Monday, February 10, 2020
The Sky This Week - Thursday February 13 to Thursday February 20
The Last Quarter Moon is Sunday, February 16.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.
Three bright planets are now visible in the morning skies. Mars is now well above the horizon and is below the body of Scorpius the scorpion. Mars is in some interesting binocular territory as it crosses the milky way.
On the 17th to 19th Mars crosses between the triffid and lagoon Nebulae. The inset is the binocular view of Mars and the nebulae on the 18th, when the grouping is at its most spectacular. Mars is close to the waning Moon on the 19th.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).
Jupiter is well above the horizon and Saturn appears below it. The Moon is spectacularly close to Jupiter (less than half a finger-width, and the pair are easily visible together in binoculars or wide field telescope eyepieces. The inset is the wide field view at 5:00 AM ACST, when Jupiter and the Moon are closest
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (eg 5:00 Sydney/Melbourne, 4:30 Brisbane) .
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 reportedly around 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 waning moon will not substantially interfere with estimates of Betelgeuse' brightness during the week. It is suggested that Betelgeuse may begin brightening again soon, so keep an eye out.
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.
Three bright planets are visible in the morning sky.
Mars is visible high in the morning twilight. It is below the scorpion, Scorpius, this week.On the 17th to 19th Mars crosses between the triffid and lagoon Nebulae. Mars is close to the waning Moon on the 19th.
Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky. The Moon is spectacularly close to Jupiter (less than half a finger-width apart) on the 20th and the pair are easily visible together in binoculars or wide field telescope eyepieces.
Saturn climbs higher in the morning 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/
Labels: weekly sky