Early October Astrominute

Below is a text version of the new Gettysburg Astrominute, with some iillustrations. You can listen to the astrominute here and several times a week on WZBT.
Here is your Gettysburg astrominute for the first half of October, 2015. On October 8 (the middle of our astrominute period) the sun will rise at 7:12 and set at 6:41, eastern daylight time. The moon will not be in the evening sky – it reaches Last Quarter on October 4 and New on the 13th. As it gets dark, the Summer Triangle is overhead, dominating the sky. Meanwhile, look for the Great Square of Pegasus in the east. [Check out www.skymaps.com for a downloadable monthy map.]
The best show right now, however, is in the morning sky. Venus stands brilliantly in the east before sunrise, and below it the planet Jupiter is coming into view. Though fainter, Mars and the star Regulus are both nearby. Better yet, the waning crescent moon will be passing through on the 8th through the 10th. Look for the crescent moon, 17% illuminated, near Venus on the 8th.

10/8, 5:45 AM. 10 deg. = fist at arm’s length.

As it gets closer to the sun each morning, it will be near Jupiter and 11% illuminated on the 9th, and below Jupiter and only 6% illuminated on the 10th. That is still 70 hours before new moon on the 13th, so quite visible if you go out before 6AM. If you’re an early riser, you might also notice that Jupiter and Venus are drawing close together. They will be very close indeed at the end of the month. More on that next time. The astrominute is a production of Gettysburg College’s Hatter Planetarium and WZBT. For a text of the astrominute, with illustrations, visit the Gettysburg Skies Blog.

Images created with Stellarium.