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Wednesday, January 06, 2016


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

The New Moon is Sunday January 10. Jupiter is visible in the late evening sky. Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Saturn form a long line in the morning sky and are joined by the waning to crescent Moon. On the 7th Venus, Saturn and the crescent Moon form a triangle. Venus and  Saturn are closest on the Saturday 9th.  

The New Moon is Sunday January 10.

Evening sky on Sunday January 10 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 23:55 ACDST. Jupiter is just above the horizon shortly before midnight. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Jupiter enters the evening sky around midnight daylight saving time, it is low on the horizon for most of the week.

The evening is also graced by the summer constellations of Taurus (with the V shaped cluster the Hyades forming the head of Taurus the Bull and the beautiful Pleiades cluster nearby) Orion the Hunter and Canis Major with bright Sirius, the dog star, climbing above the north-eastern horizon.

Early morning sky on Saturday January 9 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 ACDST showing Mars, Venus and Saturn with the red star Antares close by.  Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is high in the morning skies and is rising before midnight by the end of the week. 

Mars is higher in the morning skies and is readily visible in the pre twilight dark.

Venus is easy to see in the morning twilight. It is a  distinct "gibbous Moon" shape and is nice in a small telescope.

Saturn climbs the morning sky.

Venus, Saturn and the red star Antares form a triangle low in the early twilight. During the week Venus traverses the head of the Scorpion and meets on Saturn. 

Venus is closest to Saturn on the morning of January 9th. Simulation in Stellarium of the telescopic field of view in a 10 mm eyepiece with a 114 mm Newtonian telescope. Similar views will be seen in a variety of telescopes. (click to embiggen).

On the morning of Thursday January 7, Venus Saturn and crescent Moon are close and on the morning of the  9th, Venus and Saturn spectacularly close (and also visible together in a low power telescope as illustrated).

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. 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.
Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/


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