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Tuesday, June 21, 2011


The Sky This Week - Thursday June 23 to Thursday June 30

The Last Quarter Moon is Thursday June 23. On the morning of 26 and 27 June the crescent Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter form a line in the morning sky. Saturn is close to the star Porrima, gamma Virginis.

Morning sky looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 6:30 am local time on Sunday June 26 showing Jupiter, with Mars and Venus lined up below. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The Last Quarter Moon is Thursday June 23.

In the morning the bright planets are strung out in a line. Jupiter leads the procession above Mars and Venus. Mars is just above Venus, but is not very spectacular.

Bright white Venus is coming closer to the horizon, and is now low to the horizon. Venus is "gibbous" phase, and is nearly "full".

On the 26th and 27th The Crescent Moon is near Jupiter, forming a line-up with Mars and Venus, you will need a clear, level eastern horizon to see Venus. On the 29th the thin crescent Moon will be just under Mars.

Evening sky on Saturday June 25 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 9:30 pm local time in South Australia showing Saturn very close to Porrima (gamma Virginis). Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen, Porrima is just visible as a dot on the side of Saturn in this image).

Inset, the telescopic view of Saturn on the 18th , you will need a fairly large telescope to see any moon other than Titan. Click to embiggen.

Saturn is readily visible as the bright yellowish object not far from the bright star Spica. It is high enough for telescopic observation in the early evening. Saturn is still close to the star Porrima (gamma Virginis). They are moving apart, but are still paired close together.

The big storm on Saturn is now so large that it is visible in even small telescopes. See here for some stunning amateur images.

Even in small telescopes you can see Saturn's rings and it's moon Titan. Despite being past opposition, when Saturn was at its biggest, being well past, Saturn will be big and beautiful for many weeks to come.

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.

The location of Vesta as seen at 23:00 pm on June 25th looking east from Adelaide, similar views will be seen at equivalent local times elsewhere. Click to embiggen,

The asteroid Vesta is becoming brighter and is now readily visible in binoculars (magnitude 6.3), near iota Capricorni, making it very easy to find. Iota Capricorni is the third star up and to the left of the brightest star in Capricornus (see image to left). Vesta moves significantly night to night, so will be easy to follow. A chart showing Vesta's location is here.

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.


For God's sake Give us an efemeris
An ephemeris fro what?
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