October 4, 2010 – Night sky events for the week of Ocober 4
Hello Sky Watchers!
Welcome to the new Science News Examiner page.
This week we will have a New Moon on Thursday the 7th, which will lead to good viewing conditions on the few days preceding it and then on the days after it. On Tuesday the 5th, a very thin crescent Moon will be visible a dawn low in the east, making a nice sight for those early birds.
With a pair of binoculars, you may be able to spot Mercury just to the lower left of the thin Moon, at that same early time.
In the evenings, look to the eastern sky to see bright Jupiter as it comes up for the night. Then, looking to the upper left of the planet you can spot the Pegasus constellation, aka Great Square of Pegasus. You may also be able to see the 1st-magnitude star Fomalhaut a few degrees from Jupiter’s lower right.
The Big Dipper is located to the north-northwest as twilight turns to night and to the left of it you should be able to see the brightest star of the Bootes constellation, called Arcturus.
Venus is sill quite visible appearing brilliantly in the southwestern sky just as twilight starts, it is getting lower into the horizon as he days go, and is setting before nightfall. Mars is much dimmer and lies to the upper right of Venus also as twilight sets in; it is best viewed with a pair of binoculars.
As mentioned above, Jupiter is visible as soon as the sun starts to set, appearing bright in the eastern sky. This month, however, is especially good for viewing the gas giant, because it is at opposition. Jupiter appears unusually large to us because at this particular opposition, it is closer then any other since 1963 and until 2022.
Look up and smile!
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