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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday January 23 to Thursday January 30

The  New Moon is Saturday, January 25. Mercury is barely visible low in the twilight and is close to the thin crescent Moon on the 26th. Venus is prominent in the evening sky well after twilight and is close to the crescent Moon on the 28th. Mars is visible in the morning twilight near the body of Scorpius the Scorpion close to the bright red star Antares.  Jupiter is visible low above the morning horizon. The Red Giant star Betelgeuse in Orion is still dim.

The  New Moon is Saturday, January 25. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, no the 30th.

Sky at 20:55 ACDST on Sunday, January 26 (30 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Mercury is low to the horizon and close to the crescent Moon. You will need a flat un-obscured horizon like the ocean or the desert to see it effectively. Venus will be readily visible above the pair.




Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.


Sky at 21:28 ACDST on Tuesday, January 28 (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus is prominent in the sky near the crescent Moon. The inset shows the telescopic view at this time.





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


Morning sky at 5:20 ACDST facing east as seen from Adelaide on Saturday, January 25, 60 minutes before sunrise.

Mars is now well above the horizon and is close to the body of Scorpius the scorpion. Mars is starts the week close to the bright red star Antares (the rival of Mars). Jupiter is low above the horizon.

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

Evening sky looking north-east at 22:07 ACDST on Saturday, January 25 (90 minutes after sunset). Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Orion is readily visible. Betelgeuse is the bright red star below the "saucepan" of Orion. Red Aldebaran is almost the same height above the horizon as red Betelgeuse, making brightness comparisons easy.

Betelgeuse is a red giant star which forms a distinctive part of the Constellation of Orion. It is a variable star, with small fluctuations in brightness not visible to the casual observer.

Betelgeuse has dimmed substantially and is now even dimmer than last week, reportedly between magnitude 1.5-1.6, it is visibly dimmer than magnitude 1 Aldebaran and roughly as bright as Bellatrix. The next brightest star just to the north of Betelgeuse. Keep an eye on this historic dimming event, observing hints and stars for magnitude estimation are given here. The waning moon will be out of the way making it easier to estimate Belegeuses' brightness.

Venus is prominent above the western horizon in the early evening sky. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset. 0n the 28th Venus is close to the crescent Moon.

Mercury is difficult to observe low in the twilight. It is close to the thin crescent Moon on the 26th.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning twilight.

Mars is visible high in the morning twilight. It is near the scorpion, Scorpius, this week. It is close to the bright red star Antares (the rival of Mars) at the start of the week.

Saturn was in conjunction with the Sun on the 14th and will not become visible until it enters the morning sky in February.


Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEDST, Western sky at 10 pm AEDST. 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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