Whats up with tonight

Added: Stan Kappler - Date: 24.05.2022 09:06 - Views: 40481 - Clicks: 3085

A clear night sky offers an ever-changing display of fascinating objects to see — stars, constellations, and bright planets, often the moon, and sometimes special events like meteor showers.

Whats up with tonight

Observing the night sky can be done with no special equipment, although a sky map can be very useful. Binoculars or a good beginner telescope will enhance some experiences and bring some otherwise invisible objects into view. You can also use astronomy apps and software to make your observing easier, and use our Satellite Tracker powered by N2YO. Monthly skywatching information is provided to Space. Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, you can send images and comments in to spacephotos futurenet.

When the waning crescent moon rises over the east-northeastern horizon during the wee hours of Friday, Oct. By the time the sky begins to brighten before dawn, the pair will be higher and the moon's orbital motion will have carried it slightly closer to the cluster. To better see the "bees", hide the moon beyond the edge of your binoculars' field of view red circle. In the eastern predawn sky on Sunday, Oct. Fittingly perhaps, the moon will also temporarily become the heart of Leo, the lion since it will be positioned between the bright stars Regulus to the moon's right and Algieba to its upper left.

The stars that form the lion's neck and head are arranged in a fist-sized curve that extends upward from Algieba. The rest of the beast will extend downwards to the lower left celestial eastending at his tail star Denebola.

Whats up with tonight

During autumn at mid-northern latitudes every year, the ecliptic extends nearly vertically upward from the eastern horizon before dawn. That geometry favors the appearance of the faint zodiacal light in the eastern sky for about half an hour before dawn on moonless mornings. Zodiacal light is sunlight scattered by interplanetary particles that are concentrated in the plane of the solar system — the same material that produces meteor showers. It is more readily seen in areas free of urban light pollution. Between now until the full moon on Oct. It will be strongest in the lower third of the sky, around the bright star Regulus.

Try taking a long exposure photograph to capture it. Don't confuse the zodiacal light with the Milky Way, which is positioned off to the south-southeast. The moon will reach its new phase on Wednesday, Oct.

While new, the moon is travelling between Earth and the sun. Since sunlight can only reach the far side of the moon, and the moon is in the same region of the sky as the sun, the moon becomes unobservable from anywhere on Earth for about a day except during a solar eclipse. On the evenings following the new moon phase, Earth's planetary partner will return to shine in the western sky after sunset.

On Friday, Oct. After tonight, Ceres will begin a westward retrograde loop red path with dates:time that will last until mid-January. In late evening, the magnitude 8. As the sky darkens after sunset on Saturday, Oct. Sharp-eyed skywatchers who can spot the moon in the late afternoon can also try to see Venus' bright speck below it in the daytime, even without binoculars! Once the sky darkens, after about p. On Monday, Oct. The temporary pause in motion red path with labeled dates:times marks the end of a westward retrograde loop that began on May After dusk, look for the yellowish, magnitude 0.

Between 7 p. EDT on Monday, Oct. That start time corresponds to 8 p. CDT, 9 p. MDT, and 10 p. For observers in the western USA and Canada, only the later stages of the event will be occurring in a dark sky. When the moon completes the first quarter of its journey around Earth on Tuesday, Oct. At first quarter, the moon always rises around mid-day and sets around midnight, so it is also visible in the afternoon daytime sky.

The evenings around first quarter are the best ones for seeing the lunar terrain when it is dramatically lit by low-angled sunlight, especially along the terminator, the pole-to-pole boundary between its lit and dark hemispheres. The moon's monthly visit with the bright gas giant planets Saturn and Jupiter will kick off after dusk on Wednesday, Oct. Before the sky has darkened, try using binoculars red circle to find the yellowish dot of Saturn positioned a generous palm's width to the upper left or 7 degrees to the celestial northeast of the half-illuminated moon.

Or wait until Saturn is visible with your unaided eyes, after about 7 p. Much brighter Jupiter will be shining off to their upper left all evening. After 24 hours of motion, the waxing gibbous moon will move east to sit below and between Jupiter and Saturn all evening on Thursday, Oct. The trio, with much brighter and whiter Jupiter to the left celestial east of 16 times fainter, yellow-hued Saturn, will make a nice widefield photo when composed with some interesting foreground scenery. After sunset on Friday, Oct. Somewhat fainter Saturn will become visible off to their right once the sky darkens more.

The moon will bid adieu to the bright planets after tonight, until November In the southwestern sky on the evenings around Saturday, Oct. The pair will be binoculars-close from Oct. If you have trouble seeing Antares beside times brighter Venus, try hiding Venus just outside of your field of view. On Sunday night, Oct. The circular mile km diameter feature is a large impact crater that was flooded by the same basalts that filled the much larger Mare Imbrium to its east — forming a rounded "handle" on the western edge of that mare.

The "Golden Handle" effect is produced when sunlight strikes the prominent Montes Jura mountain range surrounding Sinus Iridum on the north and west. Sinus Iridum is almost craterless, but hosts a set of northeast-oriented wrinkle ridges that are revealed at this phase. Meanwhile, starting at p. Ganymede's shadow will begin to cross alone at p. At the end of the double shadow transit event, Ganymede's shadow will lift off Jupiter, leaving Io's shadow to complete its solo transit at a.

The full moon of October, which occurs at a. Full moons in October always shine in or near the stars of Cetus and Pisces. Since it's opposite the sun on this day of the lunar month, the full moon will rise at sunset and set at sunrise. The annual Orionids meteor shower is produced when the Earth crosses through a cloud of small particles dropped by repeated passages of Comet Halley in its orbit. The shower runs from September 23 to November 27 and will peak between midnight and dawn on Thursday, Oct. At that time the sky overhead will be moving directly into the densest region of the particle field, producing fast meteors per hour.

Orionids meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but will seem to be streaking away from the constellation of Orion. Unfortunately, a very bright, waning gibbous moon will overwhelm many of the meteors on the peak night. In the eastern sky after dusk on Thursday night, Oct. By dawn on Friday morning, the moon's orbital motion will shift it farther from Uranus in the western sky, and the diurnal rotation of the sky will move it above the planet. While Uranus' blue-green dot can be seen in binoculars red circleI recommend noting its location between the stars of Aries and Cetus and seeking it out a few nights later, when the bright moon will have moved away.

The prominent crater Copernicus is located in eastern Oceanus Procellarum — due south of Mare Imbrium and slightly northwest of the moon's center. This million-year-old impact scar is visible with unaided eyes and binoculars — but telescope views will reveal many more interesting aspects of lunar geology. Several nights before the moon reaches its full phase, Copernicus exhibits heavily terraced edges due to slumpingan extensive ejecta blanket outside the crater rim, a complex central peak, and both smooth and rough terrain on the crater's floor.

Around full moon, Copernicus' ray system, extending miles km in all directions, becomes prominent. Use high magnification to look around Copernicus for small craters with bright floors and black haloes — impacts through Copernicus' white ejecta that excavated dark Oceanus Procellarum basalt and even deeper highlands anorthosite.

Look for the innermost planet shining brightly, very low in the east-southeastern sky between about and 7 a.

Whats up with tonight

Mercury's position above the nearly upright morning ecliptic green line will make this an excellent apparition for Northern Hemisphere observers, but a poor one for those located near the Equator, and farther south. When the waning gibbous moon rises among the stars of Gemini after 9 p. The two objects will share the view in binoculars red circle all night long, although the moon will move farther from the cluster hour by hour.

To better see the cluster, which is nearly as wide as the moon, try hiding the moon just outside the left-hand edge of your binoculars' field of view. Starting late on Monday night, Oct. At p. The two shadows will appear together for 2. Meanwhile, Io's more rapidly moving shadow will catch up to and overtake Ganymede's shadow just before they both move off Jupiter at a.

HST, or UT. The moon will officially reach its third quarter phase at p. At third quarter our natural satellite always appears half-illuminated, on its western side — towards the predawn sun. It rises in the middle of the night and remains visible in the southern sky all morning. The name for this phase reflects the fact that the moon has completed three-quarters of its orbit around Earth, measuring from the new moon. The ensuing week of moonless evening skies will be ideal for observing deep sky targets.

Viewed in a telescope insetthe planet will exhibit a half-illuminated phase. For bestview the planet during evening twilight when the contrast between the bright planet and the surrounding sky is reduced.

Whats up with tonight

After today, our sister planet will continue to brighten and increase in apparent disk diameter as it swings sunward ahead of inferior conjunction in early January. In October, the Andromeda Galaxy is climbing the northeastern sky during the evening. This large spiral galaxy, also deated Messier 31 and NGCis 2. Under dark skies, M31 can be seen with unaided eyes as a faint smudge located 1. Binoculars red circle will reveal the galaxy better. In a telescope, use low magnification and look for M31's two smaller companion galaxies, the foreground Messier 32 and more distant Messier inset.

Algol, also deated Beta Persei, marks the glowing eye of Medusa from Greek mythology, and is among the most accessible variable stars for skywatchers. During a ten-hour period that repeats every 2 days, 20 hours, and 49 minutes, Algol dims and re-brightens noticeably when a companion star orbiting nearly edge-on to Earth crosses in front of the much brighter main star, reducing the total light output we perceive.

Algol normally shines at magnitude 2. But when fully dimmed, Algol's magnitude 3. On Sunday, Oct. Five hours later the star will return to full intensity from a perch nearly overhead in the eastern sky. Mercury will not be observable until after it passes inferior solar conjunction on Oct. Several days later, the upright morning ecliptic will allow Mercury to quickly return to visibility low in the eastern predawn sky. This, the best morning apparition for the year for mid-Northern latitude observers, will continue until November.

At Mercury's greatest western elongation on Oct. Meanwhile, the planet will dramatically increase in apparent brightness. During October, extremely bright Venus' position below a shallow evening ecliptic will continue to prevent the planet from climbing very high — or from shining in a dark sky — for observers in the Northern Hemisphere. But the nearly vertical ecliptic available in the Southern Hemisphere will allow the planet to sit relatively high in a dark sky there.

For mid-northern latitude observers, Venus will set shortly before 11 p. Venus' eastward Prograde motion will see it depart Libra, cross Scorpius, and enter Ophiuchus during the month, all the while brightening steadily from magnitude Viewed through a telescope during October, our sister planet will show a gradually waning, half-illuminated phase and an apparent disk diameter that swells dramatically from 19 to On Oct.

Venus will pass a thumb's width above or 1. Mars will pass solar conjunction on Oct. Observers in the tropics might glimpse the magnitude 1. The earlier sunsets of autumn will extend our evening Jupiter -viewing time during October. The magnitude Unfortunately, the low ecliptic will prevent Jupiter from climbing very high in the sky. As Jupiter approaches the end of its retrograde period on October 18, its motion across the stars of eastern Capricornus will slow, and then cease.

Whats up with tonight

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