The sky this week from October 15 to 22

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saturday 16 october
Venus passes 1.5 ° north of the red giant Antares in Scorpius this morning at 10 a.m. EDT. Like Jupiter and the Moon yesterday, however, the two are not visible at this time, so go out after sunset to spot them instead, roughly the same distance from each other and hanging low. in the southwest, about 12 ° above the horizon 15 minutes or so after sunset. Venus is a bright magnitude -4.4, far exceeding the 1st magnitude star.

Tonight is also International Observe the Moon Night. Our satellite, which is a growing gibbeuse with its face lit between 50 and 100%, rises around 5 p.m. local time and is visible all evening in eastern Aquarius. NASA organizes several activities in honor of the event, including one NASA TV Show you can log in from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EDT tonight.

Observing the Moon can be as simple as looking up, or as complex as dragging a telescope across its rugged surface to make out the smallest details. Tonight, because our Moon is mostly illuminated, many of its features are on display, with only its western member (east of our sky) still hidden in shadow. Look for features like Seas of Serenity, Tranquility, and Showers; as well as large craters such as Tycho, Langrenus and Copernicus.

Sunrise: 7:12
Sunset: 6:18 p.m.
Moonrise: 4:57 p.m.
Moon setting: 02h54
Moon phase: Gibbous shoe polish (85%)

Sunday 17th October
The Moon passes 4 ° south of Neptune at 10 a.m. EDT. Tonight, they are 5.8 ° apart at sunset and rise higher at nightfall. After dusk has passed, try to find the farthest planet in the solar system with binoculars or a telescope. Its 7.7 magnitude glow is located 3.5 ° east-northeast of Phi (ϕ) Aquarii, which itself shines at 4.2 magnitude.

Mercury is stationary at 9 p.m. EDT, but is not visible at night due to its position relative to the Sun. Instead, you’ll want to catch it in the morning, when it’s 7 degrees high 30 minutes before sunrise. The small planet is of magnitude 1.1 and just over 2 ° southwest of the star Porrima in Virgo. Its disc appears 9 “wide in binoculars or a telescope and is a small crescent illuminated at only 19%.

Mercury previously moved northwest (retrograde) at a steady pace; now it will rotate and start moving southeast (prograde).

Sunrise: 7:13
Sunset: 6:17 p.m.
Moonrise: 5:22 p.m.
Moon setting: 4:00 AM
Moon phase: Gibbous shoe polish (92%)

Monday, October 18
Then, it is Jupiter’s turn to remain motionless in front of the background stars. It stops in Capricorn at 7:00 a.m. EDT. The gas giant, which was moving southwest, will now turn around and start sliding northeast, moving away from Deneb Algedi.

Because the planet sets two hours after midnight, the best time to catch it is after dark tonight. And tonight, Ganymede is about to slip onto Jupiter’s great disk at sunset in the eastern time zone. The moon then takes a little over three and a half hours to cross the face of the planet, moving from east to west.

If you stay longer, Ganymede’s shadow slides across the disk just after 11:00 p.m. EDT, followed by small moon Io around 1:00 a.m. EDT on the 19th. Io’s shadow eventually follows as well, and the observers with clear skies at 2:20 a.m. EDT Tuesday morning (11:20 p.m. PDT Monday evening) will see a three-for-one: the shadow of Ganymede about to slide off the western limb of Jupiter, with an Io shining slightly more than halfway over the disc and its own smaller shadow near the eastern limbus.

Sunrise: 7:14
Sunset: 6:15 p.m.
Moonrise: 5:46 p.m.
Moon setting: 05:04
Moon phase: Gibbous shoe polish (96%)

Tuesday 19 October
Hidden inside Hercules, the strong man is a spectacular ball of ancient stars often referred to as the Hercules globular cluster. Cataloged as M13 in Messier’s list of non-comets, this ancient cluster was discovered by Edmond Halley (hence the name of the famous comet) in 1714.

You will find M13 at 2.5 ° south of Eta (η) Herculis, which shines at a magnitude of 3.5. The cluster itself shines at a magnitude of 5.8 and spans about 20 feet, almost the size of the Full Moon. Because the Moon is also in the sky tonight, you’ll probably need binoculars or a small scope to untangle that ball of cosmic fuzz from the background. But note its position and come back when there is no Moon, and you can see it without any optical aid. M13 contains over 100,000 stars and is so dense that in some cases the stars in the cluster collide, creating younger-looking stars called blue stragglers.

Sunrise: 7:15 a.m.
Sunset: 6:14 p.m.
Moonrise: 6:08 p.m.
Moon setting: 6:06
Moon phase: Gibbous hair removal (99%)


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