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Tuesday, November 08, 2016


The Sky This Week - Thursday November 10 to Thursday November 17

The Full Moon is Monday November 14. This is a Perigee Full Moon, a so-called "Super Moon". There is a "bright" nova in Sagittarius. Venus is prominent in the evening sky and forms a triangle with Antares and Saturn. On the 12th Venus is close to the Lagoon Nebula. On the 17 Venus is close to Kaus Borealis, the lid of the "Teapot" of Sagittarius. Mars heads towards Capricornius.

The Full Moon is Monday November 14. This is a Perigee Full Moon, when the Moon is closest to the Earth, a so-called "Super Moon". However, unless you have excellent eyesight and a good memory, you will be unable to distinguish this from any other full Moon.

Evening sky on Saturday November 12 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:30 ACDST (around an hour and a half after sunset). Venus is forms a triangle with Antares and Saturn (although they are on the horizon at this time). Venus is next to the Lagoon Nebula at this time, see iset for a binocular view. The location of Nova Sgr is indicated with a yellow star. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Venus continues to rise into darker skies this week. Venus is high in the dusk sky and can be seen easily from somewhat before half an hour to a bit after an hour and a half after sunset, staying visible after twilight is over low above the horizon in truly dark skies.

Venus starts the week forming a triangle with the pair of Antares and Saturn. As the week goes on Venus comes closer to the lagoon nebula, being closest on the 12th and 13th. Venus then comes closer to the "teapot" of Sagittarius, and finishes the week close to Kause Borealis, the "lid" of the "teapot".
Venus is a distinct "gibbous Moon" shape in telescopes.

Nova Sagittarius 2016  has brightened to (just) unaided eye visibility, although the waxing Moon may make it hard to see. located in the "teapot" of Sagittarius viewing instructions and charts are here.

Evening sky on Sunday November 13 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 22:30ACDST.  Mars is in Caprciornius with Venus below brushing the horizon. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mars is in the western evening skies in Capricornius. During the week Mars moves further through the star poor regions of  Capricornius.

Mars was at opposition on May 22,  and is still visibly dimming. It is no longer a modest telescope object. Mars is visible all evening long setting after midnight. In even small telescopes Mars will be a visible, but tiny, gibbous disk, however you are unlikely to  see its markings.

 Saturn was at opposition on the 3rd of June. However, Saturn's change in size and brightness is nowhere near as spectacular as Mars's. Saturn will be a reasonable telescopic object ony for the next few weeks. Saturn is readily visible next to Antares in Scorpius. Saturn is still high enough for good telescopic observation in the early evening, with only  a narrow window for observation, setting abut 10:00 daylight saving time. In even small telescopes its distinctive rings are obvious.

In the early evening the line-up of Venus, Saturn and Mars under dark skies will look very good.

Morning  sky on Sunday November 13 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:07 ACDST (an hour before sunrise).  Jupiter is low above the horizon but clear in dark skies.

Jupiter rises higher into the morning skies this week. You will need an unobstructed, level eastern horizon to see it around an hour before sunrise, but it should be reasonably easy to see by the time of civil twilight half an hour before sunrise.

Mercury is low in the morning twilight but never rises far above the horizon.

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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