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Tuesday, March 10, 2020


The Sky This Week - Thursday March 12 to Thursday March 19

The First Quarter Moon is Monday, March 16. Venus is prominent in the evening sky well after twilight. Four bright planets will be visible in the morning skies. On the 18th The crescent Moon joins the line-up. Mars heads towards Jupiter with  Saturn below. On the 19th Mars, Jupiter Saturn and the crescent moon from an attractive grouping in the sky. Mercury is low to the horizon. The Red Giant star Betelgeuse in Orion is still dim but seems to be brightening.

The First Quarter Moon is Monday, March 16.

Sky at 20:30 ACDST on Saturday, March 14 (60 minutes after sunset) looking west as seen from Adelaide. Venus is prominent in the sky. The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.

Morning sky at 5:53 ACDST (90 minutes minutes before sunrise) facing east as seen from Adelaide on Thursday, March 19.

Four bright planets are dominating the morning skies. Mars is coming closer to Jupiter and the crescent Moon forms an attractive pattern with Jupiter, Mars and Saturn on the 19th.

Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise).

Evening sky looking north-west at 21:00 ACDST on Saturday, Saturday, March 7. (90 minutes after sunset). Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Orion is readily visible. Betelgeuse is the bright red star below the "saucepan" of Orion. Red Aldebaran is almost the same height above the horizon as red Betelgeuse, making brightness comparisons easy.

Betelgeuse has begun brightening again, so keep watching this iconic star.

Betelgeuse is a red giant star which forms a distinctive part of the Constellation of Orion. It is a variable star, with small fluctuations in brightness not visible to the casual observer.

Betelgeuse has dimmed substantially and reached a minimum of around magnitude 1.6, but is now brightening again and is about magnitude 1.4. It is still visibly dimmer than magnitude 1 Aldebaran and roughly as bright as Bellatrix. The next brightest star just to the north of Betelgeuse. Keep an eye on this historic dimming event, observing hints and stars for magnitude estimation are given here. The waning moon will not interfere with estimates of  Betelgeuses' brightness during the latter half of the week.

Venus is prominent above the western horizon in the early evening sky. Venus is now readily seen up to 90 minutes after sunset. Venus will come closer to the beautiful Pleiades cluster over the coming weeks.

Four bright planets grace the morning sky and are joined by the crescent moon on the 18th and 19th. There is a particularly attractive grouping on the 19th

Mercury returns to the morning sky and gets visibly brighter during the week.

 Mars is visible high in the morning sky. Mars comes closer to Jupiter during the week.

Jupiter climbs higher in the morning sky, closing in on Mars.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky below Jupiter.

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm AEDST, Western sky at 10 pm AEDST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to current time.

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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