Wednesday, May 18, 2016
The Sky This Week - Thursday May 19 to Thursday May 26
The Full Moon is Sunday May 22.
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 18:00 on. Jupiter's Moons will be an excellent sight all evening. On the 21st Io crosses Jupiter's face around 18:00, then its shadow, then finally Europa at 22:00.
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.
Mars is high in the evening skies in the head of the Scorpion.
Mars starts the week in the very head of the Scorpion between the stars Dschubba and Acab. Mars forms a triangle with Saturn and the red star Antares. On the 22nd Mars will be at opposition, when Mars will be biggest and brightest when seen from Earth. It is visible all night long. In even small telescopes Mars will be a visible disk, and you should see its markings. Also on the 22nd Mars, the Moon, Saturn and Antares from a diamond shape in the sky.
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 returns to the Morning sky, and is low to the horizon.
Comet C/2013 X1 (PANSTARRS) is now high enough above the horizon murk in the morning sky to be readily visible before twilight. It is currently around magnitude 7. A guide to seeing it is here.
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