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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday September 28 to Thursday October 5

The First Quarter Moon is Thursday, September 28. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the early twilight sky.  Saturn is visible all evening in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus is now low in  the morning twilight coming close to Mars.

The First Quarter Moon is Thursday, September 28.

Evening sky on Saturday September 22 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:43 ACST  (30 minutes after sunset). Jupiter is low above the horizon close to the bright star Spica.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset). (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is setting ealy evening and is above the western horizon in the twilight. It is close to the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo. Over the week Jupiter moves away from Spica.

Opposition, when Jupiter is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, was on April the 8th. Jupiter sets around 8:00 pm local time. Jupiter is now too low to be a good telescopic target, but the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars for a brief time. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.


Mon  2 Oct 2017 19:27   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Evening sky on Saturday September 30 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 19:43 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset.

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 after sunset, click to embiggen).

Saturn was  at opposition on June the 15th, when it was biggest and brightest in the sky as seen from earth. Saturn is visible all evening long. Saturn is a good telescopic target from 7:30 pm until midnight. It is poised above the dark rifts in the Milky Way and is in a good area for binocular hunting. Although still high in the early evening sky, Saturn begins to sink into the western 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-western horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look to the left of  that, the next bright object is Saturn.

Morning sky on Saturday September 30 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:29 ACST (30 minutes before sunrise). Venus is bright just above the horizon and is close to the bright star Regulus.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 30 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Venus  is lowering in the morning sky. This week Venus comes close to Mars. It is becoming hard to see Venus in the early twilight, but it is still brilliant enough to be obvious shortly before sunrise. Over the Week Venus comes closer to the planet Mars, but you will probably need binoculars to pick up Mars in the twilight.

 Mars is just emerging from the twilight, but will be difficult to see for some time.

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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