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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

 

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

The Full Moon is Thursday, October 25.  This is the last week to see all 5 bright unaided eye planets in the early evening sky. Venus rapidly heads towards the horizon moving away from Mercury and is lost to view by the end of the week. Mercury climbs higher and approaches Jupiter. Saturn and Mars are visible in the evening skies with  Mars and the Moon closest on the 18th. Uranius is at opposition on the 24th.

The Full Moon is Thursday, October 25.

Evening  twilight sky on Saturday October 20 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:00 ACDST (30 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon with Mercury and  Jupiter above. You will need a level, unobstructed western horizon to see Venus at its best.


The insets shows  simulated telescopic views of Venus, Mercury and Jupiter as seen with a 5mm telescopic eyepiece on Saturday October 20. Venus is a clear crescent in small telescopes.
 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Brilliant Venus is visible in the evening an hour after sunset in the early aprt of the week.  This week Venus continues to move away from Mercury and rapidly to sinks towards the horizon. It is lost to view by the end of the week.


Whole sky view of the evening sky on Saturday October 20 as seen from Adelaide at 20:00 ACDST (30 minutes after sunset).  Five bright planets are visible in the early evening sky. The Moon is above Mars.

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



Evening sky on Thursday October 18 as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 ACDST (90 minutes after sunset). Saturn and Mars are clearly visible. The Moon is near Mars. 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).



Evening sky on Wednesday October 24 as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACDST. Uranus is at opposition, when it is brigest as seen from Earth.The Moon is near Uranus. The star Omicron Pisscium is indicated as a guide star to find Uranus, within a binocular field omicron Piscium and Uranus are the two brightest objects visible.

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


 Venus  is  visible above the horizon in the early evening early in the week.  It is bright enough to be visible from just on sunset and sets 60 minutes after sunset at nautical twilight in the early part of the week, but rapidly moves towards the horizon and is lost to view by the end of the week.  During the week Venus head away Mercury.
 
Mercury climbs higher in the evening skies as it heads towards Jupiter.

Jupiter  is in the early evening sky above the western horizon just above Mercury. It is  a good telescopic object for only a short period in the early evening and is setting around 45 minutes after astronomical twilight.

Mars is in Capricornius and is readily seen in the evening. 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. Mars is close to the Moon on the 18th.

Saturn is now high in the north-western evening sky in the early evening, and is a good telescopic object in the mid evening sky. It is still within binocular range of  the Trifid and Lagoon nebulae, but is slowly moving towards the globular cluster M22. 

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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