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Wednesday, August 02, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday August 3 to Thursday August 10

The Full Moon is Tuesday, August 8, and a partial Lunar eclipse occurs at this time. Mercury climbs higher above Regulus. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky. Saturn is visible all night in the heart of the Milky Way and is close to the Moon on August 3. Venus dominates the morning sky below the head of Taurus the Bull.

The Full Moon is Tuesday, August 8, and a partial Lunar eclipse occurs in the early morning.

Morning sky on Tuesday, August 8 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 03:51 ACST. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen). Note the darkening of the edge of the Moon.

After a significant break (no umbra eclipses since 2015)lunar eclipses are back, Augusts  Lunar eclipse is a fairly shallow partial eclipse occurring early in the morning.

None the less an obvious chunk will be seen on the southern edge to the Moon. This will be visible throughout Australia. See here for more details, timings and observing hints.

Evening sky on Saturday August 5 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:34 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Mercury is high above the western horizon.

Mercury climbs higher in the evening twilight sky. It is now readily visible above the western horizon half an hour after sunset, and is obvious  90 minutes after sunset. Mercury climbs away from the bright star Regulus. By the end of the week Regulus sets well before Mercury.

Evening sky on Saturday August 5 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 19:04 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 on Saturday at this time.

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

Jupiter is rising before sunset and is now high above the northern-western horizon in the early evening at full dark. 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 almost between Porrima and Spica.

Opposition, when Jupiter is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, was on April the 8th. Jupiter is rising before the sun sets and is visible until just before midnight. Jupiter is a good telescopic target from astronomical twilight on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.

Thu    3    Aug    18:36    Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Thu    3    Aug    19:31    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu    3    Aug    19:45    Eur: Disappears into Occultation
Sat    5    Aug    19:30    Eur: Shadow Transit Ends
Sat    5    Aug    21:10    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon    7    Aug    19:29    Gan: Transit Begins               T
Mon    7    Aug    22:03    Gan: Transit Ends
Tue    8    Aug    18:40    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed    9    Aug    20:03    Io : Disappears into Occultation
Thu    10    Aug    18:20    Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Thu    10    Aug    19:26    Io : Transit Ends                 S
Thu    10    Aug    20:20    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu    10    Aug    20:31    Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Thu    10    Aug    22:27    Eur: Disappears into Occultation
 

Evening sky on Thursday August 3 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 20:50 ACST, when Saturn is at its highest. Saturn is almost overhead high above the northern horizon. The Moon is just below 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 was  at opposition on the 15th, when it was biggest and brightest in the sky as seen from earth. Saturn is visible all night long. Saturn is a good telescopic target from 9 pm on. It is poised above the dark rifts in the Milky Way and is in a good area for binocular hunting. It continues to climb into the evening skies as the week progresses.  Saturn's rings are visible even in small telescopes and are always good to view.

The constellation of Scorpio is a good guide to locating Saturn. The distinctive curl of Scorpio is easy to see above the north-eastern to northern 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 August 5 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:10 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling below the bright star Aldebaran and forms a triangle with Aldebaran and Betelguese. 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  is lowering in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a "Gibbous Moon". At the start of the Week Venus forms a triangle with Aldebaran and Beteguese.

 Mars is lost in the twilight.

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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