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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 9 to Thursday June 16

The First Quarter Moon is Sunday June 12. Jupiter is visible most of the evening and is visited by the Moon on the 11th. Mars is visible all night long. Saturn was at opposition last week but remains bright. It is close to the red star Antares and forms a triangle with Mars. Mercury is high in the morning sky. Venus is lost in the twilight. Comet C/2013 X1 PanSTARRS is visible in binoculars in the morning sky.

The First Quarter Moon is Sunday June 12.  The Moon is at apogee, where it is furthest from the Earth, on June 16.

Evening sky on Saturday June 11 looking west 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 is in the north-western evening sky as the sun sets, and is  good for telescopic observation from around 18:00 on until around 11 pm when it will be a little too close to the horizon. Jupiter's Moons will be an excellent sight all evening. On the 11th Io crosses Jupiter's face around 22:00. Io also has a good transit on Monday from around 18:00  and Europa has a nice transit on Wednesday from around 19:00.

The waxing Moon is close to Jupiter on the evening of Saturday the 11th.

The early evening is also graced by the constellation of  Canis Major with bright Sirius, the dog star, above the western horizon.

Evening sky on Saturday June 11 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 near the head of the Scorpion in Libra.

Mars spends the week moving through Libra. Mars forms a line with the star Dschubba in the head of the Scorpion and Anatres.  As well Mars forms a triangle with Saturn and the red star Antares. Mars was at opposition on May 22, but Mars will still  be big and bright for this week. It is visible all night long. In even small telescopes Mars will be a visible disk, and you should see its markings.

 Saturn was at opposition on the 3rd. However, Saturn's change in size and brightness is nowhere near as spectacular as Mars's, and Saturn will be a reasonable telescopic object for many weeks. 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. In even small telescopes its distinctive rings are obvious.

Venus is lost in the twilight.

Morning sky at 6:00 ACST facing east as seen from Adelaide on Sunday June 12. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mercury is high in the morning sky, but slowly heads towards the horizon this week.
 
Comet C/2013 X1 (PANSTARRS) rises  around 10:30 pm local time, but doesn't really clear the horizon murk until around midnight, and is still best between 3-4 am.  It is currently around magnitude 6.4. A guide to seeing it is here.

Eastern morning sky at midnight ACST, 12 June as seen from Adelaide showing the location of Comet  C/2013 X1 (PANSTARRS) . Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (and most of the Southern Hemisphere). Click to embiggen.


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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Good site.
 
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