.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday January 18 to Thursday January 25

The Last Quarter Moon is  Thursday, January 25. The variable star Mira is close to maximum. Mars and bright Jupiter are close together. Saturn and Mercury are visible in the morning sky and forms a line with the star Antares, Mars, Jupiter and the star Spica. Mercury is lost in the twilight by the end of the week. The asteroid Ceres is visible in binoculars by mid-week.

The New Moon is  Wednesday, January 17.

Morning sky on Saturday January 20 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:19 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Jupiter, Mars Saturn and Mercury form a line in the morning sky with the bright stars Antares and Spica.


Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).
Morning sky on Saturday January 20 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 3:001 ACDST the asteroid Ceres is just below the sickle of Leo.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).







Black and white binocular chart suitable for printing (click to embiggen and print).

The large circle represents the field of view of 10x50 binoculars. The small that of a 4" Newtonian telescope with a 24 mm eyepiece. Use the horizon charts for orientation first.

The asteroid 1 Ceres is relatively easily visible in binoculars form around the middle of this month, it brightens during this time but there is significant interference from Moonlight by the end of the month.

Ceres is relatively easy to find. It is above the northern horizon at astronomical twilight in the morning, and is just below Kappa Leo. The brightish star the is the tip of the sickle of Leo (see charts, if you centre your binoculars on Kappa Leo Ceres will be just below it). You may need to watch night to night as the asteroid moves to be sure of its identity..
 
Venus  is lost in the twilight.

Jupiter climbs still  higher in the morning sky and is moving away from Mars after their spectacular conjunction last week.


 Mars is moving away from Jupiter after their spectacular conjunction last week.

Mercury is dropping back towards the horizon this week and will be lost in the twilight at the end of the week.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky, leaving Mercury behind.

The bright planets form a line in the morning sky  with the bright stars Antares and Spica, this will look quite attractive.


Evening sky on Saturday January 13 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 22:11 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset). (click to embiggen)

The long period variable star Mira is now near peak brightness, and is easily visible to the unaided eye, even in Moonlight.  The circle marks the location of Mira in the rambling constellation of Cetus. The Arrow shaped head of  Taurus the bull points almost directly at Mira. This is a good time to see this iconic variable star

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

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:


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday January 11 to Thursday January 18

The New Moon is  Wednesday, January 17. The variable star Mira is now bright enough to see easily. Mars and bright Jupiter are close together. On January 12 the crescent Moon forms a triangle with the pair. Mercury and Saturn climb higher in the morning sky and are closest on the 13th, the thin crescent Moon joins the pair on the 15th

The New Moon is  Wednesday, January 17. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 15th.

Morning sky on Friday January 12 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:11 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Jupiter and Mars form a triangle with the crescent Moon. Mercury and Saturn as visible close to the horizon.


Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Morning sky on Saturday January 13 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:11 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Jupiter is close to Mars.  The crescent Moon is near Antares.

Mercury and Saturn and Saturn are at their closest.



The inset shows a simulation of the field of view of  a 24 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope bracketing Saturn and Mercury.

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 still  higher in the morning sky and is moving away from Mars after their spectacular conjunction last week. The pair are still visible together in binoculars for the rest of the week.

On January 12 Mars and Jupiter are visited but the crescent Moon, forming a nice triangle in the sky.

 Mars is moving away from Jupiter after their spectacular conjunction last week. The pair are still visible together in binoculars for the rest of the week.

Mercury is dropping back towards the horizon this week and has a close encounter with Saturn on the  13th  in  the twilight. On the 15th the pair are joined by the thin crescent Moon,

Saturn climbs out of  the twilight, climbing towards Mercury. The pair will are at their closest on the 13th, when they will fit together in low power telescope eyepieces. Being so close to the horizon this will be a viewing challenge. For most of the week they will be visible together in binoculars. Although the planetary pair are close to the triffid and lagoon nebulae, the closeness to the horizon and the approaching dawn means it will be difficult of see these nebulae.


Evening sky on Saturday January 13 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 22:15 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset). (click to embiggen)

The long period variable star Mira is now near peak brightness, and is easily visible to the unaided eye, even in Moonlight.  The circle marks the location of Mira in the rambling constellation of Cetus. The Arrow shaped head of  Taurus the bull points almost directly at Mira. This is a good time to see this iconic variable star

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

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:


Tuesday, January 02, 2018

 

Perigee full Moon of January 2, 2018

Perigee full Moon of January 2, 2018 at 23:00 ACST. Click to embiggen.

After a clear cloud free day, the clouds came over as the moon rose, got this shot in a brief hole in the cloud, the it socked in completely.

My plan to take sequential shots showing the Moon receding was foiled, and I only had time to do this mobile phone shot, not one with my better cameras.

At this time the Moon was 357000 km from Earth, not as good as at astronomical twilight (356896 km) but still closer that the perigee Moon of 4 Dec 2017.

It doesn't look good for Mars and alpha2 librae tomorrow morning.

Labels: , ,


 

Mars and Jupiter in a Spectacular Conjunction in the Morning Sky (3-9 January, 2018)

Morning sky on Sunday January 7 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:05 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Jupiter and Mars are spectacularly close together.

The inset shows a simulation of the field of view of  a 12 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope. Mercury is now visible low to the horizon.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Over the next few mornings, Mars and Jupiter will be putting on a spectacular display as they dance close together. For mots of this time the pair are visible not only close in the sky with the unaided eye, culminating on the 7th when the pair are only 0.25 degrees apart (less that a quarter of a finger-width). For most of this tome the pair are also visible in initially low, then at their closest in high power telescope eye pieces where the disk of Jupiter it's moons and the tiny disk of Mars may be seen together.

Black and white chart suitable for printing showing the path of Mars and Jupiter over the next three weeks. The chart is printed in telescope orientation, so it is upside down from the chart above. The large circle is the field of view of 10x50 binoculars, the smaller that of a 24 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope. The next smallest is of  a 12 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope and the smallest of  a 5 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope. Click to embiggen and print.

The viewing week starts tomorrow morning when the bright double star alpha2 Librae (Zubenelgenubi) are at their closest, and visible together in low power telescope eyepieces.

Although viewing can potentially start at 4:00 am, it is better to wait until 4:30 when the pair will be sufficiently high above the horizon murk and surrounding obstacles (this goes for all the observing times, although the charts are for nautical twilight (60 minutes before sunrise), the planets and stars are so bright that encroaching dawn will have little effect at this time. Atmospheric turbulence may make imaging difficult.

Black and white chart suitable for printing showing the path of Mars and Jupiter over the time of closest approach, centred on the 7th. The chart is printed in telescope orientation, so it is upside down from the chart at the top. The large circle is the field of view of  a 24 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope. The next smallest is of  a 12 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope and the smallest of  a 5 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope. Mars is hidden by the cross indicating its position. Click to embiggen and print.

The pair or Jupiter and Mars are visible in binoculars all week, in a 24 mm or equivalent eyepiece (you will need to adjust for your own telescopes characteristics, this is a general guide) from the 5th to the 9th. a 12.25 mm eyepiece from the 6th to the 8th and a 5 mm eyepiece on the 7th. The scale lines on the above charts can give you a guide to your own telescopes field of views with different eye pieces.

As a grand finale, the waning moon is close to the pair on the 11th, and the crescent Moon forms a triangle with them on the 12th.

Labels: , , , , ,


 

The Sky This Week - Thursday January 4 to Thursday January 11

The Last Quarter Moon is  Tuesday, January 9. The variable star Mira is now bright enough to see easily. Mars is easy to see and is heading towards bright Jupiter. The pair are spectacularly close on January 7 and visible together in telescopes. On January 11 the waning Moon forms a line with the pair. Mercury climbs higher in the morning sky followed by Saturn.

The Last Quarter Moon is  Tuesday, January 9.

Morning sky on Sunday January 7 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:05 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Jupiter and Mars are spectacularly close together.

The inset shows a simulation of the field of view of  a 12 mm eyepiece on a 114mm Newtonian telescope. Mercury is now visible low to the horizon.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Morning sky on Thursday January 11 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:08 ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Jupiter is close to Mars with the waning Moon nearby. Mercury is more prominent and Saturn is rising to meet it.

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 away from  the bright double star alpha2 Librae (Zubenelgenubi). The pair and Mars are visible together in binoculars at the start of the week, as well at the start of the the week Mars and Jupiter can be seen together in low power telescope eyepieces.

On January 7 Mars and Jupiter are spectacularly close, being 0.25 degrees apart (around a quarter of a finger width). At this time the pair are visible together in high power telescope eye pieces.

 Mars is close to the bright double star alpha2 Librae (Zubenelgenubi) and moving towards Jupiter. At the beginning of the week the trio are visible together in binoculars. At this time Spica, Mars, alpha2 Librae (Zubenelgenubi) and Jupiter form a line in the morning sky. On the 4th Mars and Zubenelgenubi are visible together in low power telescope eyepieces. Mars than leaves Zubenelgenubi behind and closes in on Jupiter, on the 5th Mars and Jupiter are visible together in low power telescope eye pieces. The pair come closer and are visible together in high power telescope eye pieces on the 7th. They then draw apart and are visible in medium power telescope eyepieces on the 8th.

Mercury is now rising rapidly into the morning skies, and will be highest on the 2nd, it then drops back towards the horizon and a close encounter with Saturn in  the twilight.


Saturn climbs out of  the twilight, climbing towards Mercury. The pair will meet next week.

Evening sky on Saturday January 6 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 22:19 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset). (click to embiggen)

The long period variable star Mira is now near peak brightness, and is easily visible to the unaided eye, even in Moonlight.  The circle marks the location of Mira in the rambling constellation of Cetus. The Arrow shaped head of  Taurus the bull points almost directly at Mira. This is a good time to see this iconic variable star

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

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:


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?