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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday July 13 to Thursday July 20

The Last Quarter Moon is Monday, July 17. Mercury climbs higher in the evening sky. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky. Saturn is visible all night in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus dominates the morning sky between the Pleiades and the Hyades clusters and continues towards the bright star Aldebaran, forming a second "eye" for Taurus the Bull on the 13th. The crescent Moon is in the Hyades above Venus on the 20th. The ISS returns to evening skies.

The Last Quarter Moon is Monday, July 17.

Evening sky on Saturday July 15 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:22 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Mercury is above the western horizon climbing towards Regulus.

Mercury climbs higher in the evening twilight sky. It is now readily visible above the western horizon half an hour after sunset, and is obvious at lest 60 minutes after sunset.




Evening sky on Saturday July 15 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 18:52 ACST  (90 minutes after sunset). Jupiter is above the horizon between the bright star Spica and the relatively bright star Porrima. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter on Sunday July 16 at 22:23 ACST  as Io and its shadow transits Jupiter.

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

Jupiter is rising before sunset and is now high above the northern-western horizon in the early evening at full dark. 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.

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 after 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 13 Jul 19:46 Gan: Reappears from Occultation 
Thu 13 Jul 22:31 Gan: Disappears into Eclipse 
Fri 14 Jul 22:52 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Sat 15 Jul 18:43 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Sun 16 Jul 22:23 Io : Transit Begins               T 
Sun 16 Jul 23:39 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST 
Mon 17 Jul 19:40 Io : Disappears into Occultation 
Mon 17 Jul 20:22 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Mon 17 Jul 23:08 Io : Reappears from Eclipse 
Tue 18 Jul 18:07 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST 
Tue 18 Jul 19:05 Io : Transit Ends                 S 
Tue 18 Jul 19:58 Eur: Transit Begins               ST 
Tue 18 Jul 20:18 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T 
Tue 18 Jul 22:29 Eur: Transit Ends 
Tue 18 Jul 22:35 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        S 
Wed 19 Jul 17:37 Io : Reappears from Eclipse 
Wed 19 Jul 22:01 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Thu 20 Jul 17:53 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian 
Thu 20 Jul 19:19 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse 
Thu 20 Jul 21:17 Gan: Disappears into Occultation  
 

Evening sky on Saturday July 15 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACST, when Saturn is at its highest. Saturn is almost overhead high above the northern 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. (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.

Morning sky on Thursday July 20 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:22 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling below the bright star Aldebaran and the crescent Moon. 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 60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Venus  climbs higher in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a "Gibbous Moon".  at the start of the Week Venus Forms a second eye for Tarus the Bull with the bright star Aldebaran. It then moves below Hildebrand. The Crescent Moon is near Aldebaran and above Venus on the 20th.

The evening sky facing East at 18:35 pm ACST on Monday 17 June as seen from Adelaide. Adelaide gets to see the ISS pass next to Saturn. 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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