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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday May 11 to Thursday May 18

The Full Moon is Thursday May 11. Mars is low in the twilight. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening skies. Saturn is low in the evening sky and is visited by the Moon on the 13th. Venus climbs higher in the morning sky, with Mercury below it.

The Full Moon is Thursday May 11. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 13th.

Evening sky on Saturday May 13 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:04 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Mars is low above the horizon, below Aldebaran.

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

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 to the right of Aldebaran. You will need a clear, unobscured level horizon to see this though.

Evening sky on Saturday May 13 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 18:50 ACST (90 minutes after sunset).  Jupiter is above the horizon between the bright star Spica and the relatively bright star Porrima. Jupiter is now closer to Porrima than Spica. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 21:15 ACST Ganymede is transiting the face of Jupiter.

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. Jupiter is now closer to Porrima than Spica.

Opposition, when Jupiter is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, was on April 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 11 May 0:02 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 11 May 19:54 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 13 May 1:41 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 13 May 21:15 Gan: Transit Begins               T
Sat 13 May 21:32 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 13 May 23:33 Gan: Transit Ends
Sun 14 May 0:25 Gan: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Sun 14 May 2:44 Gan: Shadow Transit Ends
Sun 14 May 2:55 Eur: Disappears into Occultation
Sun 14 May 17:23 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 15 May 2:51 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Mon 15 May 3:19 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 15 May 21:17 Eur: Transit Begins               T
Mon 15 May 22:58 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Mon 15 May 23:10 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 15 May 23:43 Eur: Transit Ends                 S
Tue 16 May 0:07 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Tue 16 May 0:56 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        SST
Tue 16 May 1:24 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          ST
Tue 16 May 2:18 Io : Transit Ends                 S
Tue 16 May 3:07 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Tue 16 May 19:01 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue 16 May 21:18 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Wed 17 May 0:21 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Wed 17 May 18:34 Io : Transit Begins               T
Wed 17 May 19:25 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Wed 17 May 20:10 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse       ST
Wed 17 May 20:45 Io : Transit Ends                 S
Wed 17 May 21:36 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Thu 18 May 0:48 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 18 May 18:49 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Thu 18 May 20:40 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian

Evening  sky on Saturday May 13 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST.  Saturn is reasonably high above the horizon. The Moon is close to Saturn.

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. However, this week the bright Moon drowns out the faint cluster. The Moon is close to Saturn on the 13th, and a bit further away on the 14th.

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 May 13 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:04 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Mercury is becoming more prominent below it. 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 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

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

Mercury is easily visible low to the horizon, it is within binocular distance of Uranus, and will make an interesting pairing.

 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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