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Tuesday, May 14, 2024


Thursday May 16 to Thursday May 23

The Full Moon is Thursday, May 23.  Comet 12P Pons-Brooks is now visible when the sky is fully dark but is still a binocular only object. The waxing Moon may make it harder to see. The comet is close to the iconic Orion constellation and is within a binocular field of the bright star Rigel. In the morning the lineup of Saturn, Mars and Mercury makes for nice viewing.

The Full Moon is Thursday, May 23.  The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 18th.

Evening sky on Sunday, May 19 as seen from Adelaide at 18:46 ACST (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).   Comet 12P is now just below Orion when the sky is fully dark. The inset shows the binocular view at this time.

While the comet is a reasonable magnitude 5.5, you will still need binoculars. Especially with he waxing Moon making it harder to see. Over the week the comet will climb higher into darker skies past the bright stars of Orion. but will remain within a binocular field of the bright star Rigel. Updated spotters charts are here.

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Morning sky on Saturday, May 18  as seen from Adelaide at 06:08ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). Saturn, Mars and Mercury make an attractive lineup.The inset is the telescopic view of Saturn at this time.



Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).
Whole sky on Saturday, May 18 as seen from Adelaide at 18:47 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).

Orion is low in the north-west. Bright Sirius is still dominant in  the north-western sky. Scorpius is rising in the East. Between the bright star Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to discover. The fainter clusters will be washed out by the light of the waxing, then full Moon.




 Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset).



Mercury begins to sink into the twilight.

Venus is lost in the morning twilight.

Mars is rising in the morning twilight. 

Jupiter is lost in the twilight sky.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning twilight.

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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