It’s a Good Night for Stargazing – Catch it Early!

See Venus dance with the Moon and Antares, followed by the International Space Station!

From This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky and Telescope Magazine:


Monday, October 7: During twilight, the waxing crescent Moon shines to the right of Venus. Well to the Moon’s lower right, while twilight is still fairly bright, binoculars show Saturn above Mercury. [Publisher’s Note: Austin smog will make seeing Saturn and Mercury almost impossible.]

Tuesday, October 8: The Moon shines above Venus in twilight. Depending on where you are in North America, the Moon, Venus, and fainter Antares form a nearly equilateral triangle, as shown at right.

You can also see the International Space Station fly over beginning at 8:13 PM tonight! This is from NASA’s free text alert system called “Spot the Station“:

(SpotTheStation) Time: Mon Oct 07 8:13 PM, Visible: 5 min, Max Height: 72 degrees, Appears: SW, Disappears: NE

Translation: Look to the southwest at exactly 8:13 PM. It will appear low in the sky at first. Austin lights will interfere for a bit but be patient. It will rise silently as it heads in a northeasterly direction until it reaches a maximum elevation of 72 degrees (straight overhead would be 90 degrees). It will be visible for about 5 minutes and when it fades, it will fade fast. This is because it will pass into the shadow of the Earth (sunset for the ISS).

By the way, here is a list of the brightest objects in the sky, in order:

  1. The Sun
  2. The Moon
  3. Venus
  4. The International Space Station
  5. Jupiter

Of course, supernovae, comets, meteors, and exploding asteroids can rival the Sun and the Moon but only temporarily.


Your comments are welcomed!