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Gazing at the October night sky

Andrew Yee, astronomer
September 30, 2012 — With Mars low in dusk sky, Jupiter a dominant planet in evening and a brilliant Venus in dawn sky, there are treasures to be found in the October night sky.

The October night sky has plenty to offer stargazers
The October night sky has plenty to offer stargazers

Here are a few things you'll be able to find in the October night sky.

Mars low in evening sky

Mars will be low in the twilight sky after the sun begins to set. To the lower left of Mars, you'll be able to spot another red object in the sky. That is Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius.

The word "Antares" is Greek, meaning "rival of Mars".

Jupiter will rise before midnight and pair with the moon

In October, you'll be able to see Jupiter in the sky before midnight. By the end of the month, it will be visible in the mid-evening.

Looking ahead to next month, Jupiter will make a spectacular pairing with the moon on the first evening of November.

Venus brilliant in the morning sky

A brilliant Venus will rise about 3 hours before sunrise in October. By daybreak, you'll find it fairly high in the eastern twilight sky.

Keep your eyes peeled near the beginning of the month, when Venus is set to make an amazing conjunction with the bright star Regulus. Have your binoculars handy -- the two bright dots would look spectacular through a visual aid.

A crescent Moon will make photogenic pairings with Venus & Mars

A crescent Moon will pair with Venus before sunrise on October 12th. Six evenings later, on the 18th, another crescent Moon will join Mars and Antares low in southwestern twilight sky.

Hunter's Moon rise

Keep an eye out for Hunter's Moon on the 29th of October, at sun set. In the opposite direction, you'll be able to see a rising Full Moon -- also known of as a Hunter's Moon.

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