Tuesday, April 18, 2017
The Sky This Week - Thursday April 20 to Thursday April 27
The New Moon is Wednesday April 26.
Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 450 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).
Mercury is lost in twilight.
Mars is in the western evening skies in Taurus It is is low in the dusk sky, but is the brightest object above the western horizon low in the late twilight below Aldebaran. Over the week Mars passes between the Pleiades cluster and the Hyades cluster, you will need a clear, unobscured level horizon to see this though.
Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. that is 90 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).
Jupiter is rising at 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.
Opposition, when Jupiter is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, was on the 8th. Jupiter is rising as the sun sets and is visible all night long. Jupiter is a good telescopic target from around 8 pm on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEST.
Fri 21 Apr 1:13 Eur: Transit Begins T Fri 21 Apr 1:49 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins ST Fri 21 Apr 3:32 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Fri 21 Apr 3:36 Eur: Transit Ends S Fri 21 Apr 4:16 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends Fri 21 Apr 23:23 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Sat 22 Apr 3:08 Io : Disappears into Occultation Sat 22 Apr 5:39 Io : Reappears from Eclipse Sat 22 Apr 19:15 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Sat 22 Apr 20:06 Eur: Disappears into Occultation Sat 22 Apr 23:12 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse Sun 23 Apr 0:25 Io : Transit Begins T Sun 23 Apr 0:45 Io : Shadow Transit Begins ST Sun 23 Apr 2:35 Io : Transit Ends S Sun 23 Apr 2:57 Io : Shadow Transit Ends Sun 23 Apr 5:10 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Sun 23 Apr 21:34 Io : Disappears into Occultation Mon 24 Apr 0:08 Io : Reappears from Eclipse Mon 24 Apr 1:01 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Mon 24 Apr 18:51 Io : Transit Begins T Mon 24 Apr 19:14 Io : Shadow Transit Begins ST Mon 24 Apr 20:53 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Mon 24 Apr 21:01 Io : Transit Ends S Mon 24 Apr 21:25 Io : Shadow Transit Ends Tue 25 Apr 18:36 Io : Reappears from Eclipse Wed 26 Apr 1:01 Gan: Disappears into Occultation Wed 26 Apr 2:40 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Wed 26 Apr 4:59 Gan: Reappears from Eclipse Wed 26 Apr 22:31 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian Thu 27 Apr 18:22 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
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 late evening skies this week. Saturn is only a good telescopic target from midnight 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.
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.
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 crescent. On the monring of Monday 24th the crescent Moon is near crescent Venus.
The Lyrids, the debris of comet C/1861 G1 (Thatcher) are a weak but reliable shower that occurs every year between April 16- April 25, the best time to view the Lyrids in Australia is from 4 am local on the 23rd.
The predicted ZHR this year is 18 meteors per hour. This means that under ideal conditions, you will see a meteor on average about once every three minutes. In Australia, the rate is even less, around 4-5 meteors an hour in Northern Australia (around one every 10 minutes). For southern Australia, the rate is even lower. If you are dedicated and don't mind waiting a long time between meteors, look north, the meteors will appear near the bright star Vega (the only obvious bright star near 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/
Labels: weekly sky