Monday, February 17, 2020
The Sky This Week - Thursday February 20 to Thursday February 27
The New Moon is Monday, February 24.Apogee, when the Moon is furthest from the Earth, is on the 26th.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, 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 ACDST, 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, 3:30 Perth) .
Three bright planets now dominate the morning skies. Mars is well above the horizon. Mars is in some interesting binocular territory as it crosses the milky way closing in on Jupiter.
On the 21st the Moon is close to Saturn ending the Moons visit to these bright planets with a glorious sight.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).
It is suggested that Betelgeuse may begin brightening again soon, so keep watching this iconic star.
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 nd new moon will not interfere with estimates of Betelgeuses' brightness during the week. Betelgeuse may start brightening again around the 21st.
Venus is prominent above the western horizon in the early evening sky. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset.Venus is visited by the Moon on the 27th.
Mercury is lost in the twilight.
Three bright planets are visible in the morning sky.
Mars is visible high in the morning twilight. Mars leaves the Triffid and lagoon Nebulaeheading for the globular cluster M22 and Jupiter.
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 and is visited by the Moon on the 21st.
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