Satellite and planet watching in Canberra (ACT) tonight (16 January 2017)

January 16, 2017 | By | Add a Comment
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(Posted 16 January 2017) Only a few moderately bright satellites are visible in tonight’s evening Canberra twilight (16 January 2017). You can use the highly recommended HeavensAbove.com website to generate customised viewing information for your suburb. The brightest satellite (the International Space Station) is not currently visible from Canberra.

The highlight for tonight will be a pass by the US spy satellite (USA 186). It will make a pass through the band of the Milky Way tonight (16 January 2017). A finder chart and more information about USA 186 can be found here. Remember to hold the finder chart over your head when using it to ensure it is orientated correctly. If you are new to satellite spotting, look to the East at 9.21 pm AEDT. Look for a moderately bright star moving from right to left. I always look a couple of minutes earlier just in case the orbit of the satellite has been modified.

Two planets are easily visible to the unaided eye tonight. As soon as the sky is dark, look above the Western horizon to see dazzling Venus and the much fainter planet Mars (located above and to the right of Venus). Planet finder charts can be found here on this site.

 

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