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Monday, October 21, 2019

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday October 24 to Thursday October 31

The New Moon is Monday October 28.  Venus and Mercury climb higher in the evening twilight. The thin crescent Moon forms a line with Venus and Mercury on the 29th, then on the 30th forms a triangle with them. Mercury and Venus are closest on the 31st. Jupiter is easily visible in the western evening skies and is close to the Moon on the 30th. Saturn is near Jupiter, is high in the western evening skies.The Variable star Mira peaks in brightness around 24 October. Asteroid Vesta visible in binoculars.

The New Moon is Monday October 28. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 26th.

Sky at 20:40 ACDST on Wednesday 30 October (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Jupiter is above the western horizon. Mercury is well above the western horizon and is close to Venus with the crescent Moon forming a triangle with them





Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.



Sky at 20:40 ACDST on Thursday 31 October (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Jupiter is above the western horizon with the crescent Moon close by.
Mercury is well above the western horizon and is at its closest to Venus.

The left upper insert shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 20:54.The lower right that of Saturn at the same magnification.

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



Cetus looking north-west at 10:00 pm ACDST on 24 October, Mira is indicated by the circle.
Mira (omicron ceti), a star in the constellation of Cetus the whale, is a long period pulsating red giant and changes brightness from below naked eye visibility to a peak of round magnitude 2 (roughly as bright as beta Crucis in the Southern Cross) in around 330 days.

Mira is predicted to peak with maximum of 3.4 around 24 October. Mira may be seen above the north-eastern horizon from around 10 pm local time. Mira is currently visible just to the unaided eye and will brighten noticeably over October.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

The North-east horizon as seen in Adelaide at 11 pm local daylight saving time (10:00 pm non-daylight saving time) showing the location of Vesta (click to embiggen) on 26 October. The inset is the binocular view of Vesta and the two prominent guide stars.

while not the largest asteroid, Vest occasionally becomes bright enough to see with the unaided eye, but is now easily visible in binoculars. Vest is currently easy to find, near the two brightish stars that form the foreleg of Taurus the bull.


Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

Venus is higer above the western horizon in the late evening twilight. Venus is now readily seen over 60 minutes after sunset. Mercury is above Venus in the late evening twilight. The pair come closer over the week and are closest on the 31st. on the 29th the thin crescent moon forms a line with Venus and Mercury,then on the 30th forms a triangle with them.

Mercury is high above the western horizon in the late evening twilight and  is visible for at least an hour after sunset an may be seen into full darkness. The pair come closer over the week and are closest on the 31st.

Jupiter is now well past opposition. However, it is still well worth observing in the early evening. Jupiter is easily visible in the western sky  and is located beside the distinctive constellation of Scorpius and not far from the bright red star Antares. It sets around 11:30 local time and is a good telescope target in the early evening. The crescent Moon is close t Jupiter on the 31st.

Mars is lost in the twilight.

Saturn  is to the east of Jupiter and near the "handle" of the "teapot of Sagittarius. It is best for telescopic viewing from just around astronomical twilight local time until the early morning.

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.




Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to current time.

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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