Tuesday, June 02, 2015
The Sky This Week - Thursday June 4 to Thursday June 11
The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday June 10. The Moon is at perigee (when it is closest to Earth) on the 10th.
Mercury returns to the morning skies this week, but is only really visible late in the week. In the coming weeks Mercury will rise higher in the sky, and has some interesting encounters.
Mars is lost in the twilight.
Venus is easy to see above the western horizon in the twilight. At nautical twilight, an hour after sunset, it is around two hand-spans above the horizon, and still visible at astronomical twilight.
At the start of the week Venus forms a line with the stars Castor and Pollux, then draws away them, heading for a meeting with Jupiter later this month.
Jupiter is easily seen in the evening sky. It is the brightest object above the northern horizon when twilight ends, and continues into the north-western sky as the night goes on. It is between the bright star Regulus in the sickle of Leo (this forms the head of the constellation of the Lion) and Pollux in Cancer. It is also not far from the rather nice Beehive cluster in Cancer, and looks very good in binoculars. Jupiter and Venus are coming closer.
Jupiter is visible for most of the evening, sets just before 10 pm, and is high enough for telescopic observation once twilight is over. Jupiter's Moons will be putting on a good display in both binoculars and small telescopes.
Comet C/2015 G2 MASTER is climbing in the evening sky fading as it goes. It now magnitude 8, and is only really visible in telescopes now. In modest telescopes the comet will be a fuzzy blob.
The comet will move through Canis Minor into Cancer this week. A spotters map suitable for printing in black and white is here.
Saturn is now easily visible from twilight near the head of the constellation of the Scorpion not far from the bright red star Antares. The sight of the distinctive constellation of the Scorpion curled above the horizon, with bright Saturn in its head, is very nice indeed.
While Saturn is readily visible from around 19:00, it is best for telescope observation from around 20:00 into the morning hours.
There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Jupiter, Venus and Saturn 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 AEST, 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