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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

 

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

The First quarter Moon is Wednesday, October 17.  All 5 bright unaided eye planets can now be seen in the evening sky. Venus is low in the early evening sky just below Jupiter. Venus and the crescent Moon are close on the 11th with Mercury below. Jupiter and the crescent Moon are closest on the 12th. Mercury and Venus are at their closest on the 16th. Saturn and Mars are visible in the evening skies with Saturn and the Moon closest on the 15th.

The First quarter Moon is Wednesday, October 17. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 18th.

Evening  twilight sky on Tuesday October 16 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:27 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset). Mercury and Venus are at their closest with  Jupiter above. You will need a level, unobstructed western horizon to see Mercury at its best.


The insets shows  simulated telescopic views of Venus and Jupiter as seen with a 5mm telescopic eyepiece on Tuesday October 16. Venus is a clear crescent in small telescopes. Europa is passing in front of Jupiter

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

Evening twilight sky on Thursday October 11 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:22 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is above the horizon, not far from the crescent Moon and below Jupiter.


The insets shows  simulated telescopic views of Venus, Mercury  and Jupiter as seen with a 5mm telescopic eyepiece on Thursday October 11. Venus is a clear crescent in small telescopes.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Brilliant Venus is visible in the evening until full dark. Venus is visible to the unaided eye from before sunset, easy to see shortly after sunset and sets around 90 minutes after sunset. This week Venus continues to move away from Jupiter and rapidly to sinks towards the horizon and Mercury.


Whole sky view of the evening sky on Friday October 12 as seen from Adelaide at 20:27 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset).  Five bright planets are visible in the early evening sky. The crescent Moon is near Jupiter.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (just after 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).



Evening sky on Monday October 15 as seen from Adelaide at 20:58 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset). Saturn and Mars are clearly visible. The insets are simulated telescopic views of Saturn and Mars as seen with a 5mm telescopic eyepiece.

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

 Venus  is  readily visible above the horizon in the early evening.  It is bright enough to be visible from just on sunset and sets 90 minutes after sunset at full dark.  During the week Venus continues to head away from Jupiter rapidly moving towards Mercury and the horizon. Venus is close to the crescent Moon on the 11th and at its closest to Mercury on the 16th.
 
Mercury climbs higher in the evening skies as it heads towards Venus. The pair are closest on the 16th.

Jupiter  is in the early evening sky above the western horizon just above Venus. It was at Opposition on the May 9th, and is still visible during the evening. It is  a good telescopic object for only a short period in the early evening and is setting around 45 minutes after astronomical twilight. Jupiter is close to the crescent Moon on the 12th.

Mars is in Capricornius and is readily seen in the evening. Mars was at opposition on July 27th,  when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth. This was the best opposition since 2003.  Mars is now rapidly dimming and shrinking. In a telescope you can see a few features as the huge dust storm has abated, the polar cap is obvious in even small telescopes. 

Saturn is now high in the northern evening sky in the early evening, and is a good telescopic object in the mid to late evening sky. It was at opposition, when Saturn is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on June the 27th. It is still within binocular range of  the Trifid and Lagoon nebulae, but is slowly moving towards the globular cluster M22.  Saturn is close to the waxing Moon on the 15th.

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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