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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday September 7 to Thursday September 14

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday, September 13. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the early evening sky and are closest on the 11th. Saturn is visible all evening in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus is now low in  the morning sky forming a triangle with the bright stars Sirius and Procyon.

The Last Quarter Moon is Wednesday, September 13. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 14th.


Evening sky on Monday September 11 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:59ACST  (60 minutes after sunset). Jupiter is above the horizon close to the bright star Spica.  The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time.

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

Jupiter is setting 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. Over the week Jupiter Moves closer to Spica and on the 11th the pair are at their closest.

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.

Fri 8 Sep 19:28 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 9 Sep 19:42 Io : Transit Begins               T
Sat 9 Sep 20:27 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Sun 10 Sep 19:59 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Tue 12 Sep 19:35 Gan: Transit Ends
Tue 12 Sep 20:11 Gan: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Wed 13 Sep 18:38 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 13 Sep 19:28 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Wed 13 Sep 20:28 Eur: Transit Ends                 S

Mercury is lost in the twilight.

Evening sky on Saturday September 9 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 19:28 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset.

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 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 7:30 pm until midnight. It is poised above the dark rifts in the Milky Way and is in a good area for binocular hunting. Although still high in the early evening sky, Saturn begins to sink into the western 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-western horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look to the left of  that, the next bright object is Saturn.

Morning sky on Saturday September 9 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:27 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling below the bright star Procyon and forms a triangle with Procyon and Sirius.

 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 triangle with Procyon and Sirius.It is becoming hard to see Venus in the early twilight, but it is still brilliant enough to be obvious shortly before sunrise.

 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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