Tuesday, December 19, 2017
The Sky This Week - Thursday December 21 to Thursday December 28
The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday, December 26. The Earth is at Solstice on the 22nd, at this time the day is longest.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). (click to embiggen).
Mercury and Saturn are lost in the twilight.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).
Venus is lost in the twilight.
Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky and is now quite prominent. It is moving towards the bright double star alpha2 Librae (Zubenelgenubi). By the 22nd the stellar pair and Jupiter will be at their closest, less than a finger-width apart (technically 41 minutes of arc apart), and will fit within the field of view of a telescope eyepiece.
Mars is now well visible in the morning sky, and is moving away from the bright star Spica towards Jupiter. The pair will be under a hand-span apart by the end of the week.At this time Spica, Mars, alpha2 Librae (Zubenelgenubi) and Jupiter form a line in the morning sky.
This week there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station. Some are low to the horizon others pass close to bright stars. When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location. If you are up early Christmas Morning there is a close pass to Sirius as well. For more charts and details see my Christmas ISS pass page.
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