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 in 2018 will occur on the following dates:
2018: January 25; February 23; March 25; April 23; May 22; June 20; July 20; August 18; September 17; October 17; November 16; December 15
Eclipses in 2018:
TOTAL, JANUARY 31: There will be a total lunar eclipse visible from south-east Queensland on Wednesday, January 31. All aspects of the eclipse will be visible. The Full Moon will enter the Earth's penumbra at 8:49 pm when it is about 26 degrees above the east-north-eastern horizon. This phase is hardly noticeable. The eclipse proper will begin at 9:50 pm, when the Moon begins to enter the Earth's main shadow, which is called the umbra. Even the most casual observer will see a bite appearing out of the edge of the Moon. The Full Moon will gradually lose its brightness as more of it disappears into our shadow. By 10:54 pm the bright Moon will be completely immersed in the shadow, but it will still be faintly visible as a reddish disc. This is the total phase of the eclipse, and mid-eclipse occurs at 11:30 pm. After that the Moon will very slowly brighten, and totality will end at 7 minutes after midnight. Then the western edge of the Moon will begin to come out of the umbra, and the whole Moon will again be visible by 1:10 am. The Moon will still take another hour to leave the penumbra, and the eclipse will be over by 2:14 am. Before and after a lunar eclipse, the Full Moon looks brighter than normal, as the Sun, Moon and Earth are so perfectly aligned.
TOTAL, JULY 28: This eclipse of the Moon is total, but only the first part of the eclipse will be visible from south-east Queensland, and only then for early risers. The Full Moon will enter the penumbra at 3:20 am, and then the umbra, beginning at 4:21 am. Totality will begin at 5:27 am, and mid-eclipse occurs at 6:23 am. Totality will end at 7:18 am, but as the Moon will set at Nambour at 6:33 am, all subsequent parts of the eclipse will not be visible from the Sunshine Coast.
TOTAL, JANUARY 21, 2019: From Queensland's Sunshine Coast, this total eclipse will occur during daylight hours, when the Full Moon will be below the horizon. It will end an hour before the Moon rises.
PARTIAL, FEBRUARY 16:This partial eclipse of the Sun will not be visible from Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
PARTIAL, JULY 13: This partial eclipse of the Sun will not be visible from Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
PARTIAL, AUGUST 11: This partial eclipse of the Sun will not be visible from Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
PARTIAL, JANUARY 6, 2019: This partial eclipse of the Sun will not be visible from Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
We will not see a partial eclipse of the Sun until April 20, 2023. The next total solar eclipse visible from parts of Australia will occur on July 22, 2028.
The Planets in 2018:
January 2: Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (22 º
February 17: Superior conjunction
March 15: Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (18
March 23: Eastern stationary point
April 2: Inferior conjunction
April 15: Western stationary point
April 30: Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (26
June 6: Superior conjunction
July 12: Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (26
July 26: Eastern stationary point
August 9: Inferior conjunction
August 19: Western stationary point
August 27: Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (18
September 21: Superior conjunction
November 7: Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (23
November 17: Eastern stationary point
November 27: Inferior conjunction
December 7: Western stationary point
December 15: Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (21
January 30, 2019: Superior conjunction
Venus: January 9: Superior conjunction
August 17: Greatest elongation from Sun in evening sky (45
October 6: Eastern stationary point
October 27: Inferior conjunction
November 16: Western stationary point
January 6, 2019: Greatest elongation from Sun in morning sky (46
From mid-March to early October, Venus will dominate the western twilight sky as an 'evening star'. During March it will appear like a little Full Moon, and in August as a little half-Moon. From then until mid-October it will become a thin crescent, but growing in size, as it is coming between us and the Sun and turning its dark (night) side towards us. Venus will overtake the Earth on October 27, and will then move into the eastern pre-dawn sky as a 'morning star', becoming prominent there from November through the first half of 2019.
January 2018 August 2018 September 2018 December 2018 January 2019
Mars:March 25: Western quadrature (angular diameter = 8.0")
Jupiter:February 11: Western quadrature
Saturn:March 30: Western quadrature
Uranus:January 2: Eastern stationary point
Uranus begins 2018 in the constellation Pisces, and will cross into Aries on April 22, 2018.
Neptune:March 4: Conjunction
Neptune spends the whole of 2018 in Aquarius, near the asterism known as the 'Water Jar'. It will remain in Aquarius until April 21, 2022.
Pluto:January 9: Conjunction
Pluto spends all of 2018 in Sagittarius. It will not move out of this constellation until March 1, 2023.
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:
Hydra, Canis Minor, Canis Major, Puppis
South: Crux, Musca, Carina, Vela, Pavo
West: Aquarius, Capricornus, Pisces, Grus, Piscis Austrinus, Phoenix, Cetus, Eridanus
North: Aries, Perseus, Taurus, Auriga, Gemini, Orion
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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