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Wednesday, September 11, 2013


The Sky This Week - Thursday September 13 to Thursday September 20

The Full Moon is Thursday September 19. Mars and Jupiter are prominent in the early morning. Venus is easily visible in the western evening sky and is closing in on Saturn. The two are closest on the 18th.  Mercury rises higher in the evening sky.

The Full Moon is Thursday September 19. The Moon is at Perigee on the 16th.

Evening sky looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:45 pm local time on Wednesday September 18. Venus is quite high in the evening sky next to Saturn.  Mercury is visible below Spica. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local times.  Click to embiggen.

Venus  climbs higher in the evening twilight. It can easily be seen 20 minutes after sunset. The brightest (spectacularly so) object above the western horizon it is visible up to two hours or more after sunset (depending on how flat your western horizon is).

Venus approaches the Saturn this week, leaving the bright star Spica behind. On the 18th, Venus is closest to  Saturn.

Mercury  climbs higher in the evening sky this week. it is now relative easy to see in the late twilight, below Spica.

Saturn is still easily visible above the western horizon in the early evening in the constellation of Virgo. Telescopic views of the ringed world are progressively harder as the planet gets lower in the sky. Saturn sets around 9:30 pm local time.

Neptune is currently at opposition, and visible in strong binoculars. Location maps here which can be used in conjunction with the printable PDF maps below. My images with a little point and shoot camera here

Morning sky on Sunday September 15 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 5:30 am local time in South Australia. Mars, Jupiter, and Procyon form a long triangle in the morning sky. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).

Mars, Jupiter and the bright star Procyon start the week forming a triangle in the morning twilight.  Jupiter is in the constellation Gemini. Mars is passing through the constellation Cancer.

Mars rises  a little higher in the morning twilight, and is reasonably visible before the sky pales substantially.

Jupiter is now well above the north-eastern horizon, above and to the left of Mars. It is quite easy to see in the morning sky well into the twilight. During the week Jupiter rises higher and heads towards to moderately bright star Wassat.

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Venus and 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

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.


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