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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday October 4 to Thursday October 11

The New Moon is Tuesday, October 9.  5 bright unaided eye planets can now be seen in the evening sky. Venus is high in the early evening sky just below Jupiter. Venus and the crescent Moon are close on the 11th. Saturn and Mars are visible in the evening skies. Mercury can be seen low in the evening twilight below Venus. Daylight savings begins on the Sunday 7th for NSW, VIC, TAS, SA.

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.


Evening early twilight sky on Saturday October 6 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:43 ACST (30 minutes after sunset). Mercury is just above the horizon with Venus and  Jupiter above. You will need a level, unobstructed western horizon to see Mercury at its best.


 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 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.
Whole sky view of the evening sky on Saturday October 6 as seen from Adelaide at 18:43 ACST (30 minutes after sunset).  Five bright planets are visible in the twilight evening sky.

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



Evening sky on Saturday October 6 as seen from Adelaide at 19:49 ACST (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 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/

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