Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The Sky This Week - Thursday October 23 to Thursday October 30
The New Moon is Friday October 24.
Mercury is lost in the twilight.
Mars is easily seen in the western evening sky, setting around midnight. Mars was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest, on the 9th of April, and is still readily distinguishable as the bright red/orange object above the western horizon in the early evening.
Mars is in the constellation of Sagittarius and is close to the Lagoon Nebula on the 27th and 28th. This will look rather nice in binoculars. The crescent Moon is also near Mars on the 28th amking for a rather attractive sky to explore with binoculars.
Saturn is low in the early western evening sky, and was at opposition on June 11th. Saturn is visible in the early evening, setting a bit over two hours after sunset. Saturn is edging closer to the twilight..
Saturn is near the crescent Moon on the 25th.
Venus is lost in the glare of the Sun.
Jupiter rises higher in the morning twilight, and now is easy to see above the horizon before twilight. Jupiter is now easy to see as the brightest object above the north-eastern horizon.
Comet C/2012 K1 Panstarrs is rising higher in the morning sky. It should be easily visible in 10x50 binoculars as a fuzzy dot with a stubby tail. At magnitude 7 you will need to let your eyes adapt to darkness to see the comet clearly. It doesn't have any spectacular encounters, but will look nice amongst the stars.
More detailed charts and a printable binocular map are here.
There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. Especially with Mars and Saturn prominent in the early evening 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.
Labels: weekly sky