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Sunday, June 16, 2019

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 20 to Thursday June 27

The last Quarter Moon is Tuesday June 25. Mars is visible low in the evening twilight with Mercury above it. Jupiter is easily visible as the brightest object in the evening skies. Saturn climbs higher in the late evening skies.  Venus is closing in on the horizon and is becoming more difficult to see in the twilight.

The last Quarter Moon is Tuesday June 25. The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth on the 23rd.

Morning sky on Saturday, June 22 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:55 ACST (30 minutes before sunrise). 







 Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).



Sky at 20:00 ACST on Saturday, June 22 looking east as seen from Adelaide. Jupiter is just after opposition, and high above the eastern horizon with Saturn below. The left upper insert inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this 21:35, with Io just about to go behind Jupiter. The left lower insert that of Saturn.




Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

Evening sky on Saturday, June 22  as seen looking north-west from Adelaide at 18:12 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Mars is below Mercury.






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






Venus is still bright low in the morning twilight.

Mercury  climbs higher in the evening twilight, heading away from Mars, but is still best seen with a level, clear horizon.

Jupiter  Jupiter was  at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 11th. However it is well worth observing for some time after opposition. It is visible al night long and is a good telescope target in the evening, being highest above the northern horizon around 11 pm. Amateurs with medium to large telescopes may want to monitor the "unravelling" of Jupiter's red spot.

Mars is in Gemini just below birther Mercury, during the week Mercury leaves Mars behind.

Saturn  climbs higher in the evening sky but it still best for telescopic viewing in the early morning.

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.

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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Monday, June 10, 2019

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 13 to Thursday June 20

The Full Moon is Monday June 17. Mars is visible low in the evening twilight with Mercury near it. Mars and Mercury are closest on the 18th. Jupiter is easily visible in the evening skies and wass at opposition, when it was biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 11th. Jupiter is close to the Moon on the 16th.Saturn climbs higher in the late evening skies and is close to the Moon on the 19th.  Venus is closing in on the horizon and is close to the bright red star Aldebaran on the 16th.

The Full Moon is Monday June 17.

Morning  sky on Saturday, June 15  as seen from Adelaide at 6:22 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise).  Three bright planets can be seen. Jupiter and Saturn are above the western and north-western horizon. Venus is low above the eastern horizon.



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







Morning sky on Sunday, June 16 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:18 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise).  Venus is very close to the thin crescent Moon.



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



Sky at 20:00 ACST on Sunday, June 16 looking east as seen from Adelaide. Jupiter is just after opposition, and high above the eastern horizon not far from the almost full Moon with Saturn below. The left upper insert inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this 21:35, with Io just about to go behind Jupiter. The left lower insert that of Saturn.




Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

Evening sky on Tuesday, June 18  as seen looking north-west from Adelaide at 17:55 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Mars is in the constellation of Gemini, Mercury is just above the horizon.




Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).






Venus is still bright in the morning twilight although it is coming closer to the horizon. During thewek it comes close to the Hyades star cluster, and on the morning of the 16th it is closest to the bright red star Aldebaran

Mercury  climbs higher in the evening twilight, heading towards Mars, but is still best seen with a level, clear horizon. On the 18th Mars and Mercury are that their closest, with Mercury the brighter of the two. After this Mercury is above Mars.

Jupiter  Jupiterwas s at opposition, when it wass biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 11th. However it is well worth observeing for some time after opposition. It is visible al night long and is a good telescope target in the evening, being highest above the northern horizon around 11 pm. Amateurs with medium to large telescopes may want to monitor the "unravelling" of Jupiter's red spot.

Mars is in Gemini. Mars starts the week close to  Wasat, delta Geminorum then moves away during the week. Mars sets around 7:00pm. On the 18th Mars and Mercury are that their closest, with Mercury the brighter of the two. After this Mercury is above Mars.

Saturn  climbs higher in the evening sky but it still best for telescopic viewing in the early morning. The waning Moon will be close to Saturn on the 19th.

 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.

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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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 6 to Thursday June 13

The First Quarter Moon is Monday June 10. Mars is visible low in the evening twilight with Mercury below it. Jupiter is easily visible in the evening skies and is at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 11th. Saturn climbs higher in the late evening skies.  The morning skies feature three bright planets Jupiter, Saturn and bright Venus. Venus is closing in on the horizon.

The First Quarter Moon is Monday June 10. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on June 10.

Morning  sky on Saturday, June 8  as seen from Adelaide at 6:19 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise).  Three bright planets can be seen. Jupiter and Saturn are above the western and north-western horizon. Venus is low above the eastern horizon.



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


Sky at 20:00 ACST on Tuesday, June 11 looking east as seen from Adelaide. Jupiter is at opposition, and high above the eastern horizon with Saturn below. The left upper insert inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time, the left lower insert that of Saturn.




Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.


Evening sky on Saturday, June 8  as seen looking north-west from Adelaide at 17:55 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Mars is in the constellation of Gemini, Mercury is just above the horizon.




Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).






Venus is still bright in the morning twilight although it is coming closer to the horizon.

Mercury  climbs higher in the evening twilight, heading towards Mars, but is still best seen with a level, clear horizon.

Jupiter  Jupiter is at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on the 11th. it is visible al night long and is a good telescope target in the evening, being highest above the northern horizon around midnight. Amateurs with medium to large telescopes may want to monitor the "unravelling" of Jupiter's red spot. Although opposition is on the 11th, Jupiter will be bright and big in telescopes for many week to come.

Mars is in Gemini. Mars heads towards Wasat, delta Geminorum during the week. Mars sets around 7:00pm.

Saturn  climbs higher in the evening sky but it still best for telescopic viewing in the early morning.

 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.

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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Thursday, May 30, 2019

 

Southern Skywatch June 2019 edition is now out!

Morning sky on Sunday, June 2 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:18 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise).  Venus is very close to the thin crescent Moon.



 Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).





The May edition of Southern Skywatch is now up.

Mercury returns to the evening sky this month. Mercury is close to the crescent Moon on the 4th, then catches up with Mars, being closest on the 18th.

Venus is low in the morning skies and is close to the crescent Moon on the 2nd.



Earth is at solstice on Saturday the 22nd, when the day is shortest.


 Mars is close to the crescent Moon on the 5th. Mars is alos close to Mercury on the 18th.

Jupiter is at opposition on the 11th, when it is brightest and biggest as seen from Earth. Visible all night Jupiter is excellent telescopic viewing. Jupiter is close to nearly full Moon on the 16th.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky and the waning Moon close to Saturn on the 19th.

June 2, crescent Moon near Venus.

June 4, crescent Moon close to Mercury. June 5; Mars close to the crescent Moon. June 16; Moon close to Jupiter. June 9; waning Moon close to Saturn.

June 8 Moon at perigee, June  23 Moon at Apogee.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday May 30 to Thursday June 6

The New Moon is Monday June 3. Mars is visible low in the evening twilight and is visted by the crescent Moon on the 5th. Jupiter is easily visible in the evening skies. The dwarf planet Ceres is just past opposition and is easily visible in binoculars,. Saturn climbs higher in the late evening skies.  The morning skies feature three bright planets Jupiter, Saturn and bright Venus. Venus is closing in on the horizon and is visited by the thin resent Moon on the 2nd. Mercury returns to the evening skies.

The New Moon is Monday June 3.

Morning  sky on Saturday, June 1  as seen from Adelaide at 6:18 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise).  Three bright planets can be seen. Jupiter and Saturn are above the western and north-western horizon. Venus is low above the eastern horizon with the crescent Moon above it.



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


Morning sky on Sunday, June 2 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:18 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise).  Venus is very close to the thin crescent Moon.



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


Sky at 22:00 ACST on Saturday, June 1 looking east as seen from Adelaide. Ceres is below Antares and bright enough to be easily seen in binoculars. Jupiter is high above the eastern horizon with Saturn below. The left upper insert inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time, the left lower insert that of Saturn. Io is  transiting the face of Jupiter and Ganymede is about to be occulted by Jupiter.


Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

Sky at 22:00 ACST on Saturday, May 25  looking east as seen from Adelaide. This is a higher magnification spotters map to find the dwarf planet Ceres.

While Ceres is at its brightest on the 29th, it is easily visible before and after the 29th, and is moving reasonably slowly. It  is below and to the north of Antares with easily visible guide stars.


Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.

Evening sky on Wednesday,  June 5  as seen looking north-west from Adelaide at 17:55 ACST (45 minutes after sunset). Mars is in the constellation of Gemini and close to the thin crescent Moon, Mercury is just above the horizon.




Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (45 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).






Venus is still bright in the morning twilight although it is coming closer to the horizon. It ius close to the thin crescent Moon on the 2nd.

Mercury  returns to the evening twilight, but is best seen with a level, clear horizon.

Jupiter  Jupiter is now visible in the mid evening sky. It is now a good telescope target in the evening.

Mars is in Gemini. Mars heads towards epsilon Geminorum and is closest on the 1st and 2nd. Mars is close to the thin crescent Moon on the 5th. Mars sets around 7:30pm.

Saturn  climbs higher in the evening sky but it still best for telescopic viewing in the early morning.

 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.

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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Friday, May 24, 2019

 

Opposition of Ceres, 29 May 2019


Sky at 22:00 ACST on Saturday, May 25  looking east as seen from Adelaide. Similar views will be seen esewhere in Australia at and equivalent local time (click to embiggen). Ceres is below Antares and bright enough to be easily seen in binoculars. Jupiter is high above the eastern horizon with Saturn below. The left upper insert inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time, the left lower insert that of Saturn. Black and white binocular chart suitable for printing (click to embiggen and print).

The large circle represents the field of view of 10x50 binoculars. The small that of a 4" Newtonian telescope with a 24 mm eyepiece. Use the horizon charts for orientation first.

Ceres is at Opposition on the 29th of May. Currently around magnitude 7, it is readily visible in binoculars. Ceres is relatively easy to find, below below and to the north of Antares and above Jupiter. Ceres can be seen to move from night to night, brightening gradually.

Ceres is easy to spot with a bit of start hopping. Over the next few days it is between Chi (ꭕ) and Phi (ᶲ) Ophiuchi. While close to Antares, it is better to locate Acrab (ß1 Scorpii) the second brightest star just up from Antares, which forms a distinctive triangle with the close pair Omega (⍵) Scorpii and Jabbah (𝜈 Scorpii).

If you fool the line formed by Acab and Jabbah, the next bright star you come to is Chi (ꭕ) Ophiuchi, with Phi (ᶲ) Ophiuchi below that. Ceres is brightest object between the pair, and can be seen to move over the coming days.

Sky at 22:00 ACST on Saturday, May 25  looking east as seen from Adelaide. This is a higer magnification spotters map to find the dwarf planet Ceres.Sky at 22:00 ACST on Saturday, May 29  looking east as seen from Adelaide. This is a higer magnification spotters map to find the dwarf planet Ceres.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

 

Globe at Night Light Pollution Campaign (May 25 - June 3, 2019)

The southern evening sky 18:44pm ACST (90 minutes after sunset) on 25 March as as seen from Adelaide. Similar views will be seen in the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

The Globe at Night world light pollution survey runs each year now and are collecting observations during all 12 months of the year. The next survey period is May 25 - June 3 (starting Saturday).

Everyone can be involved, hopefully students and teachers too. Basically, after astronomical twilight (90 minutes after sunset ( best from 9-10 pm) head out, look to the north-west to find Bootes, (if you are in the northern hemisphere) or south to find Crux (for us southern hemisphere types) then check how many stars are visible for Bootes and Crux, and report your observations. It's a great excuse to get outdoors and look at the sky. You might even see the International Space Station.

This year you can submit your results a smart phone or tablet. To do this, you can use the web application at www.globeatnight.org/webapp/. Globe at Night is also on Facebook and Twitter.

There is a pod-cast on light pollution and a powerpoint presentation that explains about light pollution and how to do the sky survey, and special activities for kids. So go on, get out and have a go!

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Daylight Occulation of Saturn, morning May 23, 2019

Map of the Occultation path of the Moon and Saturn. The occultaion id on the 22nd UT, which is the morning of the 23rd in Australia after sunrise.The Moon at 8:40 am ACST in Adelaide on Thursday 23 May just as Saturn disappears behind the Moon. The insets shows the binocular view of Saturn going behind the Moon (left) and emerging from behind the Moon at 9:40 am (right)

On the morning of Thursday 23 May Saturn is occulted by the waning Moon as seen from most of Australia (see table below for exact timings). This is a daytime occultation, which will require telescopes. Although the Moon will be in the west, well away from the Sun, it would be best for experienced amateurs only to attempt this so no accidental sun exposure is possible.

As well, even though Saturn will be visible in telescopes, it will be very pale and difficult to see.

The Moon, low above the western horizon, is a very obvious signpost for where to look with Saturn close to the bright Limd. You may need some patience to see Saturn pale against the brightness of the Sky. For Brisbane,  Townsville, Rockhampton and Sydney the Moon sets before the occultation ends. 

Start watching about half an hour beforehand to get set up and familiar with the sky. Saturn will pale close to the bright limb of the Moon. Reappearance will be hard to see as you have to be looking just at the right moment and the Moon is closer to the horizon.

PlaceDisappears Bright Limb Reappears Dark Limb
Adelaide ACST8:409:40
Brisbane AEST9:21-
Canberra AEST9:1110:07
Darwin ACST--
Hobart AEST9:029:56
Melbourne AEST9:0810:05
Perth AWST7:218:00
Rockhampton AEST9:37-
Townsville AEST9:27-
Sydney AEST9:13-


More cities in Australia and also New Zealand can be found at the IOTA site (UT times only).

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