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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 15 to Thursday June 22

The Last Quarter Moon is Saturday, June 17. Earth is at solstice on the 21st. Mars and Mercury are lost in the twilight. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky. Saturn is at opposition on the 15th, when it as biggest and brightest as seen from Earth. It is visible all night in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus climbs higher in the morning sky and is very close to the crescent Moon on the 21st.

The Last Quarter Moon is Saturday, June 17. Earth is at solstice on the 21st when the day is shortest.

Evening sky on Saturday June 17 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 18:39 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 inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time.

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 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.

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.


Evening sky on Saturday June 17 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 18:41 ACST, an hour and a half after sunset. Saturn is reasonably high above the horizon. The Full Moon is below Saturn

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 is at opposition on the 15th, when it is beggest and brightest in the sky as seen from earth. Saturn 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 Wednesday June 21 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:21 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling and the crescent Moon is very close by. Uranus is above Venus. The inset shows the telescopic view of Venus at this time.

On the 21st, at 5:13 am in Adelaide, the ISS passes very close to the crescent Moon and Venus

 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 "half-Moon". on the 21st the Crescent Moon is a finger-width from Venus.

Mercury is lost in the twilight by mid-week.

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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