Wednesday, March 01, 2017
The Sky This Week - Thursday March 2 to Thursday March 9
The First Quarter Moon is Sunday March 5. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on March 3.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 30 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).
Venus is low in the dusk sky although intensely bright. After being a feature of the evening sky for so long, it is now rapidly heading towards the horizon and will soon be lost in the twilight.
It can be seen in a narrow window from a little before half an hour after sunset to just after half an hour after sunset. It is dazzlingly brilliant above the horizon in the early twilight and is a distinct crescent shape. This week is the last time we will see Venus clearly before it is lost in the twilight.
On March 2the Moon is above Mars forming a line with Venus and Mars.
Mars is in the western evening skies in Pisces.
Jupiter is rising well before midnight, but remains low to the horizon in the late evening this week and is still better in the early morning. It is close to the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo. Jupiter is a good telescopic target from around midnight on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEDST.
Thu 2 Mar 3:26 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Thu 2 Mar 23:17 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Sat 4 Mar 3:46 Eur: Disappears into Eclipse Sat 4 Mar 5:04 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Sun 5 Mar 0:55 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Sun 5 Mar 21:55 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins S Sun 5 Mar 23:29 Eur: Transit Begins ST Mon 6 Mar 0:24 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends T Mon 6 Mar 1:49 Eur: Transit Ends Mon 6 Mar 6:42 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Mon 6 Mar 6:58 Io : Shadow Transit Begins S Mon 6 Mar 23:47 Gan: Disappears into Eclipse Tue 7 Mar 2:17 Gan: Reappears from Eclipse Tue 7 Mar 2:33 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Tue 7 Mar 2:59 Gan: Disappears into Occultation Tue 7 Mar 4:06 Io : Disappears into Eclipse Tue 7 Mar 4:53 Gan: Reappears from Occultation Tue 7 Mar 7:00 Io : Reappears from Occultation Tue 7 Mar 22:24 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Wed 8 Mar 1:26 Io : Shadow Transit Begins S Wed 8 Mar 2:09 Io : Transit Begins ST Wed 8 Mar 3:38 Io : Shadow Transit Ends T Wed 8 Mar 4:19 Io : Transit Ends Wed 8 Mar 22:34 Io : Disappears into Eclipse Thu 9 Mar 1:26 Io : Reappears from Occultation Thu 9 Mar 4:11 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Thu 9 Mar 22:07 Io : Shadow Transit Ends T
The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise). (click to embiggen).
Saturn rises higher in darker morning skies this week. Saturn is now high enough above eastern horizon to see easily and is now a good telescopic target. It continues to climb into darker skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula, which makes for nice viewing.
The constellation of Scorpio is a good guide to locating Saturn. The distinctive curl of Scorpio is easy to see above the eastern horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look below that towards the horizon, the next bright object is Saturn.
Mercury is 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/
Labels: weekly sky