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Wednesday, March 07, 2018

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday March 8 to Thursday March 15

The Last Quarter Moon is Friday, March 9.  Venus and Mercury are low in the twilight. Mars, bright Jupiter and Saturn form a line together with the bright stars Antares and Spica in the morning skies. Jupiter is now rising in the late evening skies. Saturn is in binocular range of some interesting nebula and the globular cluster M22. The Moon is close to Mars on the 10th, Mars and Saturn on the 11th then Saturn on the 12th.

The Last Quarter Moon is Friday, March 9. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest form the Eath on March 11.

Evening twilight sky on Saturday March 10 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:07 ACDST (30 minutes after sunset). Venus and Mercury are close together low in the twilight.

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

Venus and Mercury are very low in the twilight. You will need a flat unobscured horizon, like the ocean or the desert. Venus is now visible to the unaided eye (just) from 15 minutes after sunset but you will need binoculars, to see Mercury low in the horizon murk.

Evening sky on Saturday March 10 looking East  as seen from Adelaide at 23:30 ACDST Jupiter is just rising above the horizon.

The inset is a simulated telescopic view of Jupiter on March 11 at 5:27 ACDST, with Ganymede, Io and their shadows on the face of Jupiter.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).


Morning sky on Sunday March 11 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 5:27 ACDST (90 minutes before sunrise). Mars is moving towards Saturn and the trifid nebula and Saturn is coming closer to the bright globular cluster M22. The Moon lies between Mars and Saturn.





Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise).

Venus  is low in the evening twilight. and is still very difficult to see, being just three finger-widths above the horizon 30 minutes after sunset. It is bright enough to be just visible 15 minutes after sunset, but it is easier to find it in binoculars first.

Mercury is very low in the evening twilight just to the right of Venus. You will need a flat unobscured horizon, like the ocean or the desert, and probably binoculars, to be able to see Mercury low on the horizon.

Jupiter  is rising before midnight, but it is still best to view in the morning sky, where it is high above the northern horizon. There are some good Jovian Moon events this week.

 Mars is moving down the body of Scorpius the scorpion. Mars moves away from Antares (the rival of Mars) over the week. Mars is moving towards the Triffid and Lagoon nebulae and Saturn. Scanning with binoculars around Mars and Saturn will be very rewarding once the Moon is out of the way. The Waning Moon is close to Mars on the 10th.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky. It is within binocular range of several attractive clusters and nebula. It is just within range of the Lagoon and Triffid nebulae and is coming closer to the  bright globular cluster M22. The waning Moon is close to Mars and Saturn on the 11th then Saturn on the 12th.

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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