Wednesday, October 04, 2017
The Sky This Week - Thursday October 5 to Thursday October 12
The Full Moon is Friday October 6 the last Quarter Moon is Thursday, October 12. The Moon is at perigee, closest to the Earth on the 9th.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset). (click to embiggen).
Jupiter is setting early 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 8:30 pm local daylight saving time. Jupiter is now too low to be a good telescopic target.
Mercury is lost in the twilight.
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 9:00 pm daylight saving time 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.
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. The pair are closest on the 6th, when they are less than half a finger-width apart, they will look good in binoculars, or a small etelscope if you can get it to point that low to the horizon.
Mars is still emerging from the twilight, but will be difficult to see for some time. It may be more readily visible by the end of the week.
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