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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday February 11 to Thursday February 18

The First Quarter Moon is Monday February 15. Jupiter is visible in the late evening sky. The Moon is close to the red star Aldebaran on the 16th. All five bright planets; Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Saturn and Mercury form a long line in the morning sky.  Venus and Mercury are close low above the horizon. Saturn  is close to the red star Antares.

The First Quarter Moon is Monday February 15. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on Thursday 11 February.

Evening sky on Tuesday February 16 looking North as seen from Adelaide at 21:30 ACDST. The Moon is just a finger-width from the red star Aldebaran. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Jupiter enters the evening sky before midnight daylight saving time, it slowly climbs higher above the horizon for most of the week.

The evening is also graced by the summer constellations of Taurus (with the V shaped cluster the Hyades forming the head of Taurus the Bull and the beautiful Pleiades cluster nearby) Orion the Hunter and Canis Major with bright Sirius, the dog star, climbing above the north-eastern horizon.


On the 16th the Moon is close to the bright red star Aldebaran. It is less than a finger-width away in the twilight, but full away as the night wears on.

Early morning sky on  Saturday February 13 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 ACDST showing Mars, Saturn with the red star Antares close by, Venus and Mercury.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is lowering in the north-eastern morning skies and is rising before midnight. 

Mars is higher in the morning skies and is readily visible in the pre twilight dark. Mars slowly heads towards the head of the Scorpion..

Venus is easy to see in the morning twilight. It is a  distinct "gibbous Moon" shape and is nice in a small telescope. Venus is now within less than a hand-span of Mercury, and the pair remain close for the next couple of weeks.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky.

Mercury is low in the morning twilight. Mercury and Venus  are within less than a hand-span of each other, and the pair remain close for the next couple of weeks.

This week all five of the bright planets are visible in the morning sky.  Saturn and the red star Antares are close. During the week Venus moves from Sagittarius to Capricornius.  Mercury is close to Venus. Between the 13th -the 17th the pair are within binocular range of the  dim globular clouster M75, but this will be difficult to see in the twilight.

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. 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 AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.
 
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.
Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

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There will be a live broadcast of this event by an expedition in Palu (Indonesia). On Twitter the hashtag will be #stars4all . If you like to participate and/or get more information about the broadcast, please search for Stars4All on google, or visit the link http://www.iac.es/divulgacion.php?op1=16&id=1035&lang=en
 
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