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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 29 to Thursday July 6

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday, July 1. Mars is lost in the twilight. Mercury reappears in the evening sky towards the end of the week. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky. The Moon visits Jupiter on July 1. Saturn is visible all night in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus dominates the morning sky and heads towards the bright star Aldebaran. This week sees a series of bright ISS passes in the evening.

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday, July 1.  The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth on the 6th.

Evening sky on Saturday July 1 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 18:30 ACST (when Jupiter is highest in the sky). Jupiter is above the horizon between the bright star Spica and the relatively bright star Porrima. Jupiter is now closer to Porrima than Spica. The First Quarter Moon is below Jupiter. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter on Sunday July 2 at this time as Io transits Jupiter.

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

Jupiter is rising before dusk and is now high above the northern horizon in the early evening this week. It is in between the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, and the relatively bright star Porrima. Jupiter is now closer to Porrima than Spica. On the first the first quarter Moon is a binocular width below Jupiter.

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 the early morning. 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 29 Jun 2017 01:02        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Fri 30 Jun 2017 00:59        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Fri 30 Jun 2017 17:13        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Fri 30 Jun 2017 21:15   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat  1 Jul 2017 00:05   Io : Transit Begins               T
Sat  1 Jul 2017 00:55        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Sat  1 Jul 2017 17:13        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Sat  1 Jul 2017 21:20   Io : Disappears into Occultation  
Sun  2 Jul 2017 00:49   Io : Reappears from Eclipse       
Sun  2 Jul 2017 00:51        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Sun  2 Jul 2017 17:14        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Sun  2 Jul 2017 18:33   Io : Transit Begins               T
Sun  2 Jul 2017 19:49   Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Sun  2 Jul 2017 19:57   Eur: Disappears into Occultation  ST
Sun  2 Jul 2017 20:45   Io : Transit Ends                 S
Sun  2 Jul 2017 22:00   Io : Shadow Transit Ends          
Sun  2 Jul 2017 22:26   Eur: Reappears from Occultation   
Sun  2 Jul 2017 22:30   Eur: Disappears into Eclipse      
Sun  2 Jul 2017 22:54   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun  2 Jul 2017 23:01   Gan: Transit Begins               T
Mon  3 Jul 2017 00:48        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Mon  3 Jul 2017 17:14        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Mon  3 Jul 2017 18:45   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon  3 Jul 2017 19:18   Io : Reappears from Eclipse       
Tue  4 Jul 2017 00:44        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Tue  4 Jul 2017 17:15        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Tue  4 Jul 2017 17:20   Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Tue  4 Jul 2017 19:44   Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          
Wed  5 Jul 2017 00:33   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed  5 Jul 2017 00:41        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Wed  5 Jul 2017 17:15        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Wed  5 Jul 2017 20:24   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu  6 Jul 2017 00:37        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Thu  6 Jul 2017 17:16        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Thu  6 Jul 2017 18:31   Gan: Disappears into Eclipse      
Thu  6 Jul 2017 20:43   Gan: Reappears from Eclipse 
 

Mercury returns to the evening sky by by mid-week. By the end of the week it should be readily visible above the western horizon half an hour after sunset.

Evening sky on Saturday July 1 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 18:45 ACST, an hour and a half after sunset. Saturn is reasonably high above the horizon.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time, an hour and a half after sunset. (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 horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look below that towards the horizon, the next bright object is Saturn.

Morning sky on Saturday July 1 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:53 ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling and moves towards the bright star Aldebaran during the week. The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time.


 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Venus  climbs higher in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a "half-Moon".  During the Week Venus moves towards the bright star Aldebaran passing between the Pleiades and Hyades clusters.

The evening sky facing East at 18:05 pm on Thursday 29 June. Melbourne gets to see the ISS pass almost over Jupiter. This week sees a series of bright International space station passes in the evening visible from most parts of Australia. More details here. When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location

 Mars 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/

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