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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday May 17 to Thursday May 24

The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday, May 22.  Venus is high in the twilight and is visited by the crescent Moon on the 17th and 18th. On May 21 Venus is close to the bright cluster M35. Jupiter is just past opposition, but is still big and bright in telescopes. Venus is setting as Jupiter is rising. Mars and Saturn are visible in the late evening skies. Saturn is close to the globular cluster M22. Asteroid Vesta passes through M24. Mercury is still prominent in the morning skies.

The First Quarter Moon is Tuesday, May 22. The Moon is at Perigee, when it is closest to the Earth, on the 18th.

Evening twilight sky on Friday May 18 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 18:16 ACST (60 minutes after sunset). Venus is below the the crescent Moon.

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

Venus is now high in the twilight. Venus is visible to the unaided eye from 10 minutes after sunset, easy to see 30-60 minutes after sunset and can potentially be viewed  90 minutes after sunset.

Evening sky on Saturday May 19 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACST. Jupiter is  high above the horizon, Saturn and Mars are clearly visible. the Asteroid Vesta is visible in binoculars near Saturn

The inset to the left  is a simulated telescopic view of Jupiter and its moons at 23:00 ACST, on the 20th with Io and its shadow passing across the face of Jupiter. The inset to the right is a simulated telescopic view of Saturn and the globular cluster M22.

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



Binocular view of the region near Saturn showing the open cluster M24 and Vesta on Saturday May 19 looking east  as seen from Adelaide at 23:00 ACST. Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen).


Vesta is now bright enough to be easily seen in binoculars. It is travelling through the southern edge of the open cluster M24. It is brighter than most of the stars in the cluster, but you may need to watch over several nights to watch it move.


Morning sky on Saturday May 19 looking east as seen from Adelaide at 6:08 ACST (60 minutes before sunrise). Mercury is the brightest object closest to the eastern horizon. The inset shows a simulated telescopic view of Mercury.

 Similar views will be seen throughout Australia at the equivalent local time (60 minutes before sunrise).



 Venus  is now sufficiently high in the evening twilight to be readily visible above the horizon. It is one and a half hand-spans above the horizon 60 minutes after sunset. It is bright enough to be visible 10 minutes after sunset and easy to see up to 60 minutes after sunset. Venus can potentially be viewed 90 minuets after sunset if you have a flat, unobstructed horizon.

Venus is visited by the crescent Moon on the 17th and 18th. It then approaches the bright open cluster M35, best viewed with binoculars at this time, Venus is closest to the cluster on the 21st, but its brightness may wash out the dimmer stars of the cluster.

Mercury is still  prominent the morning sky, although it is now heading towards the horizon. It is still in an good position for observation and is the brightest object above the eastern horizon. Mercury is still high enough for telescope observation. In even a small telescope the "gibbous moon" shape of Mercury will be visible.

Jupiter  is rising in the early evening as Venus is setting. It was at Opposition on the 9th, and is still visible all night long. It is  a good telescopic object in the late evening. There are some good Jovian Moon events this week. Over the week Jupiter comes closer to the bright star alpha Librae (Zubenelgenubi)

 Mars is in Sagittarius the archer and is now rising in the late evening. Mars is moving away from Saturn although the pair are still obvious.  Mars is brightening ahead of opposition later this year.

Saturn is climbing higher the evening sky, although telescopically it is still best in the morning 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.

The asteroid Vesta is now bright enough to be easily seen in binoculars. It is travelling through the southern edge of the open cluster M24. It is brighter than most of the stars in the cluster, but you may need to watch over several nights to watch it move and be sure of its identity.

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:
Thanks Ian,
I read every one of your posts. They are apprecaited !
 
Thanks! It's great I can share our wonderful skies with folks such as yourself (well, at least when we are not clouded out like tonight :-(
 
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