Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The Sky This Week - Thursday October 27 to Thursday November 3
The New Moon is Monday October 31. This is a "Blue" New Moon, the second New Moon of the month. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on November the 1st.
here (click to embiggen).
Venus continues to rise into darker skies this week. Venus is high in the dusk sky and can be seen easily from somewhat before half an hour to a bit after an hour and a half after sunset, staying visible after twilight is over low above the horizon in truly dark skies.
Venus starts the week is close the pair of Antares and Saturn. On Friday it is between them in a spectacular line-up. On Friday as well the International Space Station makes a close pass to line-up seen from many locations in Australia. Times and viewing charts are detailed here.
After the 28th Venus begins to move way from the pair of Antares and Saturn towards Sagittarius. On November 2 and 3 the crescent Moon is close to Saturn and Venus.
Mars is in the western evening skies between the "teapot" of Sagittarius and Capricornius. During the week Mars moves away from Sagittarius towards Capricornius.
Mars was at opposition on May 22, and is still visibly dimming, but is still a modest telescope object. It is visible all evening long. In even small telescopes Mars will be a visible, but gibbous, disk, and you may even be able to see its markings.
Saturn was at opposition on the 3rd of June. 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 readily visible next to Antares in Scorpius. Saturn is still high enough for good telescopic observation in the early evening, setting abut midnight daylight saving time. In even small telescopes its distinctive rings are obvious.
In the early evening the line-up of Venus, Saturn and Mars under dark skies will look very good.
Mercury is low in the morning twilight but never rises far above the horizon.
Jupiter emerges from the twilight into the morning skies this week. You will need an unobstructed, level eastern horizon to see it around half an hour before sunrise. On the 28th the thin crescent Moon is a signpost to the banded world.
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