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The Sky This Week – Thursday October 27 to Thursday November 3

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 8:22
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(Before It's News)

The New Moon is Monday October 31. This is a “Blue” New Moon. Venus is between Antares and Saturn on Friday the 28th, and many places will see the ISS pass by the trio. The crescent Moon visits Venus and Saturn on the November 3rd. Mars heads towards Capricorn. The thin crescent Moon is close to Jupiter on October 28.

The New Moon is Monday October 31. This is a “Blue” New Moon, the second New Moon of the month. The Moon is at apogee, when it is closest to the Earth, on November the 1st.

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Evening sky on Thursday October 28 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:14 ACDST. Venus is between Antares and Saturn at this time with the International Space Station passing close by. Similar views (without the space station) will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time. Viewing times for the ISS can be found here (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 starts the week is close the pair of Antares and Saturn. On Friday it is between them in a spectacular line-up. On Friday as well the International Space Station makes a close pass to line-up seen from many locations in Australia. Times and viewing charts are detailed here.

After the 28th Venus begins to move way from the pair of Antares and Saturn towards Sagittarius. On November 2 and 3 the crescent Moon is close to Saturn and Venus.

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Evening sky on Thursday November 3 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 ACDST.  Mars is heading towards Capricornius and the thin crescent Moon forms a diamond shape with Venus, Antars and Saturn. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Mars is in the western evening skies between the “teapot” of Sagittarius and Capricornius. During the week Mars moves away 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.

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Morning  sky on Friday October 28 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:45 ACDST.  Jupiter is low in the twilight glow near the thin crescent Moon.

Jupiter emerges from the twilight into the morning skies this week. You will need an unobstructed, level eastern horizon to see it around half an hour before sunrise. On the 28th the thin crescent Moon is a signpost to the banded world.

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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