Wednesday, October 03, 2018
The Sky This Week - Thursday October 4 to Thursday October 11
The New Moon is Tuesday, October 9. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 6th. Daylight savings begins on the Sunday 7th for NSW, VIC, TAS, SA.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
The insets shows simulated telescopic views of Venus 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 high in the evening until after full dark. Venus is visible to the unaided eye from before sunset, easy to see shortly after sunset and can viewed well until 90 minutes after sunset. This week Venus begins to move away from Jupiter and begins to sink towards the horizon and Mercury.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (just after 30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
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 to around 90 minutes after sunset at full dark, when it is two hand-spans above the horizon. During the week Venus heads away from Jupiter towards Mercury and the horizon. Venus is close to the crescent Moon on the 11th.
Mercury climbs higher in the evening skies but you will still need a level, unobstructed western horizon to see Mercury at its best at 30 minutes after sunset.
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.
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. However Mars will remain bright and large in even small telescopes for some time. 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. A guide to observing Mars at the time is at my Mars Opposition page.
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. With the Moon gone from the evening sky the nebulae are now at their best.
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: weekly sky