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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

 

Possible outburst of the alpha Monocerotids Meteor shower (October 22 04:50 UT).



Morning sky facing north-east from Adelaide at 1:00 am ACDST on 21 November, the alpha Monocerotids radiant is indicated with a star burst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time.

The alpha Monocerotids are normally inconspicuous from Australia. But this year there is the prediction of an outburst of up to 400 meteors per hour around 04:50 UT on the 22nd (around 3 pm AEDST).

While this is during daylight hours for us, it is possible the peak may arrive early or late so observations on the morning of the 22nd from around 1 am are encouraged.

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Monday, November 18, 2019

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday November 21 to Thursday November 28

The New Moon is Wednesday November 27.  Venus climbs higher in the evening twilight closing in on Jupiter with the pair closest on the 24th. Jupiter is easily visible low in the western evening skies near  Venus. The crescent Moon is close to Jupiter on the 28th. Saturn is above Jupiter and Venus, higher in the western evening skies.  Asteroid Vesta visible in binoculars. Alpha Monocerotids meteor shower 21st-22nd. Mars and Mercury close to the crescent Moon 24th-25th

The New Moon is Wednesday November 27. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 23rd.

Sky at 21:11 ACDST on Sunday 24 November (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus and Jupiter are at their closest with Saturn above the pair.

The left upper insert shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time. The lower right is that of Saturn at the same magnification and the lower left is Venus.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.

Sky at 21:15 ACDST on Thursday 28 November (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. The crescent Moon  and Jupiter are close with Venus and Saturn above the pair.







Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.

Morning sky at 5:29 ACDST facing east as seen from Adelaide on Sunday 24 November 30 minutes before sunrise.

Mars is low above the horizon just below Spica near the crescent Moon and Mercury. You may need binoculars to see Mercury.




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



Morning sky facing north-east from Adelaide at 1:00 am ACDST on 21 November, the alpha Monocerotids radiant is indicated with a star burst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time.

The alpha Monocerotids are normally inconspicuous from Australia. But this year there is the prediction of an outburst of up to 400 meteors per hour around 04:50 UT (around 3 pm). While this is during daylight hours for us, it is possible the peak may arrive early or late so observations on the morning of the 21st and 22nd from around 1 am are encouraged.

Venus is higher above the western horizon in the late evening twilight. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset.Venus comes closer to Jupiter over the week and is closest to it on the 24th, before leaving Jupiter behind.

Mercury is climbing out of  the twilight.

Jupiter   is easily visible in the western sky  and is located beside the distinctive tail of the constellation of Scorpius and above Venus. Venus comes closer to Jupiter over the week and is closest to it on the 24th, before leaving Jupiter behind. The thin crescent Moon is close to Jupiter on the 28th.

Mars is just visible in the morning twilight near the bright star Spica.on the 24th the thin crescent Moon is close to Spica and Mars, and on the 25th Spica, Mars, the thin crescent Moon and Mercury from a line in the morning twilight.

Saturn  is above Jupiter and Venus and near the "handle" of the "teapot of Sagittarius. It is best for telescopic viewing from just around astronomical twilight local time until around 10:00 pm.

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/

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday November 14 to Thursday November 21

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday November 20.  Venus climbs higher in the evening twilight closing in on Jupiter. Jupiter is easily visible low in the western evening skies above Venus. Saturn is above Jupiter, higher in the western evening skies.  Asteroid Vesta visible in binoculars. Leonid meteor shower 18th.

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday November 20.

Sky at 21:01 ACDST on Saturday 16 November (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn form a line above the western horizon.

The left upper insert shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time. The lower right is that of Saturn at the same magnification and the lower left is Venus.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.

The North-east horizon as seen in Adelaide at 21:37 pm ACDST (90 minutes after sunset) showing the location of Vesta (click to embiggen) on Saturday 16 November. The inset is the binocular view of Vesta and the two prominent guide stars.

Vesta is currently easy to find, near the two brightish stars that form the foreleg of Taurus the bull. Vesta is brightest on the 12th, but with the Full Moon nearby will be difficult to observe, even in binoculars. You may need to block the Moon out with a building to have a chance to see Vesta at this time.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen. A spotter guide with printable charts is here.


Morning sky at 5:34 ACDST facing east as seen from Adelaide on Saturday 16 November 30 minutes before sunrise.

Mars is low above the horizon just below Spica. You may need binoculars to see Mars.




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



Morning sky facing north-east from Adelaide at 4:00 am ACDST on 18 November, the Leonid radiant is indicated with a star burst. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time.

For this years Leonids the Last Quarter Moon will result in poor viewing conditions. As for the recent past years this year there are low rates, you will be unlikely to see anything substantial (although there may be short bursts of higher rates). The best time to observe in Australia is the morning of the 18th between 3 and 4 am (daylight saving time). The Radiant (where the meteors appear to come from) is in the Sickle of Leo. Orion and the Hyades will be visible. So it will be a quite nice morning, even if there are only a few meteors.

Venus is higher above the western horizon in the late evening twilight. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset.Venus comes closer to Jupiter over the week.

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Jupiter  is still worth observing in the early evening. Jupiter is easily visible in the western sky  and is located beside the distinctive constellation of Scorpius and above Venus. It sets around 10:30 local time and is a good telescope target in the early evening. Venus comes closer to Jupiter over the week.

Mars is just visible in the morning twilight near the bright star Spica.

Saturn  is to the east of Jupiter and near the "handle" of the "teapot of Sagittarius. It is best for telescopic viewing from just around astronomical twilight local time until around 10:30 pm.

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/

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Monday, November 11, 2019

 

Live Streaming and Webcasts of the Transit of Mercury (12 November/11 November UT)

Transit of Mercury as seen from Australia in November 2006 at around 8:30am, click to enlarge. Mercury is the tiny dot roughly in the centre-top.



On the 11th of November UT (that's 11th-12th here in Australia), Mercury will transit the sun. While more common than transits of Venus, this will be the last until 2032.

Sadly, Australia will not get to see it (we will get to see the next in 2032 though). However, there are any number of live web-casts you can follow.



While these are all at horrible times here in Australia, if you are a late stayer or an early riser, you can catch a rare event.

Event Universal Time AEDST
Contact I12:35:2723:35 (11th)
Contact II12:37:0823:37 (11th)
Greatest Transit15:19:4802:19 (12th)
Contact III18:02:3305:04 (12th)
Contact IV18:04:1405:04 (12th)

Webcasts:
Time and date: https://www.timeanddate.com/live/
Space.com: https://www.space.com/mercury-transit-2019-viewing-guide.html
Vimeo: https://livestream.com/GriffithObservatoryTV/MercuryTransit2019
Royal Observatory: https://www.rmg.co.uk/discover/explore/when-is-the-next-transit-of-mercury

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Wednesday, November 06, 2019

 

Yet Another series of Bright ISS passes (6-11 November, 2019)

The ISS passes close to Venus, Antares and Jupiter as seen from Sydney on the evening of Friday 8 November  at 20:33 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes above Jupiter as seen from Adelaide on the evening of Wednesday 6 November  at at 21:37 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes close to Venus and Jupiter, as seen from Perth on the  evening of Saturday 9 November at 19:51 AWST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot)click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Friday 8 November for Sydney.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 6 November for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Saturday 9 November for Perth.

Over the next few days there are a series of  bright ISS passes in the early evening or twilight where the ISS passes close to Venus, Jupiter or Saturn.  Some are in twilight but the passes are very bright and will be well worth watching for.

The following tables are from data provided from Heavens Above.

Passes from Adelaide (ACDST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
06 Nov-2.721:35:5610°WSW21:39:0435°NW21:39:1435°NWvisible
07 Nov-3.620:47:0610°SW20:50:2972°NW20:52:4519°NEvisible
08 Nov-1.021:37:0910°WNW21:38:0911°NW21:39:0910°NWvisible
09 Nov-1.620:47:0310°WSW20:49:4021°NW20:52:1610°Nvisible


Passes from Brisbane (AEST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
06 Nov-2.619:33:0910°SSW19:36:1129°SE19:36:2029°SEvisible
07 Nov-1.718:45:0910°S18:47:2517°SE18:49:4110°Evisible
07 Nov-1.420:21:0810°WSW20:22:4522°W20:22:4522°Wvisible
08 Nov-3.619:32:1310°SW19:35:3669°NW19:36:2048°NNEvisible
09 Nov-3.418:43:3710°SSW18:46:5653°SE18:49:5912°ENEvisible
10 Nov-1.319:32:2710°W19:34:4417°NW19:36:3712°NNWvisible
11 Nov-2.318:43:0310°WSW18:46:1035°NW18:49:1510°NNEvisible


Passes from Hobart (AEDST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
06 Nov-3.220:29:1210°WSW20:32:3252°NW20:35:5010°NEvisible
07 Nov-1.021:18:5310°WNW21:20:0912°NW21:21:2510°NNWvisible


Passes from Melbourne (AEDST)


 
Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
06 Nov-3.420:29:3710°SW20:32:5956°SE20:36:1910°ENEvisible
06 Nov-1.222:07:3510°W22:09:1414°NW22:09:1414°NWvisible
07 Nov-1.921:18:0310°WSW21:20:5324°NW21:22:4516°Nvisible
08 Nov-2.920:29:0310°WSW20:32:2045°NW20:35:3410°NNEvisible
10 Nov-1.120:29:2310°W20:31:2515°NW20:33:2610°NNWvisible
 
Passes from Perth (AWST)



Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
06 Nov-2.720:39:2110°WSW20:42:0842°WNW20:42:0842°WNWvisible
07 Nov-3.819:50:3710°SW19:54:0184°SE19:55:3928°NEvisible
08 Nov-1.120:40:0510°W20:41:4413°NW20:42:0913°NWvisible
09 Nov-1.919:50:2310°WSW19:53:1425°NW19:55:4811°Nvisible



Passes from Sydney (AEDST)


Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
06 Nov-3.520:31:2110°SW20:34:4358°SE20:36:2027°ENEvisible
07 Nov-1.721:20:0210°W21:22:3320°NW21:22:4520°NWvisible
08 Nov-2.620:30:5110°WSW20:34:0238°NW20:36:2016°NNEvisible
10 Nov-0.920:31:5210°WNW20:33:0512°NW20:34:1810°NNWvisible
 

When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location, a small difference in location can mean the difference between the ISS passing over a star or planets or missing it completely. As always, start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted. Be patient, there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions. Use the most recent prediction for your site.

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Monday, November 04, 2019

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday November 7 to Thursday November 14

The Full Moon is Tuesday November 12.  Venus climbs higher in the evening twilight and Mercury is lost in the twilight. Jupiter is easily visible low in the western evening skies. Saturn is above Jupiter, higher in the western evening skies.  Asteroid Vesta visible in binoculars but  hard to see in the Moonlight.

The Full Moon is Tuesday November 12.  

Sky at 20:53 ACDST on Sunday 10 November (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn form a line above the western horizon.

The left upper insert shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 20:53 on 9 November. The lower right is that of Saturn on the 10th at the same magnification.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.


The North-east horizon as seen in Adelaide at 10 pm local daylight saving time (9:00 pm non-daylight saving time) showing the location of Vesta (click to embiggen) on Tuesday 12 November when it is at opposition. The inset is the binocular view of Vesta and the two prominent guide stars.

Vesta is currently easy to find, near the two brightish stars that form the foreleg of Taurus the bull. Vesta is brightest on the 12th, but with the Full Moon nearby will be difficult to observe, even in binoculars. You may need to block the Moon out with a building to have a chance to see Vesta at this time.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen. A spotter guide with printable charts is here.


Morning sky at 5:39 ACDST facing east as seen from Adelaide on Saturday 9 November 30 minutes before sunrise.

Mars is low above the horizon just below Spica. You may need binoculars to see Mars.




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



Venus is higher above the western horizon in the late evening twilight. Venus is now readily seen over 60 minutes after sunset.Venus passes close to the bright Star Antares on the 10th.

Mercury is lost in the twilight. Mercury transits the Sun's disk on the 12th, but this will not be seen from Australia (but will from North Island New Zealand).

Jupiter  is still well worth observing in the early evening. Jupiter is easily visible in the western sky  and is located beside the distinctive constellation of Scorpius and above Venus. It sets around 11:00 local time and is a good telescope target in the early evening.

Mars is just visible in the morning twilight near the bright star Spica.

Saturn  is to the east of Jupiter and near the "handle" of the "teapot of Sagittarius. It is best for telescopic viewing from just around astronomical twilight local time until around 11 pm.

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/

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

 

Southern Skywatch November 2019 edition is now out!

Sky at 20:40 ACDST on Saturday 2 November (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Jupiter is above the western horizon. Mercury is above the western horizon and is below Venus.

The crescent Moon is very close to Saturn.  (similar views will be seen similar views will be seen Australia wide 60 minutes minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).





The November edition of Southern Skywatch is now up.

Mercury leaves the evening sky this month and returns to the morning sky late in the month.

Venus climbs higher in the evening twilight and meets Jupiter on 23-24 November.

 Mars climbs higher in the morning sky but is only really visible in the end of the month.

Jupiter is low in the western evening sky.

Saturn  is above the western horizon

November 2; crescent Moon close to Saturn. 4 November; Venus is between Delta and Beta Scorpii. Venus comes close to the globular cluster M80 on the 7th. November 12; Asteroid Vesta at opposition. November 23; Moon at perigee. November 23-24, Venus and Jupiter close. November 25, Mars, the thin crescent Moon and Mercury form a triangle in the twilight. November 28, Moon and Jupiter close with Venus above. November 30; Moon and Saturn close.

November 7; Moon at Apogee, November 23; Moon at perigee.

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