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Wednesday, May 03, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday May 4 to Thursday May 11

The Full Moon is Thursday May 11. The Moon occults the bright star Regulus on the 4th. Mars is low in the twilight below Aldebaran. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are nearby in the evening skies. Saturn is low in the evening sky. Venus climbs higher in the morning sky, with Mercury below it. The eta Aquariid meteor shower is at its best in the morning from the 7th to the 9th.

The Full Moon is Thursday May 11. The Moon occults the bright star Regulus on the 4th.

Evening sky on Saturday May 6 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:24 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Mars is low above the horizon, below Aldebaran.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 60 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).

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 the Hyades cluster, you will need a clear, unobscured level horizon to see this though.

Evening sky on Monday May 8 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 18:54 ACST (90 minutes after sunset).  Jupiter is above the horizon between the bright star Spica and the relatively bright star Porrima. The Moon, Juiter and Spica form a triangle. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 18:54 ACST Europa is transiting the face of Jupiter.

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. Jupiter is close to the Moon, forming a triangle with Spica, on the 8th.

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.

Thu 4 May 19:08 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 6 May 0:55 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 6 May 17:52 Gan: Transit Begins               T
Sat 6 May 20:06 Gan: Transit Ends
Sat 6 May 20:26 Gan: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Sat 6 May 20:46 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 6 May 22:46 Gan: Shadow Transit Ends
Sun 7 May 0:37 Eur: Disappears into Occultation
Sun 7 May 3:55 Io : Transit Begins               T
Sun 7 May 4:19 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse       T
Sun 7 May 4:34 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Mon 8 May 1:04 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Mon 8 May 2:33 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 8 May 3:57 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Mon 8 May 18:56 Eur: Transit Begins               T
Mon 8 May 20:20 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Mon 8 May 21:22 Eur: Transit Ends                 S
Mon 8 May 22:21 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Mon 8 May 22:24 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 8 May 22:47 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          T
Mon 8 May 23:02 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Tue 9 May 0:32 Io : Transit Ends                 S
Tue 9 May 1:13 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Tue 9 May 18:15 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue 9 May 19:31 Io : Disappears into Occultation
Tue 9 May 22:26 Io : Reappears from Eclipse
Wed 10 May 4:11 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 10 May 17:31 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        ST
Wed 10 May 17:36 Eur: Reappears from Eclipse       ST
Wed 10 May 18:58 Io : Transit Ends                 S
Wed 10 May 19:42 Io : Shadow Transit Ends
Thu 11 May 0:02 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 11 May 19:54 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian

Evening  sky on Saturday May 6 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 22:00 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 11 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.

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.

Morning sky on Saturday May 6 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:45  ACST (45 minutes before sunrise). 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 90 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen).

Venus  climbs higher in the morning sky and is visible in telescopes as a crescent.


Mercury is is visible low to the horizon, it is within binocular distance of Uranus, and will make an interesting pairing.


The northern horizon as seen from Adelaide at 18:17 ACDST on Thursday May 4, the bright star Regulus is close to the Moon an hour before it is occulted. The inset shows the Moon and Regulus at 19:24 ACST, just as Regulus is occulted. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

Viewing hints and exact times for other cities are here.

On the early evening of Thursday 4 April the bright star Regulus is occulted by the Moon as seen from the most of Australia. This is the second of two occultations of Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation of Leo the lion, this year. The Moon is a very obvious signpost for where to look and Regulus will be the brightest object near the Moon.


Morning sky on Saturday May 7 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 4:00 am ACST.  The radiant of the eta Aquariid meteor shower is shown.  This year the radiant is neatly bracketed by the bright stars Altair and Fomalhaut and the planet Venus. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

The eta Aquariids meteor shower, the debris from Halleys comet, will peak on May 6 UT . However, the best rates will be seen from Australia on the mornings of the 7th, 8th and 9th.
 More details here.

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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Comments:
Thank you for the information on the night sky, I find it very useful and interesting!
 
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