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Friday, December 29, 2017


Coming Events: A Year of Southern Astronomy for 2018

The planets on 13 October 2018 at 21:15 ACDST, 45 minutes after sunset, All 5 bright classical planets, Neptune and the crescent Moon form a line in the evening twilight. Uranus is just rising at this time. Click to embiggen.

The table below shows significant astronomical events that can be seen with the unaided eye or minimal equipment in 2018 in Australia (and to some degree elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere, ocultations and eclipses are very region specific) are listed in this table.

Close pairings of the Moon and bright planets are given special attention as not only is the Moon a ready guide to locating the planets if you are not familiar with them, these massings are rather beautiful. 

Special events are bolded.

Sadly, the partial solar eclipse is just visible from parts of southern Australia, but we have two good total lunar eclipses, the best for some years, and there are a number of beautiful planetary events to keep us occupied. There may even be an unaided eye comet and asteroid Vesta should be visible to the unaided eye too.

UPDATE: reader Scott has created an iCal for this list that you can import into your calendar.  I have htmlised the link http://subscriptions.thismonkey.com//fixtures/astro/calendars/astro/2018/1/astro_1_2018.ics

1 January 2018Mars three finger-widths from Jupiter in the morning skies
2 January 2018Perigee ("Super") Moon
 7 January 2018Jupiter and Mars at their closest, less than half a finger-width apart
12 January 2018Crescent Moon, Mars and Jupiter form a triangle
13 January 2018Mercury less than a finger-width from Saturn in the morning sky
15 January 2018thin crescent Moon near Mercury and Saturn
27-31 January 2018Asteroid Ceres visible in binoculars
31 January 2018Blue Moon, Total Lunar Eclipse ~11pm AEST
8 February 2018Waning Moon close to Jupiter in Morning sky
10 February 2018Waning Moon close to Mars
13 February 2018Crescent Moon close to Saturn
4 March 2018Venus and Mercury very close, low in the evening twilight
7 March 2018Moon close to Jupiter
10-11 March 2018Moon close to Mars
11-12 March 2018Moon close to Saturn
19 March 2018thin crescent Moon close to Mercury and Venus in evening twilight
20 March 2018Mars close to Triffid Nebula
1-3 April 2018Mars and globular cluster M22 less than a finger-width apart in morning sky
 2 April 2018Mars and Saturn close, a finger-width apart
 3 April 2018Moon close to Jupiter in evening sky
15 April 2018thin crescent Moon close to Mercury in morning twilight
18 April 2018crescent Moon close to Venus in evening sky
30 April 2018Moon close to Jupiter in evening sky
1-30 May 2018Saturn within 2finger-widths of globular cluster M22, closest on the 15th
 4 May 2018Moon close to Saturn
6 May 2018Moon close to Mars
6 May 2018Eta Aquariid meteor shower.
 9 May 2018Jupiter at opposition
14-15 May 2018Mars less than half a finger-width from globular cluster M75
17-18 May 2018crescent Moon close to Venus
21 May 2018Venus close to M35
27 May 2018Moon close to Jupiter
 1 June 2018Moon and Saturn close
 3 June 2018Moon and Mars close
16 June 2018Crescent Moon near Venus
19 June 2018Asteroid Vesta at opposition, potentially visible with the unaided eye
20 June 2018Venus in the Beehive cluster
21 June 2018crescent Moon and Venus close
23 June 2018Moon and Jupiter close
27 June 2018Saturn at opposition
28 June 2018Saturn close to the Moon
 1 July 2018Mars and Moon close
 4 July 2018Mercury close to Beehive cluster
13 July 2018Partial Eclipse of the sun, visible only southern SA and VIC
15 July 2018thin crescent Moon and  Mercury close in the twilight
16 July 2018crescent Moon and Venus close
21 July 2018Moon and Jupiter close
25 July 2018Moon and Saturn close
27 July 2018Mars at Opposition, the best since 2003
28 July 2018Total Lunar Eclipse, early morning
30 July 2018Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower
14 August 2018Crescent Moon close to Venus
17 August 2018Moon close to Jupiter
21 August 2018Moon close to Saturn
30 August 2018Saturn close to Triffid Nebula
1-2 September 2018Venus and Spica close
12-13 September 2018Crescent Moon close to Venus
14 September 2018crescent Moon close to Jupiter
18 September 2018Moon close to Saturn
20 September 2018Moon and Mars close
10-20 October 2018All 5 bright planets visible in early evening sky
10 October 2018Mercury and Crescent Moon close
11 October 2018crescent Moon near Venus
12 October 2018crescent Moon close to Jupiter
15 October 2018Moon close to Saturn
16 October 2018Venus and Mercury close
18 October 2018Moon close to Mars.
22 October 2018Orionid meteor shower
28 October 2018Mercury and Jupiter close
 9 November 2018Jupiter crescent Moon close
11 November 2018Crescent Moon and Saturn close
16 November 2018 Moon close to Mars
17 November 2018Leonid Meteor Shower
26 November 2018Variable star Mira at its brightest
1-20 December 2018 Comet 46P potentially visible to the unaided eye
 4 December 2018Crescent Moon close to Venus in morning twilight
 9 December 2018Crescent Moon close to Saturn in evening twilight
15 December 2018Geminid Meteor shower
14-15 December 2018Moon close to Mars
22 December 2018Jupiter and Mercury very close in dawn sky

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Hi, thanks for the great list. I parsed your table and created an iCal for it.

You can download it here:


G'Day Scott

Fantastic I jhave htmlised the link http://subscriptions.thismonkey.com//fixtures/astro/calendars/astro/2018/1/astro_1_2018.ics
No worries.
Thanks Ian & Scott - brilliant iCal. Hope many followers use it! *link to IceinSpace?
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