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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday April 27 to Thursday May 4

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday May 3. The Moon occults the bright star Regulus on the 4th. Mars is low in the twilight and is visited by the crescent Moon on the 28th. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are close in the late evening skies. Saturn is low in the evening sky. Venus climbs higher in the morning sky.

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday May 3. The Moon occults the bright star Regulus on the 4th.

Evening sky on Friday April 28 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:17 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Mars is low above the horizon, forming a tirangle with Aldebaran and the crescent Moon.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 45 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).

Mercury is lost in twilight.

Mars is in the western evening skies in Taurus It is is low in the dusk sky, but is the brightest object above the western horizon low in the late twilight below Aldebaran. Over the week Mars passes between the Pleiades cluster and the Hyades cluster, you will need a clear, unobscured level horizon to see this though. On the 28th the tin crescent Moon form a triangle with Aldebaran and Mars.

Evening sky on Saturday April 29 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 19:09 ACST (90 minutes after sunset).  Jupiter is above the horizon between the bright star Spica and the relatively bright star Porrima. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 19:09 ACST Europa is occulted later in the evening.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. that is 90 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).

Jupiter is rising at dusk and is now reasonably high above the horizon in the early evening this week. It is in between the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, and the relatively bright star Porrima.

Opposition, when Jupiter is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, was on the 8th. Jupiter is rising as the sun sets and is visible all night long. Jupiter is a good telescopic target from around 8 pm on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.


Thu 27 Apr 18:22 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Fri 28 Apr 3:30 Eur: Transit Begins               T
Fri 28 Apr 4:18 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Fri 28 Apr 4:25 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Sat 29 Apr 0:09 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 29 Apr 4:52 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Sat 29 Apr 18:48 Gan: Shadow Transit Ends
Sat 29 Apr 20:00 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 29 Apr 22:21 Eur: Disappears into Occultation
Sun 30 Apr 1:46 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse
Sun 30 Apr 2:09 Io : Transit Begins               T
Sun 30 Apr 2:39 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Sun 30 Apr 4:20 Io : Transit Ends                 S
Sun 30 Apr 4:51 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Sun 30 Apr 23:19 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Mon 1 May 1:47 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 1 May 2:02 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Mon 1 May 17:43 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Mon 1 May 19:02 Eur: Transit Ends                 S
Mon 1 May 20:10 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends
Mon 1 May 20:36 Io : Transit Begins               T
Mon 1 May 21:08 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Mon 1 May 21:38 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 1 May 22:46 Io : Transit Ends                 S
Mon 1 May 23:19 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Tue 2 May 17:45 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Tue 2 May 20:31 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Wed 3 May 3:25 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 3 May 4:20 Gan: Disappears into Occultation
Wed 3 May 17:48 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Wed 3 May 23:16 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 4 May 19:08 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian

 
Evening  sky on Saturday April 29 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST.  Saturn is reasonably high above the horizon.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

 Saturn is now visible in the evening skies this week. Saturn is a good telescopic target from 11 pm on. It continues to climb into the evening skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula and makes a very nice sight in binoculars.

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.

Morning sky on Saturday April 29 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:25  ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Venus  climbs higher in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a crescent.



The northern horizon as seen from Adelaide at 18:17 ACDST on Thursday May 4, the bright star Regulus is close to the Moon an hour before it is occulted. The inset shows the Moon and Regulus at 19:24 ACST, just as Regulus is occulted. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

Viewing hints and exact times for other cities are here.

On the early evening of Thursday 4 April the bright star Regulus is occulted by the Moon as seen from the most of Australia. This is the second of two occultations of Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo the lion, this year. The Moon is a very obvious signpost for where to look and Regulus will be the brightest object near the Moon.

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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Comments:
Dear Ian

I am so glad to have found this blog. I'm a beginner but can see that you explain things clearly. Thank you. I have a question...
I live in Raumati, New Zealand. You live in Adelaide. When you give a time for seeing something in your "This week" blog how do I work out when I will see it in the sky here?
(Hope that's not a silly question).

Many thanks

Julie
 
You are two and a half hours ahead of ACDST (and two hours ahead of AEST), however, most of the times are also given as hours after sunset, so you just need to know when your local sunset is.
 
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