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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday November 3 to Thursday November 10

The First Quarter Moon is Thursday November 3. Venus is easily visible in the western evening twilight with Mercury just below it. Venus and Mercury enter the head of the Scorpion on the 4th and line up with the bright star Antares on the 10th. Jupiter now dominates the evening sky and is near the Moon on the 9th. Mars is visible in the morning sky nearing the star Regulus. The variable star Mira is bright.

Morning sky looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 am local daylight saving time on Sunday November 6 showing Mars near Regulus and the brighter stars. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The First Quarter Moon is Thursday November 3.


Mars is low in the north-eastern morning sky, in the constellation of Leo. Mars comes closer to the bright star Regulus over the week. By the end of the week Mars is just below Regulus.

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 is lost in the twilight glow.


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. 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 below Venus at the beginning of the week, and becomes more prominent, and closer to Venus, as the week wears on. Both planets climb higher in the evening sky over the week. On the evening of Friday the 4th, Mercury is close to Delta Scorpii, and with Venus forms a bright addition to the head of the Scorpion.

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 Wednesday November 9 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 Io about to transit 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 8th Europa and its shadow transits from 20:08 AEDST, accompanied by the Great Red Spot. On the 9th, Io and its shadow transits Jupiter from 23:30 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 Saturday November 5 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. As the week wears on, the waxing Moon will make observation of the star harder.

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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