Monday, March 02, 2020
The Sky This Week - Thursday March 5 to Thursday March 12
The Full Moon is Tuesday, March 10. This is a Perigee Moon, full Moon is 4am and Perigee is 4pm, but the Moon will still be big when it rises. Next months perigee Moon is better but this is still a good one.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia 60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen.
Four bright planets are dominating the morning skies. Mars is at its closest to the globular cluster M22 at this time. The inset is the telescopic view through a 24 mm eyepiece of a 4" Newtonian. Jupiter is well above the horizon and Saturn appears below it.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes minutes before sunrise) .
perigee Moon when the Full Moon is closest to the Earth. This is not as good as the April 8 perigee Moon but is still very good. Don't look just at moon rise as the horizon illusion will make the Moon look bigger than it is, wait until it is a decent way above the horizon. The size contrast will be best when comparing to the October 31/November 1 apogee Moon.
A full Moon at perigee has been called a "Super Moon", this is not an astronomical term (the astronomical term is perigee syzygy, but that doesn't trip off the tongue so nicely), but an astrological one first coined in 1979 (see here).
Still, it is a good excuse to get people out and looking at the Moon.
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 waxing/full moon will interfere with estimates of Betelgeuses' brightness during 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 is close to dim Uranus on the 8th and the 9th. Although too dim to be seen with the unaided eye in the twilight, Uranus should be readily visible in binoculars, although Venuses glare may interfere.
Four bright planets grace the morning sky.
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.
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/
Labels: weekly sky