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A daily update by . Science news, great photos, sky alerts. Try Stellarium for a precise view from your location. Jupiter and Saturn appeared so close together in December that they made headlines around the world. Astronomers called their meeting a great conjunction. Throughout , Jupiter have been moving eastward with respect to Saturn. How to recognize Saturn? Saturn is brighter than the bright star Fomalhaut , also nearby. Around the nights of October 13 to October 15, see chart above , look southward from the Northern Hemisphere, or closer to overhead from the Southern Hemisphere, to watch the moon, Jupiter and Saturn.
Venus , brilliant and unmistakeable, lies low in the sunset direction for Northern Hemisphere observers, higher up for those in the Southern Hemisphere. In October , Venus can be found near the red star Antares , brightest star in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. Each evening, the planet moves a little closer to Antares, finally meeting it on October 15 and In the meantime, the thin crescent moon slides above Venus on October 9. This should prove to be an enchanting scene with the lunar crescent, full with Earthshine, glowing above brilliant Venus. Unfortunately for Northern Hemisphere observers, the planet remains fairly low above the horizon.
However, because of the angle of the ecliptic , Southern Hemisphere skywatchers see it jump quite high in their western early evening sky, making quite an impression before the end of Inferior conjunction, when Mercury sweeps between us and the sun, comes on October 9. Then — for the Northern Hemisphere — Mercury pops up in the morning sky shortly before the sun in the second half of October. It shines as a bright magnitude 0. It reaches its greatest angular distance from the sun on October Unfortunately, Mercury is behind the sun when the moon sweeps through the October predawn sky.
So we never have a morning in October when the waning crescent moon is near Mercury. We will have one in November though! Uranus is reaching its best time of year to be observed. Even so, Uranus is very dim, even in a dark sky. But you can glimpse it with the eye under ideal conditions. And it can be identified with binoculars. Uranus might be the next planet beyond easy-to-see Saturn, but it needs a detailed star chart to be correctly identified; TheSkyLive has one.
Want to try for Uranus? about Uranus at opposition November 5. For the first half of , Mars will slowly brighten. : What to expect from Mars in and Try Stellarium for precise views from your location. Try TheSkyLive for precise views from your location. for recommended almanacs to find out precise rise and set times. In their outward order from the sun, the five bright planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. These are the planets easily visible without an optical aid. These planets do appear bright in our sky.
Astronomy Essentials. Bruce McClure. Community Photos. Astronomy Essentials Visible planets — and more — in October Posted by. Deborah Byrd. John Jardine Goss. October 1, Visible planets, the moon and more Use this sky chart to locate the moon and Venus low in the west after sunset on October 7, 8, 9 and 10, Can you also see the bright star Antares in Scorpius , one more time before it sweeps into the sunset glare?
about Venus and Antares. In northern autumn , the bright, solitary star Fomalhaut will appear near the brighter planets Jupiter and Saturn. Look southward from the Northern Hemisphere. Look high in the sky in southern spring from the Southern Hemisphere. about Fomalhaut. Look southward from the Northern Hemisphere closer to overhead from the Southern Hemisphere to watch the moon, Jupiter, Saturn on October 13 to October 15, about Jupiter and Saturn. But about 6 times a year, Mercury swings out to one side of the sun as seen from Earth. At those times, we see it either in the east before dawn or in the west after sunset.
Southern Hemisphere observers will have a much tougher time seeing it. No matter where you are on Earth, look east before sunrise to bag this elusive planet in late October, and into November If you have a clear sky and an unobstructed horizon, you might also see the star Arcturus emerge from the sunrise glare, to the left north of Mercury, in late October.
But it does have the characteristic of appearing low in the sky after sunset for several evenings in a row. Throughout the northern autumn months, watch for the zodiacal light before sunrise. The zodiacal light will appear as a pyramid of light on the eastern horizon, before true dawn, in a dark sky. Image via our friend Jeff Dai. Southern Hemisphere? Look west after sunset for the zodiacal light in spring. about the zodiacal light. As viewed from earthly north, all the planets orbit the sun in the same direction the sun rotates: counter-clockwise.
This illustration of opposition not to scale shows the positions of the sun, Earth, Jupiter and Saturn in early August Saturn reached opposition on August Jupiter reached opposition on August Image via CyberSky. Venus, and all the planets, travel counterclockwise around the sun. So it shows phases like the moon. It swept to the far side of the sun at superior conjunction on March 26, , to exit the morning sky and to enter the evening sky. Venus will reach its greatest eastern evening elongation from the sun half Venus on October 29, Then on January 9, , Venus will go between the Earth and sun, at inferior conjunction , to exit the evening sky and to enter the morning sky.
Image via UCLA. Both streams appear to originate from the constellation Taurus the Bull. Watch for the short-lived Draconid meteor shower at nightfall and early evening on October 8, This chart faces northward at nightfall in October. The Big Dipper sits low in the northwest on October evenings. From the southern U.
However, if you can spot it low in the sky, use the Big Dipper to star-hop to the star Polaris. Polaris marks the end star in the handle of the Little Dipper. Got all these stars? about the Draconid meteor peak on October 8. And, remember, this shower has an evening, not a morning, peak. The Orionids radiate from a point near the upraised Club of the constellation Orion the Hunter.
The bright star near the radiant point is ruddy, somber Betelgeuse. You might catch an Orionid meteor between about October 2 to November 7. about the Orionids in You can spot them, and come to know them as faithful friends, if you try. Image via Predrag Agatonovic.Looking for a 1 tonight
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Visible planets – and more – in October