Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The Sky This Week - Thursday March 24 to Thursday March 31
The Last Quarter Moon is Friday April 1. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 25th.
Jupiter was at opposition on the 8th, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth. However, Jupiter will be an excellent telescopic target for many weeks to come.
Jupiter enters the evening sky as the sun sets, and is good for telescopic observation from around 21:00 on. Jupiter's Moons will be an excellent sight late in the evening. On March 27 Io and its shadow cross the face of Jupiter from around 22:15 AEDST, while Ganymede and Europa go behind Jupiter.
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, above the western horizon at the beginning of evening.
Mars is high in the morning skies and is now rising in the evening before midnight. Mars is in the head of the Scorpion.
Mars starts the week in a triangle of stars formed by Grafias, the double star omega Scorpii and nu Scoprii. It then moves further down the body of the Scorpion. Mars also forms a triangle with Saturn and the red star Antares. On the 28th the Moon is close to Mars.
Saturn is low in the evening sky around midnight and is readily visible below Scorpius. Saturn forms a triangle with Mars and the red star Antares. On the 29th the Moon is close to Saturn.
Venus is becoming harder to see as it sinks in the morning twilight. It is a distinct "gibbous Moon" shape and is nice in a small telescope. .
Mercury is lost 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/
Labels: weekly sky