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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday April 14 to Thursday April 21

The  First Quarter Moon is Thursday April 14. Jupiter is  is visible all night long and is close to the Moon on the 18th. Venus is low above the horizon in the twilight. Saturn is close to the red star Antares and forms a triangle with Mars which is in on the head of the Scorpion. Mars is stationary on the 17th.

The First Quarter Moon is Thursday April 14.


Evening sky on Monday April 18 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST. The inset is the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time, showing Io before Jupiter occults it.. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Jupiter was at opposition on the March 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. Jupiter occults Io on the 18th, and there is a double transit of Io, Europa and their shadows on the 19th.

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) just above the western horizon at the beginning of evening. Orion the Hunter and Canis Major with bright Sirius, the dog star are above it and set early in the evening.

Evening sky on Saturday April 16 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACST. Mars Saturn and Antares form a triangle. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

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 below the bright red star Antares in Scorpio. Mars forms a triangle with Saturn and the red star Antares. on the 17th Mars's motion comes to a stand still, and then it reveres direction as Earth overtakes it in it orbit.

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.

Early morning sky on  Sunday April 17 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:00 am ACST showing Venus low in the twilight.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

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/

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