Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The Sky This Week - Thursday January 17 to Thursday January 23
Morning sky on Saturday January 19 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 am local daylight saving time in South Australia. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).
The First Quarter Moon is Saturday January 19.
Bright white Venus is now quite low above the eastern horizon, and hard to see from cluttered horizons. Venus looks like a waxing Moon when seen through even a small telescope.
Venus spends the week in Sagittarius.
Saturn is now readily visible above the north-eastern horizon before dawn. Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky, becoming easier to see in the morning sky. It should be high enough to be wothwhile in a small telescope. Saturn is in the constellation of Libra.
Mercury is lost in the twilight.
Evening sky looking North as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 pm local daylight saving time on Monday, January 20. The inset shows Jupiter's Moons at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.
Jupiter is visible for most of the night, and is the brightest object in the evening sky. Despite opposition having just passed on the December the 3rd, Jupiter is prominent in the north-eastern early evening sky, being quite visible in the twilight. Jupiter is below the Hyades, near the red star Aldebaran. Jupiter remains near Aldebaran during the week, making it look as if the Bull has two eyes.
Jupiter, Aldebaran and the white star Rigel in Orion form a long line in the sky. With the Pleiades cluster and the constellation of Orion close by, this is a beautiful sight. Jupiter visited by the Moon on the 21st and 22nd.
Jupiter is easily seen in the late evening sky, rising around 4:30 pm local daylight saving time and is highest in the north by 10:00 pm. Now is a perfect time to observe Jupiter with a telescope of any size in the evening. Jupiters' Moons are easily seen in binoculars, and can be followed from night to night changing position. On the evening of Monday January 21 at 10:00 pm local daylight savings time in the eastern and central states, Io has a shadow transit and Ganymede becomes occulted.
Mars is lost in the twilight.
Comet C/2012 F6 Lemmon's location as seen from Adelaide at midnight AEDST on 20 January. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia and New Zealand at equivalent local times. (click to embiggen).
Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) is a nice little binocular comet, between the 18th and 22nd it passes through the Southern Cross, coming close to the clusters there.
For charts, printable spotters maps and observing hints, see this page.
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.
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.
Labels: weekly sky