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Monday, October 12, 2020

 

Thursday October 15 to Thursday October 22

The New Moon is Saturday October 17. The bright planets Venus and Mars are visible in the early morning skies.  Four bright planets are (just) visible in evening sky. Mars is past opposition but is still making the sky stunning along with  Jupiter and Saturn. Mercury is lowering in the evening twilight and is visited by the Moon on the 18th. Orionid Meteor shower morning Thursday 22.

The New Moon is Saturday October 17.  The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 17th.

Evening sky at 20:30 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset) on Sunday, October 18 facing west as seen from Adelaide. Mercury is low seen above the Western horizon in the late twilight.  The thin crescent Moon is not far from Mercury.

 

 

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

Whole sky at 20:29 ACDST  (60 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, October 17 as seen from Adelaide.

Four bright planets are visible stretching west to east. Mercury Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.  The insets show the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at the same magnification at 21:35when Callisto emerges from behind Jupiter. 

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

Evening sky at 21:00 ACDST  on  Saturday, October 17 facing east as seen from Adelaide. Mars is above the eastern horizon. Mars was at opposition last week, but is still excellent. more details here.

The variable start Mira is still visible to the unaided eye.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Mars at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

Morning sky on
Saturday, October 17 showing the north-eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 5:43 am ACDST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is getting lower to the horizon.

The inset is the telescopic view of Venus at this time.
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise), click to embiggen.


Morning sky as seen from Adelaide facing north-east at 4:30 am ACDST on 22 October, the Orionid radiant is indicated with a starburst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at an equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The Orionids are a worthwhile shower that somewhat favours the Southern Hemisphere,best seen between 2-5 am, the radiant, the point where meteors appear to originate from, being just under Betelgeuse, the bright red star in Orion.

If you draw an imaginary line between Procyon and Aldebaran, then drop another imaginary line from Betelgeuse to the horizon, the radiant is just next to the intersection of those two lines.

The Orionids are the debris from Halley's comet. The Orionids maximum is on October 22 UT (October 23 Australian time). but good rates are seen on the 22nd.
 
 
This week four bright planets, Mercury , Jupiter, Saturn and Mars can be (just) seen at nautical twilight, 60 minutes after sunset. Mercury and Mars will be low on the horizon but bright red mars is unmistakable. This is the last week to see all 4 planets easily.

Mercury is lowering in the evening twilight and is close to the thin crescent Moon on the 18th..

Venus is still readily visible low above the horizon in the morning.

 Mars is visible in the morning sky to the west, It is now readily visible in the late evening sky. Mars is close to the variable star Mira, which is still reasonably bright. Mars was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 14th, but is still worthwhile observing. Observing details and more at the Mars Opposition site.
  
Jupiter can be readily seen in the early evening sky. Jupiter and Saturn stay around a hand-span apart during the week and the pair are prominent in the evening skies along with Mars.
 
 Saturn too is visible in the early evening skies and is also still an excellent sight. 
 
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 the 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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