescope object for many weeks to come. Jupiter is visible all night long now.

Evening sky on Tuesday November 15 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 10:00 pm local daylight saving time in South Australia showing Jupiter and the Moon. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. INSET: Jupiter and its Moons as seen at this time, with Europa transiting Jupiter (click to embiggen)

In the evening Jupiter is readily visible in the north-eastern sky, from about 7 pm local time on.

Now is a good time to begin telescopic observation of this massive world, or follow its moons in binoculars. For good telescopic observation Jupiter is best from 10 pm - 1 am.

There are some good Jupiter Moon events, on the 15th Europa and its shadow transits from 21:30 AEDST.

Although Jupiter is the most prominent now, there are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. 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 the variable star Mira as seen at 10:00 pm local daylight saving time Sunday November 13 looking north-east from Adelaide, similar views will be seen at equivalent local times elsewhere. The circle marks the position of Mira. Click to embiggen,

The variable star Mira is now bright enough to see easily with the unaided eye just above and to the right of Jupiter. Over the month of November it will slowly fade. From Sunday on, as the Moon rises later in the evening, observation of the star will be easier.

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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Comments:
As a local Adelaidean with an interest in (but limited knowledge of)the science behind astronomy, I find your blog the perfect "cheat sheet". With all the disinformation and speculation on the net it is great to have this informed rational resource to refer to. Thank you, Ian.
 
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