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The Sky This Week – Thursday October 13 to Thursday October 20

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 3:03
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The Full Moon is Sunday October 16. Venus climbs higher in the evening sky and is closest to Dschubba in the head of the Scorpion on October 20. Mars is in the “handle” of the Teapot of Sagittarius and close to the star Nunki on the 15th.

The Full Moon is Sunday October 16. The Moon is at Perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 17th.


Evening sky on Thursday October 20 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 ACDST. Venus, Mars, Saturn, and Antares form a nice trail in the sky.  Venus is closest to Dschubba in the head of the Scorpion at this time. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Venus continues to rise into darker skies this week. Venus is high in the dusk sky and can be seen easily from somewhat before half an hour to a bit after an hour and a half after sunset, staying visible after twilight is over low above the horizon in truly dark skies.

Venus climbs towards the head of the Scorpion this week and by the end of the week is close to the star Dschubba in the head of the Scorpion.

Jupiter is lost in the twilight.


Evening sky on Saturday October 15 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 ACDST.  Mars is close to the star Nunki in the “handle of the “teapot” of Sagittarius. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mars is in the western evening skies in the “teapot” of Sagittarius.

It starts the week within a binocular field of the bright globular cluster M22. Detailed printable charts are available here.During the week Mars draws away from M22 and approaches the bright star Nunki, in the “handle” of the “teapot” of Sagittarius, and is closest on the 15th.  Mars then moves way from Sagittarius towards Capricornius. 

Mars was at opposition on May 22,  and is still visibly dimming, but is still a modest telescope object. It is visible all evening long. In even small telescopes Mars will be a visible, but gibbous, disk, and you may even be able to  see its markings.

 Saturn was at opposition on the 3rd of June. However, Saturn’s change in size and brightness is nowhere near as spectacular as Mars’s, and Saturn will be a reasonable telescopic object for many weeks. Saturn is readily visible next to Antares in Scorpius. Saturn is still high enough for good telescopic observation in the early evening, setting abut midnight daylight saving time. In even small telescopes its distinctive rings are obvious.

In the early evening the line-up of Venus, Saturn and Mars under dark skies will look very good.

 Mercury is low in the morning twilight but never rises far above 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)


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