Tuesday, September 15, 2015
The Sky This Week - Thursday September 17 to Thursday September 24
The First Quarter Moon is Monday September 21. Earth is at Equinox, when the day and night are approximately equal in length, on the 23rd.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).
Mercury continues to lower in the evening sky. This is the last week to see it easily visible in the late twilight where it is the brightest object above the western horizon.
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 above the horizon, with bright Saturn close to its head, is very nice indeed. On Saturday, the crescent Moon is close to Saturn.
While Saturn is readily visible from the end of twilight, it is best for telescope observation from around 19:00 until shortly after midnight. This is also a good time to scan Scorpius and Sagittarius with binoculars to reveal the clusters in and around the Scorpions tail.
Comet C/2013 US10 is not far from the Pointers, near a brightish triangle of stars in Lupus.It is now brightening very slowly, and may be visible in binoculars by the end of the week in dark sky sites. A black and white spotters map is here.
Jupiter returns to the morning skies, but remains close to the horizon and may require a flat unobstructed horizon and binoculars to see it.
Mars remains low the morning skies this week. While it is climbing out of the twilight into darker skies it still requires a flat unobstructed horizon to see effectively.
Venus climbs higher in the morning twilight and is now reasonably easy to see. It is a distinct waxing crescent and impressive in a small telescope. Venus Mars, Jupiter nad the bright star Procyon form a line in the sky. While it is currently not very clear, over the next couple of weeks the sight will improve considerably.
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