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Thursday, November 05, 2015


The Crescent Moon Joins the Line-Up of Jupiter, Mars and Venus (7-8 November, 2015)

The line-up of Jupiter, crescent Moon, Mars and Venus as seen looking east from Adelaide on the morning of Saturday 7 November at 5:30 am ACDST. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at equivalent local times  (click to embiggen)The line-up of Jupiter, Mars, Venus and the crescent Moon, as seen looking from Adelaide on the morning of Sunday 8 November at 5:30 am ACDST. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at equivalent local times  (click to embiggen)

This weekend the dazzling display the bright planets have been putting on in the morning really takes off when the crescent Moon joins the line-up of Regulus, Jupiter, Mars and Venus. Venus and beta Virginis (not seen at this scale) are also very close. While the simulated horizon shots are for 5:30 am, the line up should be readily visible from about an hour before sunrise (around 5:00 am ACDST and AEDST). By 5:30 it may be difficult to see Mars in the growing twilight. 

Venus and the Moon will still be easily seen in the pre-dawn twilight, and on the 8th it will even be possible to see Venus in the daylight using the Moon to guide you (it should work on the 7th as well, but as the Moon is futher form Venus it might take a while to locate).

The Taurid meteor stream is also active, although a weak stream there will only be a few meters for hour, but you might see one streak across you field of view. The Taurid radiant is in the North West, near the V shaped Hyades cluster. The Taurids are relatively bright, so there is a chance we could see some nice fireballs. You can find out the predicted rates for your location using the NASA meteor flux estimator (use 2 Southern Taurids and make sure you set the dates to 6-7,7-8 November 2015).

It doesn't look like there will be any ISS passes in the morning,  but there is a Iridium Flare in Adelaide at 5:31 am ACDST right next to Sirius. Sighting Iridium flares is When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location.

On the morning of the 7th I'll be on ABC local radio (Adelaide 891 AM) with Ashley Walsh, going live around 6:15 am ACDST (6:45 AEDST, 5:45 AEST) talking about the line-up. So listen if you can (they doing streaming, so even if you are not in Adelaide you can catch this on your computer).

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