Whats up with tonight

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October All descriptions below are for mid-northern latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. First Quarter Moon rises mid-day, is visible in the early evening sky, Whats up with tonight sets in the middle of the night. Last Quarter Moon rises in the middle of the night, is visible in the early morning sky before sunrise, and sets around mid-day. Back to top of. International Observe the Moon Night is on October Have you ever checked out the Moon in binoculars?

Do you have a small telescope? Be sure to click on the scene for a larger image. Looking southwest 30 minutes after sunset mid-month. Looking south-southeast 40 minutes after sunset mid-month. The stars of autumn are pushing those of summer out of the evening sky as the nights grow longer and cooler. Face south and look high up into the sky after dark. See if you can find the bright triangle of stars and the not so bright square of stars shown below.

The three bright stars mark the Summer Triangle. The square of somewhat fainter stars is called the Great Square. As we move more into autumn, the Great Square will be higher in the evening sky each night you look, eventually replacing the Summer Triangle almost overhead.

So just like the Summer Triangle riding overhead during the summer, the Great Square rides overhead in the evening in autumn. Looking high in the south mid-evening. Be sure to click on the scene for a full image.

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Can you find the Big Dipper? Notice how low in the sky the dipper is this time of year. They point to Polaristhe North Star. This is at the end of the handle of the Little Dipper. Now get out your binoculars or small telescope and continue the imaginary line to the upper right.

This is where the Andromeda Galaxy is located. Notice that the corner of the Great Square is right above. Can you find the galaxy? On an extremely dark night, if you are out away from cities and towns, you might even be able to make out the Andromeda Galaxy with your unaided eyes. It is the farthest object you can see with your eyes. Facing north mid-evening. The Andromeda Galaxy will appear as a fuzzy oval in binoculars or a small telescope. To dig deeper into the October evening sky check out the video below from the Space Telescope Science Institute. There are many more constellation star patterns you can pick out using our easy, Basic Evening Star Map.

Download it below, and have some fun! For star maps to print properly, download pdf and save to your computer, then print from Whats up with tonight. Download our star maps to help you find your way around the sky. Our basic star maps show the planets and major star patterns or constellations visible in the evening and morning skies this month, without faint background stars. This makes it easier to pick out the brighter patterns in the real sky.

The edges of the circular map mark the horizon all around you. Find one of the bright constellation patterns, ignoring fainter stars you might see in between. You can then jump from constellation to constellation, finding your way around the sky. It helps to use a dim, red flashlight so that you can see both the map and the sky together. The Orionid Meteor Shower will peak the morning of October This shower is active from October 2 to November 7 so keep your eyes open for meteors all month.

However, by October 16 the little planet Mercury begins to emerge from the glare of the Sun low on the eastern horizon before sunrise. By October 25 Mercury is as high as it will get above the horizon. The planet is still visible at the end of the month when you can see the bright star Spica nearby. Get out your binoculars! Looking east 40 minutes before sunrise. Below is the southern half of the morning sky from horizon to overhead about an hour before sunrise, mid-month.

As you face south, the bright stars of winter dominate the sky, a preview of evening skies to come. Get out your binoculars and take a look at the Pleiades Star Cluster and the Orion Nebulaboth beautiful sights in the morning sky this month. Looking south an hour before sunrise mid-month. The Pleiades or Seven Whats up with tonight star cluster in binoculars. The Orion Nebula in a small telescope. Below is the northern half of the morning sky from the horizon to overhead, about an hour before sunrise mid-month. Looking north an hour before sunrise. There are many more constellation star patterns you can pick out using our easy, Basic Morning Star Map.

Regulus is several times bigger and heavier than the Sun and hundreds of times brighter. Looking east an hour before sunrise. The Moon is directly between the Earth and Sun and not visible. In a couple of days it will appear as a thin crescent in the evening as it pulls away from the Sun from our point of view.

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The crescent, or lit side of the Moon, always faces the Sun. Venus is just below a crescent Moon in the southwest as darkness falls. Looking southwest 40 minutes after sunset. The Moon is one quarter of the way around the Earth and appears half lit in the evening sky.

The Moon is to the lower right of Saturn tonight. Looking south-southeast an hour after sunset. People around the world are encouraged to stop and really look at the Moon tonight. Check and see if your local astronomy club, planetarium, museum or school might have telescopes set up for the public. Download some fun Moon Maps that you can print out and use pdf Moon Maps.

You can also relax and enjoy these beautiful images of the Moon. Go to Full Screen for best effect!

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The Moon is now half way around the Earth in its orbit. The Earth is between the Moon and the Sun so we see the Moon fully lit. We now see the Moon opposite the Sun in the sky, so as the Sun sets, the Moon rises. The best time to try to catch some meteors will be between midnight and dawn. The area of the sky where meteors will appear to be coming from in the constellation of Orion will then be up. Bring a lawn chair or something to sit in so you can lean back. Meteors can appear in any part of the sky, but when traced backward will seem to be coming from just above Orion.

You need to be patient and watch for an hour or more.

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The early morning hours are always colder than you think, so make sure you dress warm. A meteor shower is caused by the Earth passing through the orbit or path of a comet. As comets move in their orbits around the Sun, they leave debris all along their orbits. These small pieces burn up in our atmosphere when we encounter them, causing the streaks of light that we see.

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The Earth passes through the debris left by Comet Halley creating this meteor shower. The Moon is right between the reddish star Aldebaran and the star cluster known as the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters. Aldebaran is the fiery eye of the constellation Taurus the Bull. The Pleiades is really pretty to see in binoculars and worth taking a look. Looking southwest an hour before sunrise. The Moon is three-quarters of the way around the Earth now.

It appears half lit in the early morning sky; the lighted side always faces the Sun. Full Moon rises around sunset, is visible all night, and sets around sunrise.

Whats up with tonight

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Night sky, October What you can see this month [maps]