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Saturday, October 17, 2015

 

Mars Meets Jupiter (Morning, Sunday 18 October)

Early morning sky on Sunday October18 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 ACDST showing Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Mars and Jupiter are at their closest. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia. (click to embiggen).

If you have been up at Dark O'Clock in the morning you may have noticed Mars and Jupiter draw closer together during the week, with Venus coming towards the pair.

Mars and Jupiter's journey cumulates tomorrow morning on Sunday the 18th when the pair are at their closest. Techically they are at their cosest at 22:13 UT, but that is after Sunrise. At Astronomical twilight they are less than a fingerwidth apart (37 arc minutes away) and will both fit in a low power telescope eyepiece.

This will be rather nice to observe, but they are still just over a hand-span from the horizon at nautical twilight, an hour before sunrise. You may require a flat unobstructed horizon  to see them.

After this Jupiter heads towards Venus, leaving Mars behind. Jupiter and Venus are closest on October 25.


 

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Comments:
Thanks Ian - I finally actually got up at dark o'clock and walked down the road and over the hill to see the sights !
Mars is a little bit to the lower right now and my portable telescope (a Galileoscope) doesn't resolve Venus as a crescent. I'll try the binoculars tomorrow.
 
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