.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, March 27, 2017

 

Geomagnetic Warning and Aurora in NZ and Australia NOW (27-28 March)

Hobart K-Index plot diagramThe  Australian Space Weather Service (SWS ) has issued a Geomagnetic Warning  for 27-28 March UT from a high speed solar wind stream from a large coronal hole with active to minor storm activity predicted. However, the indices are favorable now (Velocity: 540 km/sec Bz: -10.0 nT Density = 13.0 p/cc but current Kindex is 4) and good unaided eye Aurora are being reported from Southland New Zealand as of twenty minutes ago, Queenstown NZ, multiple back of camera reports from Tasmania and one apparent uniaded eye sighting from southern Victoria.

Skies are dark virtually all night long.  Aurora may be continue to be seen in Tasmania and Victoria if conditions persist (possibly even further north). G2 storm conditions have been predicted, most probably around early evening on the 28th, but with the disturbances arriving early keep an eye out this evening tomorrow morning. However, conditions are expected to fluctuate rapidly through the evening so there may be several bursts of short lived aurora.

Dark sky sites have the best chance of seeing anything, and always allow around 5 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted.

As always look to the south for shifting red/green glows, beams have been reported consistently over the last few aurora, as well as bright proton arcs and "picket fences".

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds http://satview.bom.gov.au/
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.  

The all sky aurora camera in Northern Tasmania at Cressy is being upgraded and is not yet online.

SUBJ: SWS GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCE WARNING 17/15
ISSUED AT 2342UT/25 MARCH 2017
BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE.

A negative polarity recurrent coronal hole is expected to take
a geoeffective position around the late hours on 27 March (UT
day). Geomagnetic activity may rise to active levels with some
possibility of minor storm periods late on 27 March. Geomagnetic
activity is expected to stay high at active to minor storm levels
on 28 March.

INCREASED GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY EXPECTED
DUE TO CORONAL HOLE HIGH SPEED WIND STREAM
FROM 27-28 MARCH 2017
_____________________________________________________________

GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY FORECAST
27 Mar:  Quiet active, isolated minor storm periods possible
28 Mar:  Active to minor storm

Labels:


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

 

Aurora happening NOW! (11 pm 22 March)

Despite all the indices being ordinary, camera visible aurora have been seen in Avoca Victoria and unaided eye visible through cloud in northern Tasmania. If conditions hold this may be an excellent auroral event. However, conditions are expected to fluctuate rapidly through the evening so there may be several bursts of short lived aurora. The waning Moon will rise after 1 am so should not interfere too much with aurora visibility.  .

Dark sky sites have the best chance of seeing anything, and always allow around 5 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted.
As always look to the south for shifting red/green glows, beams have been reported consistently over the last few aurora, as well as bright proton arcs and "picket fences".

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds http://satview.bom.gov.au/
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.  

Labels:


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday March 23 to Thursday March 30

The New Moon is Tuesday March 28. Mercury is very low in the twilight glow and is visited by the Moon on the 29th. Mars is low in the twilight and is visited by the Moon on the 30th. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are close in the late evening skies. Saturn is high in the morning sky.

The New Moon is Tuesday March 28.The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 30th.



Evening sky on Wednesday March 29 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 19:45 ACDST (35 minutes after sunset). Mercury is low above the horizon and close to the thin crescent Moon.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (that is 35 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).

Venus  is now lost in the twilight.



Mercury returns to the evening twilight, but is difficult to see. On the 29t the tine crescent Moon is close to Mercury, but you will need a clear, unobscured level horizon (like the ocean) to see it.

Evening sky on Thursday March 30 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:08 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset). Mars is low above the horizon, not far from the thin crescent Moon.

 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  Pisces. It is is low in the dusk sky, but is the brightest object above the western horizon low in the late twilight.

Evening sky on Friday March 24 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 22:50 ACDST.  Jupiter is now well above the horizon close to the bright star Spica. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time with Ganymede and its shadow transiting Jupiter's face, and Io reappearing from occultation. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is rising well before midnight and is now reasonably high above the horizon in the evening this week. It is close to the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo.

Jupiter is a good telescopic target from around 11 pm on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEDST.


Thu 23 Mar 2:21 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Thu 23 Mar 4:56 Io : Reappears from Occultation
Thu 23 Mar 5:41 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 23 Mar 23:42 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S
Fri 24 Mar 0:04 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Fri 24 Mar 1:32 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Fri 24 Mar 1:53 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T
Fri 24 Mar 2:14 Io : Transit Ends
Fri 24 Mar 20:50 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Fri 24 Mar 21:23 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Fri 24 Mar 21:35 Gan: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Fri 24 Mar 23:12 Gan: Transit Begins               ST
Fri 24 Mar 23:22 Io : Reappears from Occultation   ST
Sat 25 Mar 0:02 Gan: Shadow Transit Ends          T
Sat 25 Mar 1:09 Gan: Transit Ends
Sat 25 Mar 7:19 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 25 Mar 20:22 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T
Sat 25 Mar 20:40 Io : Transit Ends
Sun 26 Mar 3:10 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun 26 Mar 23:01 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 27 Mar 5:41 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Mon 27 Mar 6:20 Eur: Transit Begins               ST
Tue 28 Mar 4:48 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 29 Mar 0:39 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 29 Mar 0:46 Eur: Disappears into Eclipse
Wed 29 Mar 3:39 Eur: Reappears from Occultation
Wed 29 Mar 7:07 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S
Wed 29 Mar 7:22 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Wed 29 Mar 20:30 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 30 Mar 4:15 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Thu 30 Mar 6:26 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 30 Mar 6:40 Io : Reappears from Occultation
Thu 30 Mar 21:28 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          T
Thu 30 Mar 21:49 Eur: Transit Ends

Morning  sky on Saturday March 25 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 5:58 ACDST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn is 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 (90 minutes before sunrise). (click to embiggen).

 Saturn rises higher in darker morning skies this week. Saturn is now high enough above north-eastern horizon to see easily and is now a good telescopic target. It continues to climb into darker skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula. With the Moon waning this is now an attractive view again..

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.


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/

Labels:


 

Geomagnetic Warning (22-23 March)

The  Australian Space Weather Service (SWS ) has issued a Geomagnetic Warning for 22-23 March UT from a high speed solar wind stream from a large coronal hole. Morning skies have the waning Moon visible from just after midnight. This will not interfere too much with aurora visibility.  It is possible aurora may be seen in Tasmania and Victoria if storms eventuate. G1 storm conditions have been predicted, most probably around midnight but we have been surprised with early evening aurora before (See also NOAA).  However, conditions are expected to fluctuate rapidly through the evening so there may be several bursts of short lived aurora.

Dark sky sites have the best chance of seeing anything, and always allow around 5 minutes for your eyes to become dark adapted.
As always look to the south for shifting red/green glows, beams have been reported consistently over the last few aurora, as well as bright proton arcs and "picket fences".

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds http://satview.bom.gov.au/
Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.  

The all sky aurora camera in Northern Tasmania at Cressy is being upgraded and is not yet online.

SUBJ: SWS GEOMAGNETIC DISTURBANCE WARNING 17/12
ISSUED AT 2335UT/20 MARCH 2017
BY THE AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORECAST CENTRE.

The effect of a high speed solar wind stream from a positive
polarity recurrent coronal hole is expected to raise geomagnetic
activity to active levels on 22 March with some possibility of
isolated minor storm periods on this day. Geomagnetic activity
is then expected to remain enhanced to 'active to minor storm'
levels on 23 March.

INCREASED GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY EXPECTED
DUE TO CORONAL HOLE HIGH SPEED WIND STREAM
FROM 22-23 MARCH 2017
_____________________________________________________________

GEOMAGNETIC ACTIVITY FORECAST
22 Mar:  Unsettled to Active
23 Mar:  Unsettled to minor storm

Labels:


Thursday, March 16, 2017

 

Two ISS passes (14 and 16 March 2017)

The ISS passing just below the Southern Cross on 14 March, 2017 before heading into earth's shadow. Stack of 9 images in Deep Sky Stacker (5 second exposures 400 ASA)The ISS passing just aboveCanopus on 16 March, 2017. The ISS was around magnitude -3.4 (almost as bright as Venus) Stack of 9 images in Deep Sky Stacker (5 second exposures 400 ASA)
Animation of above imagesAnimation of above images

Labels: ,


 

A Series of Bright ISS passes (16-20 March, 2017)

The ISS passes almost over Procyon, as seen from Melbourne on the evening of Friday 17 March at 20:25 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes between Sirius and Canopus, as seen from Adelaide on the evening of Thursday 16 March at 20:46 ACDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.The ISS passes through the False Cross, as seen from Perth on the evening of Thursday 16 March at 19:50 AWST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.
All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Friday 17 March for Melbourne.All sky chart showing local  times from Heavens Above for Thursday 16 March for Adelaide.All sky chart showing local times from Heavens Above for Thursday 16 March for Perth.

Starting tonight there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station lasting around five days. Many are low to the horizon, but for many places in Australia this series has the ISS gliding either throughthe Southern cross, coming close to bright stars or distinctive constellations such as Orion. Some of the passes are very short although bright as the ISS enters Earth's shadow.The est and brightest of the passes occur during a period from 16-18 March, favouring the east coast.

Most of the major cites see the ISS pass almost at the zenith and  close to bright stars in the evening at the following days and times:
Adelaide 16th 20:46 ACDST (best), 18th 20:38 ACDST;
Brisbane 17th 19:24 AEST; 18th 18:35 AEST; 20th 18:27 AEST
Sydney 17th 20:27 AEDST, 18th 19:34 AEDST;
Melbourne 16th 21:14 AEDST; 17th 20:25 AEDST (best)
Perth 16th 19:50 AWST; 17th 18:54 AWST; 18th 18:38 AWST;
Hobart 17th 20:24 AEDST

When and what you will see is VERY location dependent, so you need to use either Heavens Above or CalSky to get site specific predictions for your location, a small difference in location can mean the difference between the ISS passing over Procyon or missing it completely.
 
Start looking several minutes before the pass is going to start to get yourself oriented and your eyes dark adapted. Be patient, there may be slight differences in the time of the ISS appearing due to orbit changes not picked up by the predictions. Use the most recent prediction for your site.

Labels: , ,


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday March 16 to Thursday March 23

The Last Quarter Moon is Tuesday March 21. Earth is at equinox on the 20th. Mars is low in the twilight. There is a series of bright ISS passes this week. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are close in the late evening skies. Saturn is high in the morning sky with the last quarter Moon below it on the 21st.

The Last Quarter Moon is Tuesday March 21.The Moon is at apogee, when it is futrhest from the AErth, on the 19th. Earth is at equinox, when night and day are approximately equal, on the 20th.

Evening sky on Saturday March 18 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:25 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset). Mars is low above the horizon.

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

Venus  is now lost in the twilight.



Mars is in the western evening skies in  Pisces. It is is low in the dusk sky, but is the brightest object above the western horizon low in the late twilight.


The ISS passes almost over Procyon, as seen from Melbourne on the evening of Friday 17 March at 20:25 AEDST. Simulated in Stellarium (the ISS will actually be a bright dot), click to embiggen.

Starting on the 16th there are a series of bright evening passes of the International Space Station lasting around five days. Many are low to the horizon, but for many places in Australia this series has the ISS gliding either through the Southern cross, coming close to bright stars or distinctive constellations such as Orion. Some of the passes are very short although bright as the ISS enters Earth's shadow.The best and brightest of the passes occur during a period from 16-18 March, favouring the east coast.  For more details see this page.

 Late evening sky on Saturday March 18 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACDST.  Jupiter is now well above the horizon close to the bright star Spica. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is rising well before midnight and is now reasonably high above the horizon in the late evening this week. It is close to the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo.
Jupiter is a good telescopic target from around midnight on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEDST.


Thu 16 Mar 0:28 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Thu 16 Mar 3:11 Io : Reappears from Occultation
Thu 16 Mar 4:56 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 16 Mar 21:48 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S
Thu 16 Mar 22:20 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Fri 17 Mar 0:00 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T
Fri 17 Mar 0:30 Io : Transit Ends
Fri 17 Mar 0:47 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Fri 17 Mar 21:37 Io : Reappears from Occultation   T
Fri 17 Mar 21:49 Gan: Transit Ends
Sat 18 Mar 6:34 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun 19 Mar 2:25 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun 19 Mar 22:16 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 20 Mar 3:06 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Mon 20 Mar 4:04 Eur: Transit Begins               ST
Mon 20 Mar 5:34 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          T
Mon 20 Mar 6:24 Eur: Transit Ends
Tue 21 Mar 4:03 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue 21 Mar 22:12 Eur: Disappears into Eclipse
Tue 21 Mar 23:54 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 22 Mar 1:24 Eur: Reappears from Occultation
Wed 22 Mar 5:13 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S
Wed 22 Mar 5:38 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Wed 22 Mar 7:25 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T
Thu 23 Mar 2:21 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Thu 23 Mar 4:56 Io : Reappears from Occultation
Thu 23 Mar 5:41 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 23 Mar 23:42 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S

Morning  sky on Tuesday March 21 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:52 ACDST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn is high above the horizon and the waning Moon is just below it.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Saturn at this time. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes before sunrise). (click to embiggen).

 Saturn rises higher in darker morning skies this week. Saturn is now high enough above eastern horizon to see easily and is now a good telescopic target. It continues to climb into darker skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula, however, the proximity of the waning Moon, closest on the 21st, makes viwing these nebular difficult.

The constellation of Scorpio is a good guide to locating Saturn. The distinctive curl of Scorpio is easy to see above the eastern horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look below that towards the horizon, the next bright object is Saturn.

Mercury is  lost in the twilight.

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/

Labels:


Friday, March 10, 2017

 

Southern Skywatch March, 2017 edition is now out!

Late evening sky on Tuesday March 14 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACDST.  Jupiter is now well above the horizon close to the bright star Spica.

The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 23:00 pm as Europa is about reappear from occultation. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

The March edition of Southern Skywatch is  up (still late again, sorry, but better).

This month starts with Venus and Mars lined up close in the evening sky, Venus is rapidly lost to view though.

 Jupiter climbs higher in the evening sky, and is less than a hand-span from the bright star Spica for this month. On the 14th it is not far from the Moon.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning sky during the month. On the 21st it is close to the waning Moon.

Mercury returns to the evening sky late in the month, but will be hard to see.

Labels:


 

Astrophiz Podcast 29 is Out

Astrophiz Podcast 29 is out now.

Our feature interview is with Dr Ángel López-Sánchez, who is originally from the beautiful city of Córdoba in Spain, and now with the Australian Astronomical Observatory and Department of Physics and Astronomy of Macquarie University, Sydney.

He researches galaxies with star-formation activity, and even the features of the very massive Wolf-Rayet stars are detected sometimes.

He was the first Spanish astronomer to host an astronomy blog. It is fantastic, and our listeners can find it easily just by googling ‘the lined wolf’. It comes up as number one in search results (in Spanish and in English). Ángel is passionate about outreach and amateur astronomy.

In ‘What’s up Doc?’I tells you what to look for in the night sky this week using naked eye, binoculars or telescopes. This week, Jupiter and Saturn, and a chance encounter with a comet.

In the News:
1. ‘Big Data’ Updating the supercomputing that is evolving from the SKA, (the Square Kilometre Array is based in Murchison West Australia and South Africa, with headquarters at Jodrell Bank UK)
2. Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) hit mainstream astronomy after their original discovery using 2001 pulsar data from Parkes 'The Dish' Radio Telescope

Labels:


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday March 9 to Thursday March 16

The Full Moon is Monday March 13.  Venus is lost in the twilight. Mars is low in the twilight. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are close in the late evening skies. The Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Spica on March 14. Saturn is high in the morning sky.

The Full Moon is Monday March 13.

Evening sky on Saturday March 11 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:33 ACDST (60 minutes after sunset). Mars is low above the horizon.

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

Venus  is now lost in the twilight.



Mars is in the western evening skies in  Pisces. It is is low in the dusk sky, but is the brightest object above the western horizon low in the late twilight.

Late evening sky on Tuesday March 14looking east as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACDST.  Jupiter is now well above the horizon close to the bright star Spica. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 23:00 pm as Europa is about reappear from occultation. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is rising well before midnight and is now reasonably high above the horizon in the late evening this week. It is close to the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo. On the 14th Jupiter is between the waning Moon and Spica, making a nice sight.

Jupiter is a good telescopic target from around midnight on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEDST.


Thu 9 Mar 4:11 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 9 Mar 22:07 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T
Thu 9 Mar 22:45 Io : Transit Ends
Fri 10 Mar 0:02 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 11 Mar 5:49 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 11 Mar 6:21 Eur: Disappears into Eclipse
Sun 12 Mar 1:40 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun 12 Mar 21:31 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 13 Mar 0:30 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Mon 13 Mar 1:47 Eur: Transit Begins               ST
Mon 13 Mar 2:59 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          T
Mon 13 Mar 4:07 Eur: Transit Ends
Tue 14 Mar 3:18 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue 14 Mar 3:45 Gan: Disappears into Eclipse
Tue 14 Mar 5:59 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Tue 14 Mar 6:13 Gan: Reappears from Eclipse
Tue 14 Mar 6:21 Gan: Disappears into Occultation
Tue 14 Mar 23:09 Eur: Reappears from Occultation
Tue 14 Mar 23:09 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 15 Mar 3:20 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S
Wed 15 Mar 3:54 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Wed 15 Mar 5:32 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T
Wed 15 Mar 6:04 Io : Transit Ends
Thu 16 Mar 0:28 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Thu 16 Mar 3:11 Io : Reappears from Occultation
Thu 16 Mar 4:56 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 16 Mar 21:48 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S
Thu 16 Mar 22:20 Io : Transit Begins               ST

Morning  sky on Saturday Saturday March 11 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:46 ACDST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn is 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 (90 minutes before sunrise). (click to embiggen).

 Saturn rises higher in darker morning skies this week. Saturn is now high enough above eastern horizon to see easily and is now a good telescopic target. It continues to climb into darker skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula, which makes for nice viewing.

The constellation of Scorpio is a good guide to locating Saturn. The distinctive curl of Scorpio is easy to see above the eastern horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look below that towards the horizon, the next bright object is Saturn.

Mercury is  lost in the twilight.


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/

Labels:


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

 

Venus, the Crescent Moon and Mars

Venus, the crescent Moon and Mars at 40 minutes after sunset in Adelaide (click to embiggen to see Mars)Same group but 50 minutes after sunset. Canon IXUS 400 ASA, 1 second exposure. Click to embiggen.

After a spate of bad weather I finally got to image Venus again, the first time in nearly two months! Venus is low in the twight, but still readily visible if you have the ocean as your horizon. The sunset colurs were fantastic, and I have used to shots to try and capture the range of colours and the Moonlight on the water, as well as Earthshine. I should have lugged my telescope up to see crescent Venus, but the heat was too great.

Labels: , ,


 

The Sky This Week - Thursday March 2 to Thursday March 9

The First Quarter Moon is Sunday March 5.  Venus is very low in the twilight sky. Mars is just above Venus. The Moon forms a line with Mars and Venus on March 2. Jupiter and the bright star Spica are close in the late evening skies. Saturn is high in the morning sky.

The First Quarter Moon is Sunday March 5. The Moon is at perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on March 3.

Evening sky on Thursday March 2 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 20:17 ACDST (30 minutes after sunset). Venus, Mars and the crescent Moon form a line. 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 30 minutes after local sunset, click to embiggen).

Venus  is low in the dusk sky although intensely bright. After being a feature of the evening sky for so long, it is now rapidly heading towards the horizon and will soon be lost in the twilight.

It can be seen in a narrow window from a little before half an hour after sunset to just after half an hour after sunset. It is dazzlingly brilliant above the horizon in the early twilight and is a distinct crescent shape. This week is the last time we will see Venus clearly before it is lost in the twilight.

On March 2the Moon is above Mars forming a line with Venus and Mars.

Mars is in the western evening skies in  Pisces.

Late evening sky on Saturday February 25 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACDST.  Jupiter is now rising before midnight. It is close to the bright star Spica. The inset shows the telescopic view of Jupiter at 23:29 pm on the 5th as Europa is about transit Jupiter. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at the equivalent local time. (click to embiggen).

Jupiter is rising well before midnight, but remains low to the horizon in the late evening this week and is still better in the early morning. It is close to the bright star Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo. Jupiter is a good telescopic target from around midnight on, and the dance of its Moons is visible even in binoculars. The following Jupiter events are in AEDST.

Thu 2 Mar 3:26 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 2 Mar 23:17 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sat 4 Mar 3:46 Eur: Disappears into Eclipse
Sat 4 Mar 5:04 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun 5 Mar 0:55 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Sun 5 Mar 21:55 Eur: Shadow Transit Begins        S
Sun 5 Mar 23:29 Eur: Transit Begins               ST
Mon 6 Mar 0:24 Eur: Shadow Transit Ends          T
Mon 6 Mar 1:49 Eur: Transit Ends
Mon 6 Mar 6:42 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Mon 6 Mar 6:58 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S
Mon 6 Mar 23:47 Gan: Disappears into Eclipse
Tue 7 Mar 2:17 Gan: Reappears from Eclipse
Tue 7 Mar 2:33 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Tue 7 Mar 2:59 Gan: Disappears into Occultation
Tue 7 Mar 4:06 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Tue 7 Mar 4:53 Gan: Reappears from Occultation
Tue 7 Mar 7:00 Io : Reappears from Occultation
Tue 7 Mar 22:24 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Wed 8 Mar 1:26 Io : Shadow Transit Begins        S
Wed 8 Mar 2:09 Io : Transit Begins               ST
Wed 8 Mar 3:38 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T
Wed 8 Mar 4:19 Io : Transit Ends
Wed 8 Mar 22:34 Io : Disappears into Eclipse
Thu 9 Mar 1:26 Io : Reappears from Occultation
Thu 9 Mar 4:11 GRS: Crosses Central Meridian
Thu 9 Mar 22:07 Io : Shadow Transit Ends          T

Morning  sky on Saturday February 25 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 5:36 ACDST (90 minutes before sunrise). Saturn is 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 (90 minutes before sunrise). (click to embiggen).

 Saturn rises higher in darker morning skies this week. Saturn is now high enough above eastern horizon to see easily and is now a good telescopic target. It continues to climb into darker skies as the week progresses. It is within binocular distance of the Triffid and Lagoon nebula, which makes for nice viewing.

The constellation of Scorpio is a good guide to locating Saturn. The distinctive curl of Scorpio is easy to see above the eastern horizon, locate the bright red star, Antares, and the look below that towards the horizon, the next bright object is Saturn.
Mercury is  lost in the twilight.


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/

Labels:


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?