Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The Sky This Week - Thursday January 2 to Thursday January 9
The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday January 8. The Earth is at perihelion (when it is closest to the Sun) on the 4th.
Evening sky on Saturday January 4 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 pm ACDST in South Australia. The inset shows the view of Jupiter through a telescope at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).
Jupiter is in the constellation Gemini.
Jupiter rises around 20:30 pm local daylight saving time, while reasonably high enough to observe telescopically in the late evening, it is still best for telescopes in the early morning.
In the morning it is now well above the northern horizon near the bright stars Castor and Pollux, the twins of Gemini. It is quite easy to see in the morning sky well into the twilight. Jupiter's Moons are now readily visible in binoculars.
Venus is lost in the twilight.
Morning sky on Sunday January 5 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 am ACDST in South Australia. Mars is high above the horizon, Saturn is lower to the horizon. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).
Mars is is in the constellation of Virgo. Saturn is in Libra.
Mars rises still higher in the morning twilight, and is visible well before twilight.
Saturn is visible above the eastern horizon before dawn.
Mercury is lost in the twilight.
There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Venus so prominent in the sky. 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 pmAEDST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.
Labels: weekly sky