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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday September 3 to Thursday September 10

The Last Quarter Moon is Saturday September 5. Mercury is at its highest in the evening twilight. Saturn is near the head of the Scorpion. Mars is visible low in the morning twilight. Venus climbs higher in the morning twilight and is visited by the crescent Moon on the 10th.

The Last Quarter Moon is Saturday September 5.

Early evening sky on Saturday September 5 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:30 ACST showing Mercury.

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 in the late twilight as the brightest object above the western horizon. It is at its highest in the early evening sky on the 4th. This and next week will be the best time to watch this fleeting world in dark skies.
  
Jupiter  is lost in the twilight.

Evening sky on Saturday September 5 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST.  Saturn is  easily visible high above the western horizon  near the head of the Scorpion. The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

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. By 22:00 Saturn is 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.

Early morning sky on Thursday September 10 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 ACST showing Mars and Venus just above the horizon, with the crescent Moon close to Venus.  The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

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 crescent and impressive in a small telescope. Venus is close to the crescent Moon on the 10th.

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

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