Tonight’s Southern Sky (December 1st, 2013)

Tonight we will have a nice dark sky as it is a waning crescent Moon showing only 5% of the visible lunar surface and it will have set by 17:55.

Tonight the Sun will set at 19:53 AEDT and nautical twilight will start at 20:54. This is when the Sun is at an angle of twelve degrees (12°) below an ideal horizon. At this time in the absence of moonlight, artificial lighting or adverse atmospheric conditions, it is dark for normal practical purposes. Astronomical twilight begins at 21:29 and is when the Sun is at an angle of eighteen degrees (18°) below an ideal horizon. At this time the illumination due to scattered light from the Sun is less than that from starlight and other natural light sources in the sky.

Planets visible tonight

Venus: Rises at 7:35 am and sets at 22:07 and is the brightest object in the Western Sky at present.

Jupiter: Rises at 21:42 and sets at 7:44am and is the brightest object in the western morning sky.

Mercury: rises at 3:49am and sets at 17:35pm so is a morning object in the eastern sky.

Mars: rises at 1:13am and sets at 13:04 and is easily visible as a bright orange/red star like object in the early morning sky.

Saturn: rises at 3:31 am and sets at 17:01 and again is only visible in the early morning eastern sky.

The old summer favourites of the Southern Cross and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are visible in the South.

The western sky has some of the more fainter constellations visible after sunset as Scorpius and Sagittarius set with Venus. These fainter and less known constellations include Cetus, Eridanus, Phoenix and Sculptor visible.

Looking towards the North and East, you get to see some of the more familiar constellations. During summer the Milky Way runs almost vertically from south to north. Orion has dominates the night sky along with Taurus, Gemini and Cancer.