Wednesday, January 25, 2012
The Sky This Week - Thursday January 26 to Thursday February 2
Morning sky looking east as seen from Adelaide at 3:00 am local daylight saving time on Sunday January 29 showing Mars and Saturn. The inset Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. The inset shows the appearance of Saturn and it's Moons at this time. Click to embiggen.
The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday January 31. This is the second First Quarter Moon this Month. We might call this a "Blue" First Quarter Moon.
Mars is high in the northern morning sky. After so long in the constellation of Leo, Mars now enters the constellation of Virgo, heading towards Spica and Saturn. Mars has now entered the evening sky, rising around 10 pm (local daylight saving time), but will be relatively low above the late evening horizon for the rest of the week.
Saturn is above the north- eastern horizon, not far from the bright star Spica. Saturn is now high enough in sky in the early morning for telescopic observation.
Mercury is now lost in morning twilight.
Evening sky on Saturday January 27 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 9:00 pm local daylight saving time in South Australia showing Venus in Aquarius, with the crescent Moon beside it and Jupiter not far away. The inset shows the appearance of Venus at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen)
Bright white Venus is readily visible in the evening western twilight sky from around half an hour after sunset for somewhat over an hour and a half. Venus is near the thin crescent Moon on the 26th and 27th.
Venus is in Aquarius this week. It is almost on top of phi Aquarii (magnitude 4.2) on the 26th. You will have to wait until quite late in the twilight to see this star appear.
Jupiter was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on Saturday the 29th of October.
However, Jupiter is still a great binocular and telescope object and will be for many weeks to come. Jupiter is visible for most of the night in the north-western sky, setting half an hour after midnight.
Evening sky on Monday January 30 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 9:00 pm local daylight saving time in South Australia showing Jupiter and the waxing Moon. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. INSET: Jupiter and its Moons as seen telescopically at this time, (click to embiggen)
In the evening Jupiter is readily visible in the northern-western sky, from about twilight. It is coming closer to Venus, and the pair look very nice in the western evening sky.
Now is a still good time for telescopic observation of this massive world (although the window for observation is narrowing), or follow its moons in binoculars. For good telescopic observation Jupiter is best from 9 pm - 11 pm.
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.
Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEDST, Western sky at 10 pm AEDST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch (this will be up dated to February a little later).
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.
Labels: weekly sky