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Tuesday, November 01, 2016


The Sky This Week - Thursday November 3 to Thursday November 10

The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday November 8. Venus is prominent in the evening sky and forms a triangle with Antares and Saturn. On November 5 Venus is close to the star theta Ophiuchi. The crescent Moon is close to Mars on November 6th. Mars heads towards Capricornius and is close to a faint globular cluster on the 8th.

The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday November 8.

Evening sky on Saturday November 5 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:45 ACDST. Venus is forms a triangle with Antares and Saturn. Venus is almost on top of theta Ophiuchi at this time. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time. Viewing times for the ISS can be found here (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 with the crescent Moon close by.  This will be a lovely sight, especially later in the evening when earth-shine fills the dark part of the crescent Moon.

As the week goes on Venus and the Moon rise higher in the sky. On November 5 Venus is close  to the star theta Ophiuchi. To the unaided eye theta Ophiuchi will be overwhelmed by the brightness of Venus. Venus is a distinct "gibbous Moon" shape in telescopes.

Evening sky on Sunday November 6 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:45 ACDST.  Mars is close to the crescent Moon with Venus below and Saturn 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 on the borders of  Capricornius. During the week Mars moves further towards 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.

On November 6 the crescent is Moon close to Mars. On November 7-8; Mars is close to to the dim globular cluster M75. This is a telescope only event.

 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  anarrow 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 Friday October 28 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:45 ACDST.  Jupiter is low in the twilight glow .

Jupiter emerges from the twilight into the morning skies this week. You will need an unobstructed, level eastern horizon to see it around 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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