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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday August 24 to Thursday August 31

The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday, August 29. Mercury is lost in the twilight. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the early evening sky. The crescent Moon visits Jupiter on the 25th and 26th. Saturn is visible all evening in the heart of the Milky Way and is visited by the Moon on the 30th. Venus is now low in  the morning sky forming a line with the bright stars Sirius and Procyon.

The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday, August 29.  The Moon is at Apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth, on the 30th.

Evening sky on Saturday August 26 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 19:16 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset). Jupiter is above the horizon close to the bright star Spica. The crescent Moon is above the pair making a nice triangle, The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time.

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

Jupiter is settting mid evening and is above the western horizon in the early evening at full dark. It is close to the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo.


The crescent Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Spica on Friday the 25th, and the crescent Moon forms a triangle with the pair on Saturday the 26th.

Opposition, when Jupiter is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, was on April the 8th. Jupiter is rising before the sun sets and is visible until just before midnight. Jupiter is a good telescopic target from astronomical twilight on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.

Thu 24 Aug 21:12 Io : Transit Begins               T
Fri 25 Aug 18:26 Gan: Disappears into Occultation
Fri 25 Aug 18:32 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Fri 25 Aug 20:57 Gan: Reappears from Occultation
Fri 25 Aug 21:41 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Sat 26 Aug 18:49 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Sun 27 Aug 19:29 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 28 Aug 21:30 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse
Tue 29 Aug 21:08 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
 

Mercury is lost in the twilight.


Evening sky on Wednesday August 30 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 19:17 ACST, when Saturn is at its highest. Saturn is almost overhead high above the northern horizon. The just past First Quarter Moon is below Saturn

The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Saturn was  at opposition on the 15th, when it was biggest and brightest in the sky as seen from earth. Saturn is visible all night long. Saturn is a good telescopic target from 9 pm on. It is poised above the dark rifts in the Milky Way and is in a good area for binocular hunting. It continues to climb into the evening skies as the week progresses.  Saturn's rings are visible even in small telescopes and are always good to view.

The constellation of Scorpio is a good guide to locating Saturn. The distinctive curl of Scorpio is easy to see above the north-eastern to northern horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look below that towards the horizon, the next bright object is Saturn. The Moon is below Saturn on the 30th, making it easier to identify.

Morning sky on Saturday August 26 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:48 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling below the bright star Procyon and forms a line with Procyon and Sirus.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Venus  is lowering in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a "Gibbous Moon". This week Venus forms a line with Procyon and Sirius.

 Mars is still lost in the twilight.

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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