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Tuesday, July 05, 2011


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

The First Quarter Moon is Friday July 8. Venus lost to sight. Jupiter high in the morning sky. Mars below the star Aldebaran. Mercury close to the Beehive cluster. Saturn is still close to the star Porrima, gamma Virginis.

Morning sky looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 6:30 am local time on Sunday July 10 showing Mars and the constellations. Mars is close to the red star Aldebaran. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The First Quarter Moon is Friday July 8.

In the morning Jupiter is high above the north-eastern sky. Mars is low in the eastern sky, below bright red star Aldebaran.

After dominating the morning sky for months, bright white Venus is now lost in the twilight glow.

Evening sky on Thursday July 7 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 6:00 pm local time in South Australia showing Mercury near the Beehive cluster. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).

Mercury becomes more prominent in the evening sky in July. On the evening of Thursday July 7 Mercury is close to the Beehive cluster, but you will need binoculars to see the stars of the Beehive.

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 reasonably close together.

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 22:00 pm on July 7th 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.


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