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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday August 10 to Thursday August 17

The Last Quarter Moon is Tuesday, August 15. Mercury is at its highest above the horizon on the 12th. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky. Saturn is visible all evening in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus dominates the morning sky forming a triangle with the bright stars Betelgeuse and Procyon.

The Last Quarter Moon is Tuesday, August 15.

Evening sky on Saturday August 12 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:38 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Mercury is high above the western horizon.

Mercury climbs higher in the evening twilight sky. It is highest above the horizon on the 12th and  is now readily visible above the western horizon half an hour after sunset, and is obvious  90 minutes after sunset. After this Mercury heads towards the horizon again.


Evening sky on Saturday August 12 looking north-west as seen from Adelaide at 19:08 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 at this time with Europa crossing Jupiter disk.

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 above the northern-western horizon in the early evening at full dark. It is between the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo, and the relatively bright star Porrima. Jupiter is now closer to 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 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.

Thu    10    Aug    18:20    Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Thu    10    Aug    19:26    Io : Transit Ends                 S
Thu    10    Aug    20:20    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu    10    Aug    20:31    Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Thu    10    Aug    22:27    Eur: Disappears into Occultation
Fri    11    Aug    17:51    Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Sat    12    Aug    19:45    Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Sat    12    Aug    19:59    Eur: Transit Ends                 S
Sat    12    Aug    21:59    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat    12    Aug    22:06    Eur: Shadow Transit Ends
Sun    13    Aug    17:50    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue    15    Aug    19:30    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed    16    Aug    22:03    Io : Disappears into Occultation
Thu    17    Aug    19:12    Io : Transit Begins               T
Thu    17    Aug    20:15    Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Thu    17    Aug    21:09    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu    17    Aug    21:25    Io : Transit Ends                 S
 

Evening sky on Saturday August 12 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 20:14 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 Tuesday August 16 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:04 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling below the bright star Betelgeuse and forms a triangle with Procyon and Betelgeuse. The waning Moon is close to the Hyades. 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  is lowering in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a "Gibbous Moon". At the start of the week Venus forms a triangle with Procyon and Betelgeuse.

 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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