This year's special events in the sky
at the Sun either with the unaided eye or through binoculars or telescope is EXTREMELY
PERMANENT EYE DAMAGE CAN OCCUR. Click here to find out how to observe the Sun safely.
The Moon is ideal for viewing in the week centred on the First Quarter phase, both regarding the sights presented and the most convenient time for observing (evenings). In addition, it is nearly overhead at sunset. First Quarter will occur on the following dates:
2013: January 19; February 18; March 20; April 18; May 18; June 17; July 16; August 14; September 13; October 12; November 10; December 10
Eclipses in 2013:
PENUMBRAL, APRIL 26: There will be a penumbral eclipse of the Moon during the early hours of Friday, April 26. The Full Moon will enter the Earth's penumbra at 4:03 am. The penumbra is not very dark, so the visible effect on the Moon will not be very marked. At no stage will the Moon enter the main shadow or umbra, so the eclipse will not be noticeable to the casual observer. The maximum phase of the eclipse will occur at 6:08 am. Sunrise will occur at 6:09 am, and the eclipse will end at 8:14 am.
Two other penumbral eclipses will occur in 2013, on Saturday, May 25 and Saturday, October 19, but neither will be visible from eastern Australia.
PARTIAL, MAY 11:On the morning of Saturday, May 11 next, there will be a partial eclipse of the Sun in which 52% of the Sun will be obscured as seen from the Sunshine Coast. The Sun will rise at 6:18 am, and the eclipse will begin at 7:18 am. It will reach its maximum phase at 8:56 am. The eclipse will be over by 10:33 am. Staring at the Sun can cause permanent eye damage. Please see the link at the top of this page.
The Planets in 2013:
January 18: Superior
conjunction º º º º º º
February 17: Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (18.1
February 23: Eastern stationary point
March 4: Inferior conjunction
March 18: Western stationary point
April 1: Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (27.8
May 12: Superior conjunction
June 13: Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (24.3
June 26: Eastern stationary point
July 10: Inferior conjunction
July 21: Western stationary point
July 31: Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (19.5
August 25: Superior conjunction
October 9: Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (25.2
October 21: Eastern stationary point
November 2: Inferior conjunction
November 11: Western stationary point
November 18 Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (19.3
December 29: Superior conjunction
Venus: March 29: Superior conjunction
November 1: Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (46.6
December 22: Eastern stationary point
January 11, 2014: Inferior conjunction
From late May to December, Venus will dominate the western twilight sky. During May and June it will appear 'Full' - a small circular disc, as it will be on the opposite side of the Sun from us, and therefore fully illuminated. As it overtakes the Earth, Venus will become progressively larger in angular size, but its phase will decrease to gibbous, then half phase, and finally to a thin crescent. The increasing size and reducing phase cancel out any major changes in brightness, so Venus will maintain a brightness of about magnitude -4 all through the year. After inferior conjunction on January 11, 2014, it will move to the eastern pre-dawn sky.
January 2013 October 2013 December 2013
Mars:April 18: Conjunction
For all of 2013, Mars will be on the far side of its orbit, and will therefore appear very small in angular size. It will not appear at its best until early in 2014. It reaches opposition and its closest approach to us on April 9, 2014.
Jupiter:January 30: Eastern stationary point
The giant planet begins 2013 in Taurus near the large Hyades star cluster, and crosses into Gemini on June 27. It passes across Gemini for the remainder of the year.
Saturn:January 31: Western quadrature
Saturn spends most of 2013 hovering around the boundary between Virgo and Librain the constellation Virgo near the star Spica, but crosses into Libra on December 5.
Uranus:March 29: Conjunction
Uranus spends all of 2013 in the constellation Pisces, except for 27 days between February 28 and March 26, when it passes through a corner of Cetus.
Neptune:February 21: Conjunction
Neptune spends the whole of 2013 in Aquarius, near the asterism known as the 'Water Jar'.
Pluto:April 1: Western quadrature
Pluto spends all of 2013 in Sagittarius.
On the evening of February 6, Mars, Mercury and Neptune will be grouped together in a circle of 2.1 degrees diameter. Unfortunately, the Sun will be only 14 degrees away.
In the pre-dawn hours of March 23, Mars and Uranus will be separated by only 46 arcseconds.
On the evening of May 27, the planets Mercury, Venus and Jupiter will form an equilateral triangle with sides of 2.4 degrees in the western sky.
February 8: Alpha-Centaurids
April 22: Lyrids
The 3.9 metre Anglo-Australian Telescope near Coonabarabran, NSW
The main Constellations visible at about 8.00 pm each month, from the horizon to the zenith:
East:Hydra, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Puppis
East:Leo, Crater, Corvus, Hydra, Canis Major, Puppis
Virgo, Libra, Lupus, Centaurus, Corvus, Crater, Hydra, Crux, Musca, Vela
South: Triangulum Australe, Toucan, Carina, Puppis
West: Phoenix, Cetus, Eridanus, Taurus, Orion, Canis Major
North: Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Canis Minor
Bootes, Libra, Scorpius, Virgo, Centaurus, Lupus, Ara, Crux, Musca, Corvus
South: Triangulum Australe, Pavo, Carina, Vela
West: Eridanus, Orion, Gemini, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Puppis
North: Cancer, Ursa Major, Leo, Crater, Hydra
Corona Borealis, Serpens, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Libra, Scorpius, Ara,
South: Indus, Pavo, Triangulum Australe, Crux, Musca, Carina
West: Canis Major, Canis Minor, Cancer, Puppis, Hydra
North: Ursa Major, Leo, Coma Berenices,Bootes, Virgo, Crater, Corvus
Ophiuchus, Capricornus, Sagittarius, Scorpius
South: Pavo, Triangulum Australe, Ara, Lupus, Crux, Musca
West: Hydra, Leo, Carina, Vela, Puppis, Crater, Corvus
North: Coma Berenices, Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Virgo, Serpens, Libra
Aquarius, Delphinus, Grus, Capricornus, Aquila, Sagittarius, Scorpius
South: Carina, Musca, Crux, Ara, Triangulum Australe, Centaurus
West: Hydra, Crater, Corvus, Virgo, Vela, Libra
North: Bootes, Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Ophiuchus, Serpens
Aquarius, Phoenix, Piscis Austrinus, Grus, Sagittarius
South: Eridanus, Musca, Crux, Triangulum Australe
West: Corvus, Virgo, Bootes, Libra, Centaurus, Ara, Lupus, Scorpius
North: Corona Borealis, Hercules, Lyra, Cygnus, Delphinus, Aquila
Pisces, Cetus, Eridanus, Phoenix, Piscis Austrinus, Grus, Aquarius,
South: Crux, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Pavo
West: Centaurus, Libra, Serpens, Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Lupus, Ara
North: Lyra, Cygnus, Pegasus, Delphinus, Aquila
Eridanus, Cetus, Aries, Piscis Austrinus
South: Hydrus, Centaurus, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Ara, Pavo, Grus
West: Lupus, Scorpius, Ophiuchus, Sagittarius, Aquila, Capricornus
North: Cygnus, Delphinus, Pegasus, Andromeda, Aquarius
Taurus, Eridanus, Cetus, Phoenix
South: Carina, Musca, Triangulum Australe, Pavo
West: Scorpius, Sagittarius, Aquila, Delphinus, Capricornus, Grus, Piscis Austrinus
North: Pegasus, Andromeda, Aries, Pisces, Cetus, Aquarius
Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, Puppis, Carina, Eridanus
South: Carina, Musca, Pavo
West: Capricornus, Aquarius, Grus, Piscis Austrinus, Phoenix
North: Pegasus, Andromeda, Aries, Perseus, Cetus
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