Thursday May 23 to Thursday May 30

Story


The Full Moon is Thursday, May 23. Comet 12P Pons-Brooks is now visible when the sky is fully dark but remains a binocular only object. The comet starts the week close to the iconic Orion constellation and is within a binocular field of the bright star Rigel. As the Moon passes from the evening sky the comet becomes easier to see. In the morning the lineup of Saturn, Mars and Mercury makes for nice viewing. By the end of the week the waning Moon joins the lineup.

The Full Moon is Thursday, May 23. 

Evening
sky on Thursday, May 23 as seen from Adelaide at 18:44 ACST (90 minutes
after sunset, click to embiggen).   Comet 12P is now beside Orion
when the sky is fully dark.

While
the comet is a reasonable magnitude 5.5, you will still need
binoculars. Especially with the Full Moon making it harder to see. Nonetheless the binocular view with the comet near Orion’s belt is nice.

 

Over
the week the
comet will climb higher into darker skies past the bright stars of
Orion towards the constellation of Lepus the hare. Updated spotters charts are here.

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Evening
sky on Sunday, May 26 as seen from Adelaide at 18:43 ACST (90 minutes
after sunset, click to embiggen).   Comet 12P is now just below the bright star Arneb in Lepus when the sky is fully dark. The inset shows the binocular view at this time.

The comet has faded to magnitude 6, and you need binoculars. With the waning Moon rising later the comet is easier to see now. Over the week the
comet will climb higher into darker skies coming closer to the bright star Arneb. Updated spotters charts are here.

Similar views will be seen from the rest of Australia at the equivalent local time (90 minutes after sunset).

Morning
sky on Thursday, May 30  as seen from Adelaide at 06:15 ACST, (60 minutes before sunrise, click to embiggen). The waning Moon, Saturn, Mars and Mercury make an attractive lineup.The inset is the telescopic view of Saturn at this time.

 

 

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

 

Whole sky on Saturday, May 25 as seen from Adelaide at 18:44 ACST, 90 minutes after sunset (click
to embiggen). Orion is low in the north-west. Bright Sirius is still dominant in  the north-western sky. Scorpius is rising in the East. Between the bright star
Canopus and the Southern Cross are a wealth of binocular objects to
discover. The fainter clusters will be be better as the Moon fades.

 

 

   

 Elsewhere
in Australia will see a similar view at the equivalent time (90 minutes after sunset).

 

 

Mercury begins to sink into the twilight but still remains bright in the morning twilight.

Venus is lost in the morning twilight.

Mars is rising in the morning twilight. 

Jupiter is lost in the twilight sky.

Saturn climbs higher in the morning twilight.

Labels: weekly sky

Leave a Comment