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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

 

Thursday July 22 to Thursday July 29

The Full Moon is Saturday, July 24.  Mercury is lost to view. Venus is readily visible in the evening twilight and is leaving Mars behind as it approaches the bright star Regulus. Venus is closest to Regulus on the 22nd. Saturn and Jupiter are visible late in the evening sky and are visited by the Noon on the 24th-26th. Southern Delta Aquarids meteor shower peaks 29th-30th.

The Full Moon is Saturday, July 24.

Evening sky on Sunday, July 25 showing the eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 pm ACST. Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the late evening sky with the Moon between Saturn and Jupiter.

The insets shows the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at this time.
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.
 

 

Whole sky at 18:57 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, July 24 as seen from Adelaide

 
 
 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). click to embiggen.
 

Evening twilight sky on Thursday, July 22 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:25 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon. Venus is at its closest to the bright star Regulus with Mars below.





 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
 
 
Evening sky looking east from Adelaide at 11 pm local time in South Australia. The starburst marks the radiant  (the point where the meteors appear to originate from) of the Southern Delta Aquariids. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).

The Southern Delta-Aquarids meteor shower runs from from 12 July to 23rd August, peaking on Thurday July 29 to 30. The number of meteors you will see depends on how high the radiant is above the horizon, and how dark your sky is. This shower is fairly faint, with the highest rate of around a meteor every 7 minutes. This year the shower occurs when the Moon is close to the radiant so lower rates will be seen than usual.

At 11 pm, face east, and look  towards Jupiter (the brightest object above the eastern horizon). The radiant is just below Jupiter. This meteor shower should be visible from 10.00 pm until dawn. However, after Moon rise the rates will fall off considerably.

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Venus is visible in the late twilight.  I have been able to see Venus from 15 minutes after sunset and it is easily seen 60 minutes after sunset.  Venus has passed Mars and closes in on the bright star Regulus, being closest on the 22nd

Mars is visible in the evening sky above the north-western horizon in the early evening. Mars is being left behind by Venus but like Venus is heading for Regulus.
   
Jupiter is now above the eastern horizon well before midnight. Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the sky, and the pair are visited by the Moon from the 24th to 26th. On the 25th the Moon is between Saturn and Jupiter. On the 26th the Moon is just below Jupiter.
 
 Saturn is now rising well around 8pm.  On the 24th The Moon is just above Saturn.
On the 25th the Moon is between Saturn and Jupiter.
 
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.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the 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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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

 

Thursday July 15 to Thursday July 22

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday, July 17.  Mercury lowering in the morning sky. Venus is readily visible in the evening twilight and is leaving Mars behind as it approaches the bright star Regulus. Venus is closest to Regulus on the 22nd. Saturn and Jupiter are visible late in the evening sky.

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday, July 17. The Moon is at Perigee, when it is closest to Earth, on the 21st.

Evening sky on Saturday, July 17 showing the eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 pm ACST. Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the late evening sky

The insets shows the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at this time. Io is crossing the face of Jupiter.
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, click to embiggen.
 

 

Whole sky at 18:53 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, July 17 as seen from Adelaide

 
 
 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). click to embiggen.
 

Evening twilight sky on Wednesday, July 21 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:25 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon. Venus is close to the bright star Regulus with Mars below.





 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
 
Morning twilight sky at 6:53 ACST (30 minutes before sunrise), on Saturday, July 17 facing east as seen from Adelaide. 
 
Mercury is visible low in the twilight.
 
 
 Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time  (30 minutes before sunrise)
 
 
 
 

Mercury is now low in the morning twilight this week, this week will be the last opportunity to spot the fleet planet this month.

Venus is visible in the late twilight.  I have been able to see Venus from 15 minutes after sunset and it is easily seen 60 minutes after sunset.  Venus has passed Mars and closes in on the bright star Regulus, being closest on the 22nd.

Mars is visible in the evening sky above the north-western horizon in the early evening. Mars is being left behind by Venus after last weeks close approach.
   
Jupiter is now above the eastern horizon well before midnight. 
 
 Saturn is now rising well around 8pm. 
 
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.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the 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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Sunday, July 11, 2021

 

Venus Meets Mars and the Moon (12-13 July)

Western evening twilight sky on Monday, July 12 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:20 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon. Venus is close to Mars and the thin crescent Moon. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).Western evening twilight sky on Tuesday, July 13 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:20 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon. Venus is closest to Mars at this time and the pair form a triangle with the Moon and bright star Regulus. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
Approximate binocular view of Venus, Mars and crescent Moon on Monday 60 minutes after sunset  (with higher power binoculars you may need to Juggle a bit to gt Mars and the edge of the Moon)
Approximate view of Venus, and Mars on Monday 60 minutes after sunset simulated in Stellarium for a 12mm eyepiece and 6" Newtonian scope.

The next few days the evening twilight will be graced with a delightful spectacle as the Moon visits the bright planets and a bright star.

On Monday July 12 there is a lineup of Venus, Mars and the thin Crescent Moon. Venus is visible from 10 minutes after sunset above the western horizon, but you will need to wait until an hour after sunset to see Mars clearly. the trio should just fit into the field of view of 1050 binoculars.If you have a level clear horizon like the sea or desert you should be ale to see them up to 90 minutes after sunset when the sky is fully dark (horizon murk permitting).

On Tuesday July 13  Venus, which has been approaching Mars over the past few weeks, is at at its closest to Mars. The pair can be seen together in medium power telescope eyepieces. The pair also form a triangle with the bright star Regulus and the Crescent Moon.

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Saturday, July 10, 2021

 

My images of the ISS pass of 9 July, 2021

The ISS passing through Leo and above Venus and Mars around 19:10, Canon IXUS 1 seconds exposure, 20 images. Images stacked in ImageJ and a MAX-Z projection with brightness turned up.Same sequence. Images stacked in Deep sky stacker and aligned on the stars then curves adjusted in GIMP. Click to embiggen.


This evening was excellent for the ISS pass.Clear and cloudless, the ISS passed through Leo above Regulus, Mars and Venus, a rather spectacular pass. Having Learn my lesson from the previous nightI went with  a train of 10 1 second exposures at ISO 1600. I captured most of the pass, with a gap due to timer delay i setting off the 10 shot train.

I stacked the images first in image J, aligned on the frames. The earth rotated in the 30 seconds the sequence took, so the stars and planets are trailed. Then I stacked in DeepSkyStacker aligned on the stars for comparison, the stars aren't trailed but the horizon is blurred and DeepSkyStacker dropped a few frames. Of course, with the camera chugging away by it self I could watch the pass which was rather nice indeed.

Animated GIF of the ISS under the Southern Cross

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Thursday, July 08, 2021

 

My images of the ISS pass of 8 July, 2021

The ISS passing under the Southern Cross around 18:20, Canon IXUS 2 seconds exposure, 10 images, but for some reason this new IXUS version defaults to ISO 80 on long exposures. Images stacked in ImageJ and a MAX-Z projection with brightness waaayy up.he ISS passing near Scorpius around 18:20, and disappearing into a cloud bank. Canon IXUS 1 second exposure, 1SO 800. Images stacked in ImageJ and a MAX-Z projection with brightness maxed again. Click to embiggen.


Cloud scotched and idea of imaging Venus and Mars, but were patchy enough to get some shots of the magnitude -3.4 pass of the ISS. I used the custom 10 sequential shots option of my Canon IXUS (on tripod with 10 second delay). The first shot I used long exposure, but this new IXUS version defaults to ISO 80 on long exposures and is kind of rubbish. 

When the first sequence went off I tried to switch over to programed imaging, ISO 800, max1 second exposure, but becuase I was all thumbs by the time I had set everything up the ISS had passed through the scorpions tail and into a cloud bank.

Despite the imaging misadventures I got to see the entire thing and it was wonderful.

Animated GIF of the ISS under the Southern Cross


Wednesday, July 07, 2021

 

Some More Nice ISS Passes Over the Next Few days (7-12 July, 2021)

The ISS as seen from Melbourne  on the evening of  Friday 9 July at 18:40 AEST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), the white line is the path of the ISS, the other lines are paths of other satellites. Click to embiggen.The ISS  as seen from Adelaide on the evening of  Thursday 8 July at 18:43 ACST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), the white line is the path of the ISS, the other lines are paths of other satellites. Click to embiggen.The ISS as seen from Perth on the evening of  Thursday 8 July at 17:38 AWST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), the white line is the path of the ISS, the other lines are paths of other satellites. Click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Friday 9 July for Melbourne.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Thursday 8 July for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for  Thursday 8 July for Perth.

If it is not bucketing down rain where you are, over the next few days there are a series of  bright ISS passes in the late evening twilight/early evening. The ISS passes close to the Southern cross from Sydney and Hobart, and spectacularly through it for Melbourne. Brisbane, Adelaide and Darwin see it go through the tail of the scorpion or just underneath it. There are also some bright passes where it "winks out" as the ISS enters Earth's shadow. As well there a number of passes close to bright stars. 

The following tables are from data provided from Heavens Above. Particularly impressive passes are highlighted in yellow, passes entering the shadow in blue.

Passes from Adelaide (ACST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
07 Jul-3.119:04:4310°SW19:07:2149°SW19:07:2149°SWvisible
08 Jul-3.418:17:3610°SW18:20:5644°SE18:23:1118°ENEvisible
08 Jul-0.419:55:2710°W19:56:1613°WNW19:56:1613°WNWvisible
09 Jul-1.619:07:2710°WSW19:10:2326°NW19:12:3614°Nvisible
10 Jul-2.718:19:5510°WSW18:23:1550°NW18:26:3410°NNEvisible
12 Jul-0.418:23:2510°W18:25:2014°NW18:27:1410°NNWvisible


Passes from Brisbane (AEST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
07 Jul-1.618:03:1110°S18:04:1813°SSE18:04:1813°SSEvisible
08 Jul-2.218:51:1710°SW18:53:1130°SW18:53:1130°SWvisible
09 Jul-3.318:04:1310°SSW18:07:3040°SE18:09:3020°ENEvisible
10 Jul-1.218:54:1310°WSW18:56:5421°NW18:59:3410°Nvisible
11 Jul-2.418:06:3210°WSW18:09:4743°NW18:13:0110°NNEvisible
13 Jul0.018:11:0510°WNW18:11:5111°NW18:12:3710°NWvisible
16 Jul0.006:01:2610°NE06:02:3111°NE06:03:3510°ENEvisible


Passes from Darwin (ACT)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
10 Jul-3.619:59:5210°SW20:02:5166°SW20:02:5166°SWvisible
11 Jul-3.219:12:5310°SSW19:16:0537°SE19:19:1410°ENEvisible
12 Jul-0.620:03:1510°W20:05:2716°NW20:07:3910°NNWvisible
13 Jul-1.919:15:1110°WSW19:18:1835°NW19:21:2510°NNEvisible


Passes from Hobart (AEST) 

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
07 Jul-3.817:58:0010°SW18:01:2973°SSE18:04:1814°ENEvisible
07 Jul-0.719:35:4910°W19:37:2115°WNW19:37:2115°WNWvisible
08 Jul-1.518:47:5910°WSW18:50:5325°NW18:53:1113°Nvisible
09 Jul-2.318:00:3010°WSW18:03:4641°NW18:07:0010°NNEvisible
11 Jul-0.518:03:4610°W18:05:4915°NW18:07:5110°NNWvisible


Passes from Melbourne (AEST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
07 Jul-2.617:58:4410°SSW18:01:4628°SSE18:04:1813°Evisible
07 Jul-1.419:35:2910°WSW19:37:2124°W19:37:2124°Wvisible
08 Jul-3.318:48:0410°WSW18:51:2861°NW18:53:1126°NNEvisible
09 Jul-3.818:00:4910°SW18:04:1675°SE18:07:4110°NEvisible
09 Jul-0.319:40:0210°WNW19:40:3710°NW19:41:1310°NWvisible
10 Jul-0.818:51:0810°W18:53:3618°NW18:56:0210°Nvisible
11 Jul-1.718:03:2410°WSW18:06:3132°NW18:09:3510°NNEvisible


Passes from Perth (AWST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
07 Jul-2.419:08:2210°SW19:10:2431°SSW19:10:2431°SSWvisible
08 Jul-2.918:21:2210°SSW18:24:3132°SE18:26:1520°Evisible
08 Jul-0.419:58:4610°W19:59:2013°W19:59:2013°Wvisible
09 Jul-2.019:10:5510°WSW19:14:0232°NW19:15:4320°Nvisible
10 Jul-3.318:23:2810°SW18:26:5466°NW18:30:1610°NEvisible
12 Jul-0.618:26:4310°W18:29:0117°NW18:31:1710°Nvisible


Passes from Sydney (AEST)

Date Brightness Start Highest point End Pass type
(mag) Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
07 Jul-2.518:00:3510°SSW18:03:3125°SE18:04:1823°ESEvisible
08 Jul-3.018:49:5010°WSW18:53:1152°NW18:53:1152°NWvisible
09 Jul-3.818:02:3310°SW18:06:0081°SE18:09:2410°NEvisible
10 Jul-0.618:53:2010°W18:55:1614°NW18:57:1210°NNWvisible
11 Jul-1.318:05:1610°WSW18:08:1226°NW18:11:0610°Nvisible

When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use  Heavens Above  to get site specific predictions for your location, a small difference in location can mean the difference between the ISS passing over a star or planet or missing it completely. 

As always, start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted. Be patient, there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions. Use the most recent prediction for your site.

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Monday, July 05, 2021

 

Thursday July 8 to Thursday July 15

The New Moon is Saturday, July 10.  Mercury rises higher in the morning sky and is close to the crescent Moon on the 8th. Venus is readily visible in the evening twilight and is coming closer to Mars. Venus is close to Mars and the thin crescent Moon on the 12th. Venus and Mars are at their closest on the 13th.  Saturn and Jupiter are visible late in the evening sky.

The New Moon is Saturday, July 10.

Evening sky on Saturday, 
July 10 showing the eastern sky as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 pm ACST (just before midnight). Saturn and Jupiter form a line in the late evening sky

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The insets shows the telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn at this time. 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (just before midnight), click to embiggen.
 
Whole sky at 18:50 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset), on Saturday, July 10 as seen from 
Adelaide
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset). click to embiggen.
 
Evening twilight sky on Monday, July 12 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:20 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon. Venus is close to Mars and the thin crescent Moon.





 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Evening twilight sky on Tuesday, July 13 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:20 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon. Venus is closest to Mars at this time and the pair form a triangle with the Moon and bright star Regulus.
The inset shows the approximate binocular view of Venus and Mars at this time 


 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).
Morning twilight sky at 6:24 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise), on Thursday, July 8 facing east as seen from Adelaide. 
 
Mercury is visible below the bright star Aldebaran and close to the thin crescent Moon. Mercury is also almost on top of the star Zeta Tauri, the inset shows the telescopic view of Mercury at this time.
 
 
 Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time  (60 minutes before sunrise)
 

Mercury is prominent in the morning twilight this week, rising below the bright star Aldebaran, and is now easy to see an hour before sunrise. On the 8th the thin crescent Moon is close to Mercury.

Venus is visible in the late twilight.  I have been able to see Venus from 15 minutes after sunset and it is easily seen 60 minutes after sunset.  Venus is coming closer to Mars and is closest on the 13th. Venus, Mars and the thin crescent moon make a very attractive sight on the 12th.

Mars is visible in the evening sky above the north-western horizon in the early evening. Mars is coming closer to Venus and is closest on the 13th.Venus, Mars and the thin crescent moon make a very attractive sight on the 12th.
   
Jupiter is now above the eastern horizon well before midnight. . 
 
 Saturn is now rising well around 8pm.  It is still best in the morning sky and is easily seen near Jupiter above the north-western horizon
 
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.


 

Star Map via Virtual sky. Use your mouse to scroll around and press 8 when your pointer is in the map to set to the 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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Thursday, July 01, 2021

 

Venus in the Heart of the Beehive cluster (July 2-4, 2021)

Evening twilight sky on Saturday, July 3 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:15 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is low above the horizon below Mars and is in front of the Beehive cluster. You will require binoculars to see this. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).The approximate binocular view of Venus and the Beehive on Friday, July 2. Venus is on the edge of the Beehive.
The approximate binocular view of Venus and the Beehive on Saturday, July 3. Venus is in the heart of the Beehive.The approximate binocular view of Venus and the Beehive on Sunday, July 4. Venus is once again on the edge of the Beehive.


Over the next few days Brilliant Venus passes over the lovely Beehive Cluster (M44), a rather delightful open cluster. The highlight is on the Saturday, when Venus blazes in the heart of the cluster.

Although the cluster is notionally (just) visible to the unaided eye, the proximity to the horizon muk and bright Venus means you will need binoculars to see it. Especially on Saturday when Venus is in the centre of the cluster, which will drown out all but the dimmer members of the cluster. This will also be good in medium power telescope eyepieces (high power eyepieces will miss most of the cluster).

The best time to look will be be around an hour after sunset (nautical twilight), balancing the not complete darkness of the sky against the height above the horizon. Venus is obvious as the brightest object above the north-west horizon, just point your binoculars at venus and the cluster will be in view too. 

If you have a level uncluttered horizon then you should be able to follow Venus and the Beehive until the sky is fully dark. However, horizon murk may dim everything cancelling out the dark advantage..


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