Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The Sky This Week - Thursday March 30 to Thursday April 6
The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday April 4. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 30th.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).
Mercury is low the evening twilight, but is difficult to see, you will need a clear, unobscured level horizon (like the ocean) to see it.
Mars is in the western evening skies in Aires. It is is low in the dusk sky, but is the brightest object above the western horizon low in the late twilight. Nearby, the thin crescent Moon is in the head of Taurus the Bull, just below Aldebaran.
Jupiter is rising at dusk and is now reasonably high above the horizon in the evening this week. It is close to the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo.
Opposition, when Jupiter is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, is next week. Jupiter is a good telescopic target from around 10 pm on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.
Wed 29 Mar 20:30 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Thu 30 Mar 4:15 Io : Disappears into Eclipse Thu 30 Mar 6:26 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Thu 30 Mar 6:40 Io : Reappears from Occultation Thu 30 Mar 21:28 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends T Thu 30 Mar 21:49 Eur: Transit Ends
Fri 31 Mar 1:35 Io : Shadow Transit Begins S Fri 31 Mar 1:48 Io : Transit Begins ST Fri 31 Mar 2:17 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Fri 31 Mar 3:47 Io : Shadow Transit Ends T Fri 31 Mar 3:58 Io : Transit Ends Fri 31 Mar 22:08 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Fri 31 Mar 22:44 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Sat 1 Apr 1:29 Gan: Transit Begins ST Sat 1 Apr 2:59 Gan: Shadow Transit Ends T Sat 1 Apr 3:27 Gan: Transit Ends Sat 1 Apr 19:04 Io : Shadow Transit Begins S Sat 1 Apr 19:14 Io : Transit Begins ST Sat 1 Apr 21:15 Io : Shadow Transit Ends T Sat 1 Apr 21:24 Io : Transit Ends Sun 2 Apr 2:55 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Sun 2 Apr 22:46 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Mon 3 Apr 18:37 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Tue 4 Apr 4:33 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Wed 5 Apr 0:24 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Wed 5 Apr 2:20 Eur: Disappears into Eclipse Wed 5 Apr 4:53 Eur: Reappears from Occultation Wed 5 Apr 20:15 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Thu 6 Apr 5:10 Io : Disappears into Eclipse Thu 6 Apr 6:11 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Thu 6 Apr 20:36 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins S Thu 6 Apr 20:43 Eur: Transit Begins ST Thu 6 Apr 23:04 Eur: Sh Ends & Tr Ends
The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise). (click to embiggen).
Saturn rises higher in darker morning skies this week. Saturn is now high enough above north-eastern horizon to see easily and is now a good telescopic target. It continues to climb into darker skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula. With the Moon waning this is now an attractive view again..
The constellation of Scorpio is a good guide to locating Saturn. The distinctive curl of Scorpio is easy to see above the north-eastern horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look below that towards the horizon, the next bright object is Saturn.
Venus returns to the morning sky, but is too low in the twilight this week for good observation.
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