Tuesday, December 18, 2018
The Sky This Week - Thursday December 20 to Thursday December 27
The Full Moon is Sunday, December 23. The Moon is at Perigee, where it is closet to Earth on the 24th. Earth is at Solstice on the 22nd, where the day is longest.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes before sunrise)
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.
Comet 46P is has passed it peak brightness and is now fading. With the bright Moon interfering it is hard to say how bright it is but magnitude 4.5 is probably in the ball park. Over the next few days the proximity of the bright Moon makes the comet quite hard to see. But after the weekend it should be seen as a fuzzy blob in binoculars if you have a clear, unobstructed northern horizon.
On the 23rd the comet in in the centre of a distinctive triangular asterism, on the 24th it is next to the bright star Capella, but the stars brightness may overwhelm it. On the 25th (Christmas day) it is just below Capella. After this in Southern Australia it will be too close to the horizon for good viewing, although in Northern Australia it may be visible until early January. More details on how to see it, along with charts suitable for printing, are here.
Venus climbs higher in the morning skies.
Mercury is low in the morning twilight with Jupiter rising to meet it.
Jupiter climbs higher in the morning twilight and is closet to Mercury on the 22nd.
Mars is in Pisces and is readily seen as the brightest object in the western evening sky. Mars sets after midnight.
Saturn is lost in the twilight.
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