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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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