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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday January 30 to Thursday February 6

The  First Quarter Moon is Sunday, February 2. Venus is prominent in the evening sky well after twilight. Mars is visible in the morning twilight below the body of Scorpius the Scorpion.  Jupiter is visible low above the morning horizon and is joined by Saturn. The Red Giant star Betelgeuse in Orion is still dim.

The  First Quarter Moon is Sunday, February 2. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on January the 30th.


Sky at 21:24 ACDST on Saturday, February 1 (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus is prominent in the sky with the Moon nearby. 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, February 1, 60 minutes before sunrise.

Mars is now well above the horizon and is below the body of Scorpius the scorpion. Mars is in some interesting binoculat territory as it heads towards the triffid and lagoon Nebulae. Jupiter is higher above the horizon and Saturn appears below it.

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, February 1 (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 1.6, 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 waxing moon will begin to interfere with estimates of  Belegeuses' brightness by the end of the week.

Venus is prominent above the western horizon in the early evening sky. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset.

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning twilight.

Mars is visible high in the morning twilight. It is below the scorpion, Scorpius, this week. Mars is in some interesting binocular territory, heading for the Triffid and Lagoon Nebulae over the comming weeks.

Saturn enters the morning sky and is low above the horizon in the twilight..


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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