Mark Alan Lovewell

Crescent Moon and Saturn

The ringed-planet Saturn appears low in the southwestern sky after sunset. The planet once commanded much of the attention during summer, appearing in the southern sky. With the advancement of the seasons Saturn's time in our sky is significantly shortened. Now the planet hangs in our evening sky for an hour or so. Saturn is being upstaged by the prominence of Jupiter farther to the east. Jupiter is the brighter. And the red planet Mars now appears above the horizon a short time afterwards.

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Brilliant Mars

The bright red planet Mars now shines low in the eastern sky. You can see it easily an hour or more after sunset. It glows as a red jewel and there is no missing it. Take a moment to go outside and look for it. The planet resides in the constellation Taurus, the mythological bull. Not far away, you'll find the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters. The small star cluster is always a night time crowd pleaser.Not far from Mars is the orange colored bright star Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus. With Mars in this beloved constellation, the stars and the planet look particularly intriguing.

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Moon and Mars Tonight

A bright gibbous moon appears underneath the red planet Mars tonight. Mars is in the zodiacal constellation Taurus, a constellation we associate with winter. The moon is edging towards the zodiacal constellation Gemini.

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Election Day Lunar Eclipse

A total lunar eclipse will take place in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The eclipse will be watched across the country and as far west as Hawaii and coincides with Election Day, a day for voting. This is when the full moon, the Bay Scallop Moon, slips into the earth's shadow.

The first evidence of the eclipse will take place at 4:08 a.m. The moon will start to move through the darkest part of the Earth's shadow, the Umbra.

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Halloween Night

On Halloween night, while goblins and witches roam the countryside, the bright moon will light their way. The moon is first quarter the following day. But on Halloween the moon will be fairly high in the southern sky. The moon is in the zodiacal constellation Capricornus, not far from the bright planet Saturn to the east. Use this moon as a reference when walking along with those wandering outside. Capricornus is a mythological horned goat. Inaddition there are old stories of the constellation depicting a sea goat.

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Milky Way and Meteors Tonight

With clear skies viewers tonight have a terrific view of the stars of autumn and maybe a shooting star.

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Mars and Moon

A bright gibbous moon appears close to the red planet Mars tonight.

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Pumpkin Moon

Sunday night’s full moon, the Pumpkin Moon, rises about the same time as the sun sets. The moon is in the zodiacal constellation Pisces. Pisces is a large constellation and depicts mythological fishes.

If you step outside tomorrow night you get an even better view. The almost-full moon appears right next to the bright planet Jupiter. The two are brilliant. Jupiter reached opposition just last week, its closest to us in 70 years.

Tomorrow night, though, the two celestial objects are farther apart. They still command attention.


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First Quarter Moon

Tonight, you’ll see a crescent moon low in southern sky after sunset. The moon is moving through the constellation Scorpius, the mythological scorpion and in the nights ahead will pass two bright planets.

The first quarter moon appears Monday night and it is in the zodiacal constellation Sagitarius hugging the southern sky. Sagittarius is known by astronomers as the center of our galaxy, the center of the Milky Way.

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Bright Jupiter

The brightest planet in the evening sky is Jupiter. Jupiter hasn’t been this bright and close in 40 years. The planet is 362 million miles away, which is hardly close. Amateur astronomers will enjoy its proximity, as their telescopes will render it as large as it gets.

In opposition, Jupiter is in the zodiacal constellation Pisces, a constellation depicting mythological fishes. If you could see deeper into outer space you’d also notice that the distant planet Neptune is nearby.

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