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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday April 26 to Thursday May 3

The Full Moon is Monday, April 30.  Venus is high in the twilight and passes below the Hyades cluster and the bright star Aldebaran. Jupiter is now rising in the early evening skies and is visited by the Moon on the 30th. Venus is setting as Jupiter is rising. Mars and Saturn are now visible in the late evening skies. Mercury is prominent in the morning skies.

 The Full Moon is Monday, April 30.

Evening twilight sky on Thursday April 26 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:20 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Venus is just above the Pleiades in the twilight, and below the Hyades. and the bright star Aldebaran. The inset shows the binocular view of Venus and the Pleiades.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Venus is rising higher in the twilight. Venus is visible to the unaided eye from 15 minutes after sunset, easy to see 30 minutes after sunset and can potentially be viewed as late as an hour after sunset if you have a flat, unobstructed horizon.

Evening sky on Monday April 30 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 19:05 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset). Jupiter is  above the horizon close to the full Moon.

The inset is a simulated telescopic view of Jupiter and its moons at 04:00 ACST on the 30th, with Ganymede and its shadow transiting the face of Jupiter.

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

Evening sky on Saturday April 28 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACST. Mars and Saturn are above the eastern horizon. The inset is a simulated telescopic view of Saturn and the globular cluster M22.


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



Morning sky on Saturday April 28 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:45 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Mercury is the brightest object closest to the eastern horizon. The inset shows a simulated telescopic view of Mercury.


Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).




 Venus  is now sufficiently high in the evening twilight to be readily visible above the horizon if there are not too many trees or buildings in the way. It is  now one and a half hand-spans above the horizon 30 minutes after sunset. It is bright enough to be visible 15 minutes after sunset and easy to see 30 minutes after sunset. Venus can potentially be viewed as late as an hour after sunset if you have a flat, unobstructed horizon.

Venus starts the week just above the beautiful cluster the Pleiades, but in the twilight glow you will need binoculars to see the Pleiades. As the week progresses Venus leaves the Pleiades behind and glides past the V shaped Hyades cluster and the bight red Star Aldebaran. Venus is closest to Aldebaran on Thursday May 3.



Mercury has returned to the morning sky, and now is in an excellent position for observation. Mercury is the brightest object above the eastern horizon. Mercury is now high enough for telescope observation. In even a small telescope the "half moon" shape of Mercury will be visible.

Jupiter  is rising in the early evening, and is now a good telescopic object in the late evening. There are some good Jovian Moon events this week. Jupiter is at opposition next week, and is in an excellent position for telescopic observation. Jupiter is rising as Venus is setting.

 Mars is in Sagittarius the archer and is now rising in the late evening. Mars is moving away from Saturn although the pair are still obvious together.   Mars is brightening ahead of opposition later this year.

Saturn has entered the evening sky, although telescopically it is still best in the morning sky. It is within binocular range of several attractive clusters and nebula. It is close to the bright globular cluster M22 and the pair are visible in binoculars and wide field telescope eyepieces.

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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