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The Sky This Week – Thursday June 14 to Thursday June 21

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 5:04
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The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday, June 20.  Venus is high in the early evening sky and forms a shallow triangle with the bright stars Pollux and Castor. On the 16th the thin crescent Moon form a triangle with Venus and Pollux. On the 20th Venus is close to the unaided eye Beehive cluster. Jupiter is past opposition, but is still big and bright in telescopes. Jupiter is still close to the bright star alpha Librae all this week. Mars and Saturn are visible in the late evening skies.  Asteroid Vesta  is closest to  open cluster M23 this week and at opposition on the 20th, when it is potentially visible to the unaided eye. Mercury returns to the evening skies.

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday, June 20. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to Earth, on Friday 15 June. Earth is at Solstice, when the day is shortest, on the 21st.

Evening twilight sky on Saturday June 16 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:11 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus forms a triangle  with the crescent Moon and the star Pollux in Gemini. The inset shows a simulated telescopic view of Venus.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen).

Venus is now visible in the early evening until well after full dark. Venus is visible to the unaided eye from sunset, easy to see 30-60 minutes after sunset and can viewed well after 90 minutes after sunset.During the week Venus heads towards the iconic Beehive cluster in Cancer.

Evening sky on Saturday June 16 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 18:41 ACST (90 minutes after sunset). Jupiter is  well above the horizon, close to the bright star alpha Librae. Saturn is just rising.

The inset is a simulated telescopic view of Jupiter and its moons at 21:57 ACST, on the 17th with Europa passing across the face of Jupiter. Europa’s shadow follows around an hour later.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia 90 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen).

Evening sky on Saturday June 9 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 ACST. Saturn is high above the horizon and Mars is clearly visible. The Asteroid Vesta is visible in binoculars (and may be visible to the unaided eye) near Saturn. The inset is a simulated telescopic view of Saturn and its moons.

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

Simulated binocular view of the region near Saturn showing the open clusters M24, M23 and Vesta on Saturday June 9 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 21:00 ACST.

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

Vesta is now bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye from dark sky sites. It is also easily seen in binoculars. It is near the open cluster M23 just over from the iconic and easily recognisable trifid nebula. It is brighter than most of the stars in the cluster, but you may need to watch over several nights to watch it move. Vesta forms a straight line with Saturn and Polis (Mu Sagittarii) at this time.

Evening sky on Thursday June 21 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 17:40 ACST (30 minutes after Sunset). Mercury is just above the horizon below Venus.

Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (30 minutes after sunset, click to embiggen). 

 Venus  is  readily visible above the horizon in the early evening.  It is bright enough to be visible from just on sunset and easy to see 90 minutes after sunset at full dark, when it is over two hand-spans above the horizon. Especially if you have a flat, unobstructed horizon. On the 16th Venus forms a triangle  with the crescent Moon and the star Pollux in Gemini.Venus then heads towards the iconic open cluster the Beehive and just skims the edge of the cluster on the 20th. This is best viewed in binoculars, and the brightness of Venus will make it hard to see the beehive with the unaided eye.

Mercury is returns to the evening skies late this week. By the end of the week it is visible if you have a flat, level horizon, close to Pollux and below Venus.

Jupiter  is rising in the early evening. It was at Opposition on the 9th, and is still visible most of the night. It is  a good telescopic object in the mid to late evening and is highest around 21:30 local time. There are some good Jovian Moon events this week. This week Jupiter is still within a finger-width of  the bright star alpha Librae (Zubenelgenubi).

 Mars is in Capricornius and is now rising in the late evening, although best telescopically in the morning. Mars is brightening ahead of opposition later this year and is now quite bright (although it will get brighter still) and readily recognisable in the late evening. In a telescope you may see few features as a huge dust storm is sweeping the planet.

Saturn is climbing higher the evening sky, and is now a worthwhile telescopic object in the late evening sky. It is within binocular range of several attractive clusters and nebula. It is close to the bright globular cluster M22 and the pair are visible in binoculars and wide field telescope eyepieces.

Vesta is now bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye from dark sky sites. It will be at opposition on the 20th, when it will be magnitude 5.3, and could possibly be visible from suburban sites. It is also easily seen in binoculars. It is travelling near the open cluster M23. It is brighter than most of the stars in the cluster, but you may need to watch over several nights to watch it move. Vesta forms a straight line with Saturn and Polis (Mu Sagittarii) at this time and is not far from the iconic Trifid nebula. Printable spotters charts are here.

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/



Source: http://astroblogger.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-sky-this-week-thursday-june-14-to.html

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