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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 29 to Thursday July 6

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday, July 1. Mars is lost in the twilight. Mercury reappears in the evening sky towards the end of the week. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky. The Moon visits Jupiter on July 1. Saturn is visible all night in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus dominates the morning sky and heads towards the bright star Aldebaran. This week sees a series of bright ISS passes in the evening.

The First Quarter Moon is Saturday, July 1.  The Moon is at apogee, when it is furthest from the Earth on the 6th.

Evening sky on Saturday July 1 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 18:30 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 First Quarter Moon is below Jupiter. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter on Sunday July 2 at this time as Io transits Jupiter.

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 northern 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. On the first the first quarter Moon is a binocular width below Jupiter.

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. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.

Thu 29 Jun 2017 01:02        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Fri 30 Jun 2017 00:59        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Fri 30 Jun 2017 17:13        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Fri 30 Jun 2017 21:15   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat  1 Jul 2017 00:05   Io : Transit Begins               T
Sat  1 Jul 2017 00:55        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Sat  1 Jul 2017 17:13        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Sat  1 Jul 2017 21:20   Io : Disappears into Occultation  
Sun  2 Jul 2017 00:49   Io : Reappears from Eclipse       
Sun  2 Jul 2017 00:51        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Sun  2 Jul 2017 17:14        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Sun  2 Jul 2017 18:33   Io : Transit Begins               T
Sun  2 Jul 2017 19:49   Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Sun  2 Jul 2017 19:57   Eur: Disappears into Occultation  ST
Sun  2 Jul 2017 20:45   Io : Transit Ends                 S
Sun  2 Jul 2017 22:00   Io : Shadow Transit Ends          
Sun  2 Jul 2017 22:26   Eur: Reappears from Occultation   
Sun  2 Jul 2017 22:30   Eur: Disappears into Eclipse      
Sun  2 Jul 2017 22:54   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun  2 Jul 2017 23:01   Gan: Transit Begins               T
Mon  3 Jul 2017 00:48        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Mon  3 Jul 2017 17:14        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Mon  3 Jul 2017 18:45   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon  3 Jul 2017 19:18   Io : Reappears from Eclipse       
Tue  4 Jul 2017 00:44        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Tue  4 Jul 2017 17:15        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Tue  4 Jul 2017 17:20   Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Tue  4 Jul 2017 19:44   Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          
Wed  5 Jul 2017 00:33   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed  5 Jul 2017 00:41        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Wed  5 Jul 2017 17:15        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Wed  5 Jul 2017 20:24   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu  6 Jul 2017 00:37        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Thu  6 Jul 2017 17:16        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Thu  6 Jul 2017 18:31   Gan: Disappears into Eclipse      
Thu  6 Jul 2017 20:43   Gan: Reappears from Eclipse 
 

Mercury returns to the evening sky by by mid-week. By the end of the week it should be readily visible above the western horizon half an hour after sunset.

Evening sky on Saturday July 1 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 18:45 ACST, an hour and a half after sunset. Saturn is reasonably high above the 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, an hour and a half 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 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 Saturday July 1 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:53 ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling and moves towards the bright star Aldebaran during the week. 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 90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Venus  climbs higher in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a "half-Moon".  During the Week Venus moves towards the bright star Aldebaran passing between the Pleiades and Hyades clusters.

The evening sky facing East at 18:05 pm on Thursday 29 June. This week sees a series of bright International space station passes in the evening visible from most parts of Australia. 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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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

 

The ISS between Venus and the Moon (June 21, 2017)

Animation of the ISS passing between the crescent Moon and Venus, Wednesday morning 21 June,5:13 am as seen from Adelaide (click to embiggen)Single frame of the ISS between the Moon and Venus (click to embiggen)

This morning the line up of the crescent Moon and Venus was enhanced for us Adelaideans by the ISS shooting between them, true, it did occur at 5:13 in the morning, but it was well worth it. I set up my camera CANON IXUS at ASA 400 with i second exposure, 10 shots automatically taken, but that was too few, so I had to do the rest Manually, hence a bit of wobble in the last few images.


overlay of all frames in the animation (Moon is over exposed). ISS just below Venus. (click to embiggen)


 

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

The New Moon is Saturday, June 24. 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 New Moon is Saturday, June 24. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth on the 23rd.

Evening sky on Saturday June 24 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 18:57 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 northern 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. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.

Thu 22 Jun 2017 17:10        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Fri 23 Jun 2017 00:35   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Fri 23 Jun 2017 00:58   Io : Disappears into Occultation  
Fri 23 Jun 2017 01:24        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Fri 23 Jun 2017 17:11        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Fri 23 Jun 2017 20:27   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Fri 23 Jun 2017 22:12   Io : Transit Begins               T
Fri 23 Jun 2017 22:48   Eur: Transit Begins               TT
Fri 23 Jun 2017 23:26   Io : Shadow Transit Begins        STT
Sat 24 Jun 2017 00:23   Io : Transit Ends                 ST
Sat 24 Jun 2017 01:19   Eur: Transit Ends                 S
Sat 24 Jun 2017 01:21        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Sat 24 Jun 2017 17:11        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Sat 24 Jun 2017 19:26   Io : Disappears into Occultation  
Sat 24 Jun 2017 22:54   Io : Reappears from Eclipse       
Sun 25 Jun 2017 01:17        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Sun 25 Jun 2017 17:11        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Sun 25 Jun 2017 17:24   Eur: Disappears into Occultation  T
Sun 25 Jun 2017 17:55   Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Sun 25 Jun 2017 18:52   Io : Transit Ends                 S
Sun 25 Jun 2017 19:07   Gan: Transit Begins               ST
Sun 25 Jun 2017 19:53   Eur: Reappears from Occultation   ST
Sun 25 Jun 2017 19:55   Eur: Disappears into Eclipse      ST
Sun 25 Jun 2017 20:06   Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T
Sun 25 Jun 2017 21:39   Gan: Transit Ends                 
Sun 25 Jun 2017 22:06   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun 25 Jun 2017 22:18   Eur: Reappears from Eclipse       
Mon 26 Jun 2017 00:20   Gan: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Mon 26 Jun 2017 01:13        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Mon 26 Jun 2017 17:11        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Mon 26 Jun 2017 17:23   Io : Reappears from Eclipse       
Mon 26 Jun 2017 17:57   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue 27 Jun 2017 01:10        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Tue 27 Jun 2017 17:12        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Tue 27 Jun 2017 23:45   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 28 Jun 2017 01:06        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets
Wed 28 Jun 2017 17:12        Viewing Resumed   - Sun Sets
Wed 28 Jun 2017 19:36   GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 29 Jun 2017 01:02        Viewing Suspended - Jupiter Sets

Evening sky on Saturday June 24 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 18:43 ACST, an hour and a half after sunset. Saturn is reasonably high above the 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, an hour and a half 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 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 24 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:53 ACST (90 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling and the crescent Moon is very close by. 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 90 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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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

 

See the ISS skim the Moon and Venus from Adelaide (Wedensday 21 June)

The ISS passes close to the crescent Moon and Venus on the morning of Wednesday 21st June at 5:13 am. View looking East from Adelaide. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), (click to embiggen)All-sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Wednesday 21st June for Adelaide. (Click to embiggen)

This week there is a series of bright ISS passes in the morning, while you may not be a fan of getting up in the dark during winter, for those of use in South Australia The Morning of Wednesday 21 June will be special, as the ISS will exit earths shadow and pass very close to the crescent Moon and Venus.

In some areas the ISS might even cross in front of the Moon. 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 . Even the difference between the city centre and the suburbs can mean the difference between seeing the ISS go over the Moon or just next to it.

Start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted. Be patient, on the night there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions. The ISS will be moving reasonably fast when it exits  Earth's shadow before passing near the Moon.

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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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Sunday, June 04, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 8 to Thursday June 15

The Full Moon is Friday, June 9. Earth is at Perihelion on the 4th. Mars is lost in the twilight. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky and are visited by the Moon on the 4th. Saturn is in the evening sky in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus climbs higher in the morning sky, with Mercury below it.  Venus is close to Uranus on the 3rd and 4th. Comet C/2015 V2 Johnson may be visible in binoculars in the northern sky.

The Full Moon is Friday, June 9. Earth is at Perihelion (where it is furthest from the Sun) on the 4th. The Moon is at apogee (where it is furthest from the Earth) on the 8th. That means this full Moon is a micro-Moon.

 Evening sky on Saturday June 10 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 19:51 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 18:00 ACST of Friday June 3.

Comet C/2015 V2 is moderately high above the horizon near Arcturus.

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

Jupiter is rising before dusk and is now reasonably 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. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.

Mon 8 May 1:04 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Mon 8 May 2:33 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 8 May 3:57 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Mon 8 May 18:56 Eur: Transit Begins               T
Mon 8 May 20:20 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Mon 8 May 21:22 Eur: Transit Ends                 S
Mon 8 May 22:21 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Mon 8 May 22:24 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 8 May 22:47 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          T
Mon 8 May 23:02 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Tue 9 May 0:32 Io : Transit Ends                 S
Tue 9 May 1:13 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Tue 9 May 18:15 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue 9 May 19:31 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Tue 9 May 22:26 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Wed 10 May 4:11 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 10 May 17:31 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Wed 10 May 17:36 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse       ST
Wed 10 May 18:58 Io : Transit Ends                 S
Wed 10 May 19:42 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Thu 11 May 0:02 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 11 May 19:54 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 13 May 1:41 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 13 May 21:15 Gan: Transit Begins               T
Sat 13 May 21:32 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 13 May 23:33 Gan: Transit Ends
Sun 14 May 0:25 Gan: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Sun 14 May 2:44 Gan: Shadow Transit Ends
Sun 14 May 2:55 Eur: Disappears into Occultation
Sun 14 May 17:23 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 15 May 2:51 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Mon 15 May 3:19 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian


Evening  sky on Saturday June 10 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 18:41 ACST.  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. (click to embiggen).

 Saturn is visible in the evening skies this week. Saturn is a good telescopic target from 10 pm on. It continues to climb into the evening skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula and makes a very nice sight in binoculars. This week the light of the Moon washes ourt the nebula and clusters.

Saturn is at opposition next week, but watching the rings over the coming week should see them brighten ahead of the planet,

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.

Comet C/2015 V2 is in a good position to view at the moment, it is dimmer than predicted at around magnitude 8, while with good binoculars and under dark skies it should be visible as a fuzzy dot. The bright star Arcturus is readily visible and you can star hop from it down to the comet. For more details off how to view the comet see here. The light of the waxing Moon will make the comet harder to spot.


 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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Friday, June 02, 2017

 

Astrophiz Podcast 35 is Out

Astrophiz Podcast 35 is out now.
 
Our feature interview is with Dr Jean-Pierre Macquart – Senior research fellow at Curtin University node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), Perth, Australia.

He explains new discoveries about the mysterious FRBs (Fast Radio Bursts) and his team's use of the CSIRO ASKAP array to use the latest FRB discoveries to better understand the properties of the intergalactic medium.

For astrophotographers and naked-eye and binocular observers, I tell you what to look for in the night sky this month, and include an update on the recent impact of an object on Jupiter, and the 'apogee moon'.

In the news:
NASA's Parker Solar probe, Citizen Scientists Identify Prehistoric Supernova and astrophysicists solve mystery of how most anti-matter in the Milky Way forms.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday June 1 to Thursday June 8

The First Quarter Moon is Thursday June 1. Mars is lost in the twilight. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening sky and are visited by the Moon on the 4th. Saturn is in the evening sky in the heart of the Milky Way. Venus climbs higher in the morning sky, with Mercury below it.  Venus is close to Uranus on the 3rd and 4th. Comet C/2015 V2 Johnson may be visible in binoculars in the northern sky.

The First Quarter Moon is Thursday June 1.

Evening sky on Sunday June 4 looking north as seen from Adelaide at 20:18 ACST (when Jupiter is highest in the sky).  Jupiter is above the horizon between the bright star Spica and the relatively bright star Porrima, with the Mon making a triangle with the pair. Jupiter is now closer to Porrima than Spica. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 18:00 ACST of Friday June 3.

Comet C/2015 V2 is moderately high above the horizon near Arcturus.

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

Jupiter is rising before dusk and is now reasonably 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. On the 4th the waxing Moon forms a triangle with Jupiter and 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. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.

Thu    1    Jun    0:22    Io : Transit Ends                 S
Thu    1    Jun    0:50    Gan: Reappears from Eclipse       S
Thu    1    Jun    1:18    Eur: Reappears from Eclipse       S
Thu    1    Jun    1:25    Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Thu    1    Jun    2:22    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu    1    Jun    19:23    Io : Disappears into Occultation
Thu    1    Jun    22:13    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu    1    Jun    22:39    Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Fri    2    Jun    17:32    Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        STT
Fri    2    Jun    17:42    Io : Shadow Transit Begins        SSTT
Fri    2    Jun    17:46    Eur: Transit Ends                 SST
Fri    2    Jun    18:05    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Fri    2    Jun    18:49    Io : Transit Ends                 SS
Fri    2    Jun    19:53    Io : Shadow Transit Ends          S
Fri    2    Jun    19:57    Eur: Shadow Transit Ends
Sat    3    Jun    23:52    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun    4    Jun    19:43    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue    6    Jun    1:30    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue    6    Jun    21:22    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed    7    Jun    17:13    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed    7    Jun    21:50    Gan: Disappears into Occultation
Wed    7    Jun    23:13    Eur: Disappears into Occultation
Thu    8    Jun    0:00    Io : Transit Begins               T
Thu    8    Jun    0:18    Gan: Reappears from Occultation   T
Thu    8    Jun    1:08    Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Thu    8    Jun    2:12    Io : Transit Ends                 S
Thu    8    Jun    21:13    Io : Disappears into Occultation
Thu    8    Jun    23:00    GRS: Crosses Central Meridian

 
Evening  sky on Saturday June 3 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 20:00 ACST.  Saturn is reasonably high above the 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 is now visible in the evening skies this week. Saturn is a good telescopic target from 10 pm on. It continues to climb into the evening skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula and makes a very nice sight in binoculars.

Saturn is at opposition next week, but watching the rings over the coming week should see them brighten ahead of the planet,

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.

Comet C/2015 V2 is in a good position to view at the moment, it is dimmer than predicted at around magnitude 8, while with good binoculars and under dark skies it should be visible as a fuzzy dot. The bright star Arcturus is readily visible and you can star hop from it down to the comet. For more details off how to view the comet see here.


 Mars is lost in the twilight.

Morning sky on Saturday June 3 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:17 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Venus is dazzling and Mercury is prominent below it. Uranus is close to Venus. 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 "half-Moon". Over the next few days Uranus comes close to Venus and is closest on the 3rd and 4th. Blue-green Uranus will be easily visible in binoculars as it draw close to brilliant Venus. Uranus, Venus and the brightish star omicron Pisces from a triangle, and you can watch Uranus move from day to day.

Mercury is easily visible low to the horizon.

There are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. If you don't have a telescope, now is a good time to visit one of your local astronomical societies open nights or the local planetariums.

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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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

 

Astrophiz Podcast 34 is Out

Astrophiz Podcast 34 is out now.
 
Our feature interview is with Dr. Anthony Horton – Instrument Scientist at the AAO who tells us all about life as an Instrument Scientist for AAO and the Huntsman Telescope and the Space-Eye CubeSat telescope project.

I give you the skinny on the great current conditions for observing our Gas Giants.

In the news:
1. Vale Harold Weaver, 99, discoverer of Masers in space.
2. Renegrade Supermassive Black Hole hunted down
3. The smallest (oxymoronic) Supermassive Black Hole
4. The first image of a black hole (almost)

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Geomagnetic warning (26-27 May)

The SWS has issued a geomagnetic warning  for 26-27 May (UT) due to glancing blow from a coronal mass ejection. This is expected to arrive late in the UT day on the 26th (which is the morning of the 27th Australian time). However, the Space Weather Prediction Service has no prediction of storms at this time, so a wait and see approach may be needed (see also here).

If these geomagnetic events occur and result in aurora they could be seen from Tasmania and Southern Victoria, weather permitting. The Moon is just off new, so will not interfere. Be patient, as the activity may rise and fall of the magnetic polarity of the wind may fluctuate significantly.

Dark sky sites have the best chance of seeing anything, and always allow around 5 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted.

As always look to the south for shifting red/green glows, beams have been reported consistently over the last few aurora, as well as bright proton arcs and "picket fences".

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds http://satview.bom.gov.au/
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.  

The all sky aurora camera in Northern Tasmania at Cressy is being upgraded and is not yet online.

SUBJ: SWS GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCE WARNING 17/27
ISSUED AT 2343UT/23 MAY 2017
BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE.

Partial Halo CME observed using STEREO and LASCO C2 imagery.

INCREASED GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY EXPECTED
DUE TO CORONAL MASS EJECTION
FROM 26-27 MAY 2017
_____________________________________________________________

GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY FORECAST
26 May:  Minor to Major Storm
27 May:  Minor Storm

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