Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The Sky This Week - Thursday May 17 to Thursday May 24
The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday, May 22. The Moon is at Perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 18th.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
Venus is now high in the twilight. Venus is visible to the unaided eye from 10 minutes after sunset, easy to see 30-60 minutes after sunset and can potentially be viewed 90 minutes after sunset.
The inset to the left is a simulated telescopic view of Jupiter and its moons at 23:00 ACST, on the 20th with Io and its shadow passing across the face of Jupiter. The inset to the right is a simulated telescopic view of Saturn and the globular cluster M22.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).
Vesta is now bright enough to be easily seen in binoculars. It is travelling through the southern edge of the open cluster M24. It is brighter than most of the stars in the cluster, but you may need to watch over several nights to watch it move.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).
Venus is now sufficiently high in the evening twilight to be readily visible above the horizon. It is one and a half hand-spans above the horizon 60 minutes after sunset. It is bright enough to be visible 10 minutes after sunset and easy to see up to 60 minutes after sunset. Venus can potentially be viewed 90 minuets after sunset if you have a flat, unobstructed horizon.
Venus is visited by the crescent Moon on the 17th and 18th. It then approaches the bright open cluster M35, best viewed with binoculars at this time, Venus is closest to the cluster on the 21st, but its brightness may wash out the dimmer stars of the cluster.
Mercury is still prominent the morning sky, although it is now heading towards the horizon. It is still in an good position for observation and is the brightest object above the eastern horizon. Mercury is still high enough for telescope observation. In even a small telescope the "gibbous moon" shape of Mercury will be visible.
Jupiter is rising in the early evening as Venus is setting. It was at Opposition on the 9th, and is still visible all night long. It is a good telescopic object in the late evening. There are some good Jovian Moon events this week. Over the week Jupiter comes closer to the bright star alpha Librae (Zubenelgenubi)
Mars is in Sagittarius the archer and is now rising in the late evening. Mars is moving away from Saturn although the pair are still obvious. Mars is brightening ahead of opposition later this year.
Saturn is climbing higher the evening sky, although telescopically it is still best in the morning sky. It is within binocular range of several attractive clusters and nebula. It is close to the bright globular cluster M22 and the pair are visible in binoculars and wide field telescope eyepieces.
The asteroid Vesta is now bright enough to be easily seen in binoculars. It is travelling through the southern edge of the open cluster M24. It is brighter than most of the stars in the cluster, but you may need to watch over several nights to watch it move and be sure of its identity.
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/
Labels: weekly sky