Monday, April 12, 2021
Thursday April 15 to Thursday April 22
The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday, April 20., April 17 showing the eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 5:16am ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the morning sky.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). click to embiggen.
The south-eastern horizon, around 11:00 pm local time in Australia. Can you see the Emu? Click to embiggen.
If you are out camping this school holidays, now that the Moon is just waxing and the evening sky is dark it is a great time to find the constellation of the Emu. Now you are saying: ‘Emu – but there is no Emu!’ However, the Emu is one of the indigenous Australian constellations. And interestingly, it is a "dark" constellation, one that is made up entirely of dark dust lanes!
"Dark" constellations are unique to the Southern hemisphere. In South America they had the constellations of the Tinamou (and Emu relative) and two llamas making up the constellation the Indigenous Australians called the Emu*.
See the Emu now?
The Emu consists of the Coal Sack, the dark dust cloud that nestles in the crook of the Southern Cross (the head of the Emu), and a dark dust lane that stars near the Pointers (alpha and beta Centauri) and runs down to the curl of stars that forms the body of Scorpio. This is the neck and wings of the Emu. A second dark dust lane forms the lower body and legs.
Being made of dark dust lanes, it is almost impossible to see in any city. However, here in the suburbs, if I let my eyes adapt for several minutes I can make it out. And of course in the country it is almost immediately obvious. Once you spot it, you will wonder why you never saw the Emu before. The best time too look currently is about 11 pm when the Emu is nearly vertical and easier to recognise. You can look earlier from 9-10 pm, but the legs are cut off and it might be harder to recognise.
*There is more than one Emu, another Indigenous group identifies Orion as an Emu.
Venus is lost in the twilight.
Mars is readily visible in the evening sky above the north-western horizon in the early evening. Mars is just beyond the stars that form the tips of the horns of Taurus the Bull. On the 17th Mars is just two finger-widths (about 2 degrees) from the crescent Moon. This means Mars is within binocular and wide field eyepiece distance of the crescent Moon.
Jupiter is climbing higher in the morning sky forming a line with Saturn.
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/
Labels: weekly sky