Tuesday, August 18, 2015
The Sky This Week - Thursday August 20 to Thursday August 27
The Last Quarter Moon is Sunday August 23.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).
Mercury climbs higher into the evening sky, becoming readily visible. The next few weeks will be the best time to watch this fleeting world as it rises into darker skies.
Jupiter is lost in the twilight.
Saturn is 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 rising up to the zenith, with bright Saturn close to its head, is very nice indeed.
While Saturn is readily visible from the end of twilight, it is best for telescope observation from around 19:00 until shortly after midnight. At 18:00 Saturn is at it's highest above the northern horizon near the zenith (with Saturn facing west). By 22:00 Saturn is high above the western horizon. This is also a good time to scan Scorpius and Sagittarius with binoculars to reveal the clusters in and around the Scorpions tail.
Mars is low the morning skies this week. While it is climbing out of the twilight it still requires binoculars and a flat unobstructed horizon to see effectively. On the 20th and 21st Mars is close to the Beehive, the the twilight makes it nearly impossible to see these faint stars, even in binoculars
Venus reappears in the morning twilight. It is a very thin crescent.You will need a flat unobstructed horizon to see it before the approaching dawn swallows it up.
There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Mercury 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