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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday November 20 to Thursday November 27

The New Moon is Saturday November 22.   Mars is easily visible in the early evening and is visited by the crescent Moon on the 26th.  Jupiter is prominent in the morning sky. Comet C/2102 K1 PanSTARRS is visible in binoculars in the early evening.

The New Moon is Saturday November 22.

Evening sky on Wednesday November 26 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 (9:00 pm) ACDST in South Australia.  The Moon is close to Jupiter. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).



Venus is comes out the glare of the Sun by the end of the week, but will be very difficult to see low on the western horizon in the twilight.

 Mars  is easily seen in the western evening sky, setting around midnight. Mars was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest, on the 9th of April, and is still  readily distinguishable as the bright red/orange object above the western horizon in the early evening.

Mars is still in the constellation of  Sagittarius, but is heading for Capricornius.

Morning sky on Saturday November 22 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 am ACDST.  Jupiter is above the north-east horizon. (click to embiggen).

Saturn is lost in the twilight.
  
Mercury  is in the morning sky, but is too low for easy visibility.

 Jupiter  rises higher in the morning twilight, and now is easy to see above the horizon before twilight. Jupiter is the brightest object above the north-eastern horizon. It is now not far from the bright star Regulus in the sickle of Leo (this forms the head of the constellation of the  Lion).
Evening sky on Saturday November 22 looking south  as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 (9:00 pm) ACDST in South Australia. Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS neaer Achernar.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).

Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS is now visible in the evening sky from around 8 pm. With the Moon gone from the evening sky, under reasonably dark sky conditions it should be visible in 10x50 binoculars as a fuzzy dot.

At magnitude 7.7 you will need to let your eyes adapt to darkness to see the comet clearly. It doesn't have any spectacular encounters, but will look nice amongst the stars. While the comet is fading, and becoming more difficult to see in binoculars, it remains very easily visible n small telescopes. 

More detailed charts and a printable binocular map  are here.

 There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Mars prominent in the early evening 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 AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. 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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