#astronomy This Week’s Sky at a Look, October 25 – November 2

October 26, 2019 - Comment

Rejoice one of many final mornings earlier than daylight-saving time ends by greeting the skinny waning crescent Moon and Mars. The visibility of faint objects in shiny twilight is exaggerated right here; binoculars will assist. Per week later (when the Moon has migrated to the night sky), Spica could also be detectable under Mars as

Moon and Mars low in the dawn, Oct. 25-27, 2019

Rejoice one of many final mornings earlier than daylight-saving time ends by greeting the skinny waning crescent Moon and Mars. The visibility of faint objects in shiny twilight is exaggerated right here; binoculars will assist.

Mars and Spica low in the dawn, early November 2019

Per week later (when the Moon has migrated to the night sky), Spica could also be detectable under Mars as daybreak brightens.

Friday, Oct. 25

• The Ghost of Summer season Suns. Halloween is approaching, and which means Arcturus, the star glowing low within the west-northwest in night twilight, has taken on its function as “the Ghost of Summer season Suns.” For a number of days centered on October 25th yearly, Arcturus occupies a particular place above your native panorama. It intently marks the spot the place the Solar stood on the identical time, by the clock, throughout scorching June and July — in broad daylight, in fact!

So, as Halloween approaches yearly, you may see Arcturus because the chilly ghost of the departed summer season Solar.

Saturday, Oct. 26

• The W of Cassiopeia now stands vertically on finish within the night, excessive within the northeast.

Look to its proper, excessive within the east, for Andromeda and the corner-balanced Nice Sq. of Pegasus.

Sunday, Oct. 27

• Spot shiny Altair excessive within the southwest quickly after darkish. Brighter Vega is way to its proper.

Two distinctive little constellations lurk above Altair: Delphinus the Dolphin, hardly greater than a fist at arm’s size to its higher left, and smaller, fainter Sagitta the Arrow, barely much less far to Altair’s higher proper. Gentle air pollution too shiny? Use binoculars!

• New Moon (actual at 11:38 p.m. Jap Daylight Time).

Monday, Oct. 28

• It is attending to be the time of 12 months when the Massive Dipper lies down horizontal low within the north-northwest within the night. How low? The farther south you’re, the decrease. Seen from 40° north (New York, Peoria, Denver) even its backside stars twinkle practically ten levels excessive. However at Miami (26° N) the whole Dipper will skim alongside out of sight just under the northern horizon.

• Uranus is at opposition.

Tuesday, Oct. 29

• About 20 minutes after sundown, look very low within the southwest for the very skinny crescent Moon, two days previous. Venus is only a few levels below it (for North America). Binoculars give the very best view.

Wednesday, Oct. 30

• Shortly after sundown, look low within the southwest for the skinny crescent Moon. To its higher left is Jupiter. Farther to the Moon’s decrease proper, Venus is about to set.

Look a lot farther higher left of Jupiter, and there is Saturn.

Thursday, Oct. 31

• Halloween Moon and giants. As nightfall descends on North America this night, you will discover the crescent Moon low within the southwest. That dot glowing four° or 5° to its decrease proper is Jupiter.

Yellow Saturn, additionally a fuel large, glows a number of instances farther to the Moon’s higher left.

Moon and Saturn at dusk, Nov 1-2, 2019

The Moon skips by Saturn at nightfall. Jupiter is simply out of the body to the decrease proper.

Friday, Nov. 1

• Now at nightfall, the waxing crescent Moon is simply four° or 5° decrease proper of Saturn. Look a lot farther decrease proper for Jupiter.

Saturday, Nov. 2

• Saturn shines to the best of the Moon in early night. A lot increased above them is Altair, a bit brighter than Saturn.

• Capella sparkles low within the northeast these evenings. Search for the Pleiades cluster, fingertip-size, about three fists at arm’s size to Capella’s proper. These harbingers of the chilly months rise increased as night grows late.

Higher proper of Capella, and higher left of the Pleiades, the celebrities of Perseus lie astride the Milky Means.

• Normal time resumes at 2 a.m. Sunday morning for many of North America. Clocks fall again an hour. And for astronomers, darkness will henceforth arrive an hour earlier!


Need to turn into a greater astronomer? Be taught your manner across the constellations. They’re the important thing to finding every little thing fainter and deeper to hunt with binoculars or a telescope.

That is an outside nature interest. For an easy-to-use constellation information overlaying the entire night sky, use the large month-to-month map within the heart of every situation of Sky & Telescope, the important information to astronomy.

Jumbo Pocket Sky Atlas cover

The Pocket Sky Atlas plots 30,796 stars to magnitude 7.6, and a whole lot of telescopic galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae amongst them. Proven above is the Jumbo Version for simpler studying within the evening. Pattern chart.

When you get a telescope, to place it to good use you will want an in depth, large-scale sky atlas (set of charts). The essential commonplace is the Pocket Sky Atlas (in both the unique or Jumbo Version), which reveals stars to magnitude 7.6.

Subsequent up is the bigger and deeper Sky Atlas 2000.Zero, plotting stars to magnitude eight.5; practically 3 times as many. The subsequent up, as soon as you realize your manner round, are the even bigger Interstellarum atlas (stars to magnitude 9.5) and Uranometria 2000.Zero (stars to magnitude 9.75). And you may have to know easy methods to use sky charts with a telescope.

You will additionally need a good deep-sky guidebook, similar to Sue French’s Deep-Sky Wonders assortment (which incorporates its personal charts), Sky Atlas 2000.Zero Companion by Robust and Sinnott, or the larger Evening Sky Observer’s Information by Kepple and Sanner.

Can a computerized telescope change charts? Not for inexperienced persons, I do not suppose, and never on mounts and tripods which might be lower than top-quality mechanically (that means actually heavy and costly). And as Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer say of their Yard Astronomer’s Information, “A full appreciation of the universe can’t come with out creating the talents to search out issues within the sky and understanding how the sky works. This data comes solely by spending time below the celebrities with star maps in hand.”

This Week’s Planet Roundup

Mercury and Venus are very low in shiny twilight after sundown. Begin by attempting for Venus, magnitude –three.9. It is simply above the southwest horizon a mere 20 minutes after sundown. Binoculars will assist.

Mercury is far dimmer at about magnitude Zero.Zero. It is 5° left of Venus on the October 25th and three° under Venus by the 31st (seen from the world’s mid-northern latitudes). Good luck attempting; convey binoculars at the least!

Mars (a mere magnitude +1.eight, in Virgo) is a troublesome catch simply above the east horizon in early daybreak. Once more, you will want binoculars. Do not confuse it with a lot brighter Arcturus, additionally orange-ish, which is 31° to Mars’s left.

Jupiter (magnitude –1.9, in southern Ophiuchus) is the creamy-white dot low within the southwest as twilight fades.

Saturn (magnitude +Zero.6, in Sagittarius) is the regular yellow “star” within the south-southwest throughout and after nightfall. It is about 23° higher left of Jupiter.

Nonetheless under Saturn this week is the deal with of the Sagittarius Teapot, highlighted by 2.Zero-magnitude Sigma Sagittarii (Nunki). Barely above Saturn is the dimmer, smaller bowl of the Sagittarius Teaspoon.

Uranus (magnitude 5.7, in southern Aries) is at opposition on the evening of October 27-28. This week it is effectively up within the east by 9 p.m. daylight saving time and highest within the south round midnight or 1 a.m.

Neptune (magnitude 7.eight, in jap Aquarius) is in excessive view within the southern sky these evenings. See our finder charts for Uranus and Neptune and Bob King’s story on observing Neptune.

All descriptions that relate to your horizon — together with the phrases up, down, proper, and left — are written for the world’s mid-northern latitudes. Descriptions that additionally rely upon longitude (primarily Moon positions) are for North America.

Jap Daylight Time (EDT) is Common Time (UT, UTC, GMT, or Z time) minus four hours.

Audio sky tour. Out below the night sky together with your earbuds in place, hearken to Kelly Beatty’s month-to-month podcast tour of the heavens above. It is free.

“The risks of not pondering clearly are a lot higher now than ever earlier than. It is not that there is one thing new in our mind-set, it is that credulous and confused pondering might be far more deadly in methods it was by no means earlier than.”
— Carl Sagan, 1996

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