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Tuesday, June 04, 2013


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

The New Moon is Sunday June 9. Mars returns to the morning sky and is close to the crescent Moon on 7 June. Venus and Mercury form are close to the crescent Moon on 10 June. Saturn is high in the evening skies.

Evening sky looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:00 pm local time on Monday June 10. The crescent Moon is close to Venus, below Mercury. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local times indicated here.  Click to embiggen.

The New Moon is Sunday June 9.  The Moon is at apogee (furthest from the Earth) on the 10th.

Venus and Mercury form a line in the evening sky this week. The crescent Moon joins the pair on June 10 and 11.

Jupiter is lost in the twilight.

Mercury  is visible above Venus and becomes more visible as it climbs in the evening sky.

Venus also climbs higher in the evening twilight. It is still close to the horizon, and you need a clear, level horizon like the ocean to see it at its best. However, it is quite visible soon after sunset, and becomes easier to see as the week progresses.

Saturn is easily visible above the eastern horizon in the early evening in the constellation of Libra. By 10 pm local time it is high above the northern horizon and very easy to see.This is an excellent time to view this planet in a small telescope, as there will be the least interference from horizon murk and air turbulence.

Saturn, Arcturus and Spica from a broad triangle above the northern horizon.

Opposition (when Saturn is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth) was on April 28. However, Saturn will be a worthwhile evening target for telescopes of any size for several months. The sight of this ringed world is always amazing.

Morning sky on Friday June 7 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 6:45 am local time in South Australia. The crescent Moon is close to Mars in the twilight. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).

Mars emerges from the twilight, but will be hard to see unless you have a flat, clear horizon. On Friday June 7 the thin crescent Moon is close to Mars.

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Saturn so prominent in the sky.  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. Especially during the school holidays.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEST, Western sky at 10 pm AEST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.

Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.


I saw Venus twice yesterday. The definite sighting was across Lake Burley-Griffin after doing Questacon and the NGA.
In the William Turner exhibition I was intrigued by the brightness of the Moon in this painting.
Looking closer, there was a bright spot above the moon. It is so bright when viewed directly, I'm sure it's Venus and not Juptier or Saturn. The web version doesn't show it well though.
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