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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday March 22 to Thursday March 29

The First Quarter Moon is Sunday, March 25.  Venus is low in the twilight. Jupiter is now rising in the late evening skies but is still best in the morning. Mars, bright Jupiter and Saturn form a line together with the bright stars Antares and Spica in the morning skies. Mars closes in on Saturn. Saturn is in binocular range of some interesting nebula and the globular cluster M22. Mars is within binocular distance of the Trifid and Lagoon Nebulae and Saturn.

The First Quarter Moon is Sunday, March 25. The Moon is at Perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 27th.

Evening twilight sky on Saturday March 24looking west as seen from Adelaide at 19:50 ACDST (30 minutes after sunset). Venus is  low in the twilight, with the waxing moon not far away.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Venus is rising higher in the twilight. You will still need a flat unobscured horizon, like the ocean or the desert to see it at its best. Venus is now visible to the unaided eye (just) from 15 minutes after sunset andr elatively easy to see 30 minutes after sunset.

Evening sky on Saturday March 24 looking East  as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACDST Jupiter is just rising above the horizon.

The inset is a simulated telescopic view of Jupiter and its moons at this time.

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





Morning sky on Saturday March 24 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 5:56 ACDST (90 minutes before sunrise). Mars is moving towards Saturn and away from the trifid and Lagoon nebulae. Saturn is close to the bright globular cluster M22, and is in the same binocular field as Mars this week.


Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise).


Venus  is low in the evening twilight although it is climbing out of the horizon murk, being just five finger-widths above the horizon 30 minutes after sunset. It is bright enough to be just visible 15 minutes after sunset.

Mercury is lost to view.

Jupiter  is rising well before midnight, but it is still best to view in the morning sky, where it is high above the northern horizon. There are some good Jovian Moon events this week.

 Mars is in Sagittarius the archer. Mars is moving away from the Triffid and Lagoon nebulae and towards Saturn.  Mars and  the Triffid and Lagoon nebulae are visible together in binoculars. Mars and Saturn are now within binocular ange of each other. Scanning with binoculars around Mars and Saturn will be very rewarding now the Moon is out of the way.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky. It is within binocular range of several attractive clusters and nebula. It is coming closer to the  bright globular cluster M22 and the pair are visible in binoculars and wide field telescope eyepieces.Mars and Saturn are within binocular range of each other this week.

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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