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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday May 12 to Thursday May 19

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday May 14. Jupiter is visible all evening long. Venus is lost in the twilight. Saturn is close to the red star Antares and forms a triangle with Mars. Mars is in retrograde motion and enters the head of the Scorpion this week.

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday May 14. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 19th.

Evening sky on Sunday May 15 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST. The inset is the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time. 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 19:00 on. Jupiter's Moons will be an excellent sight all evening. On the 12th Io crosses Jupiter's face then on the 14th Europa crosses Jupiter's face.

The evening is also graced by the summer constellations of  Orion the Hunter and Canis Major with bright Sirius, the dog star above the western horizon in the early evening.

Evening sky on Saturday May 14 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST. Mars, Saturn and Antares form a triangle. The inset shows telescopic views of Mars and Saturn. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mars is high in the evening skies in the head of the Scorpion.

Mars starts the week not far from the star Acab in Scorpio. Acab is one of three stars that defines the head of the Scorpion. Mars forms a triangle with Saturn and the red star Antares. By the end of the week Mars is in the very head of the Scorpion between the stars Dschubba and Acab.

Saturn is reasonably high in the evening sky and is readily visible below Scorpius. Saturn forms a triangle with Mars and the red star Antares. It is now high enough for good telescopic observation in the evening

Venus is lost in the twilight.

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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