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Tuesday, March 30, 2010


The Sky This Week - Thursday April 1 to Thursday April 8

The Last Quarter Moon is Tuesday April 6. Mars comes within binocular distance of the Beehive Cluster again. Saturn is seen in the evening above the eastern horizon near the bight stars Regulus and Spica. Venus appears low in the twilight. Jupiter is visible in the morning sky.

Evening sky looking North showing Saturn, Mars and the Moon at 10:00 pm local daylight saving time (9:00 pm non-daylight saving) on Sunday April 4. Click to embiggen.

The Last Quarter Moon is Tuesday April 6. On Sunday April 4 the waning moon is close to the red star Antares in Scorpius.

Saturn is rising around 6:30 pm local daylight saving time and is easily visible in the late evening sky as the bright yellow object between the bright stars Regulus and Spica. Saturn was at opposition, when it was at its biggest and brightest, on Monday March 22. However, now is still a very good time for telescopic observation of the ringed world. On the 8th, Saturns' Moon Titan cruises just above the planets north pole.

However, it is best to wait until 11 pm or midnight, when Saturn is quite high in the sky for the best telescopic views. Saturn's' rings are opening, and look quite beautiful, even in a small telescope. If you don't have a telescope, now is a good time to visit one of your local astronomical societies open nights or the local planetariums.

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Bright white Venus continues to rise above from the twilight glow. People with flat, level horizons can see Venus above the western horizon half an hour after Sunset.

Jupiter is now relatively easy to see in the morning sky, above the eastern horizon. Jupiter stars the week so close to the dim star Phi Aquarii that on April 1 it will look as if it has swallowed the star. During the week it pulls away.

Eastern horizon showing Jupiter at 5:30 am local daylight saving time (4:30 am non-daylight saving) on Sunday April 4, click to embiggen.

In the evening Mars can be seen low in the northern sky as the brightest (and clearly red) object in that part of the sky. Red Mars is in the constellation of Cancer, nearly 3/4s of the way between Pollux and the Beehive Cluster. On Saturday April 3, mars comes within binocular distance of the beautiful beehive cluster.

Mars also forms a line with the bright stars Sirius and Procyon. Mars forms another line with Regulus, Saturn and Spica.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm ADST, Western sky at 10 pm ADST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch. Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.


Interesting and very informative blog post! Thanks for the detailed post with the wonderful images..

Sydney Harbour Charter
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