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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday February 13 to Thursday February 20

The Full Moon is Saturday February 15. Jupiter is the brightest object in the evening sky, visible all evening. Mars is prominent in the early morning but now enters the evening sky. Mars is close to the Moon and the bright star Spica on Wednesday February 19. Saturn rises higher in the morning sky. Venus is at its brightest in the morning sky. Some bright morning passes of the ISS near Venus early this week

The Full Moon is Saturday February 15.


Evening sky on Wednesday February 19 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 23:30 pm ACDST in South Australia. the Moon, Mars and the bright star Spica form a triangle. In the early hours of the morning to the 20th the Moon passes between the two. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is in the constellation Gemini. It is the brightest object in the evening sky. Jupiter was at opposition on the 6th of January, when it was brightest and closest to Earth, but will remain bright and easily observable in telescopes for several months.

Jupiter rises around 15:30 pm local daylight saving time, and is highest just before 10:30 pm local daylight saving time. It is high enough to begin observing telescopically in the early to mid evening. 4

In the early evening it is above the northern horizon near the bright stars Castor and Pollux, the twins of Gemini. Jupiter is quite easy to see as the brightest object in the entire sky.  Jupiter's Moons are readily visible in binoculars. 

Mars rises just before midnight, but is still best seen when high in the morning sky, and is visible well before twilight. Mars is is in the constellation of Virgo near the bright star Spica.On the 19th and early morning of the 20th the waxing moon comes between Mars and Spica.


Morning sky on Saturday February 15 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 am ACDST in South Australia. Saturn is near the head of the constellation of the Scorpion.  Crescent Venus is well above the horizon. The inset show the telescopic view at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).


Venus is in the morning sky, above the eastern horizon.  The brightest object in the morning sky, it is now easy to see in the morning twilight, and reaches maximum brightness on Saturday the 15th. Venus rises progressively higher during the week, and is a distinct crescent shape.

There are some bright ISS passes in the morning this week, some of them near Venus. See here for more details.

 Saturn is visible above the eastern horizon before dawn. Saturn is in Libra near the head of the constellation of the Scorpion.  It is  high enough in the early morning for decent telescopic observation.
 
Mercury  is lost in the twilight.

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Jupiter and 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 pm AEDST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.

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Comments:
Hi Ian
Great blog. Much appreciated having your local expertise. Telescope just arrived at Upper Sturt and waiting for clouds to dissipate to enjoy.
Cheers John
 
Did you get a chance to see anything, it has been pretty disappointing here
 
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