What’s Happening in October’s Night Sky?

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Friday, October 7, 2016, 8:47 am
Robert Victor

The New Moon occurred on Friday, Sept. 30 at 8:11 p.m. EDT, invisible as it passed close to the Sun. Each day it is getting bigger, setting later, and is easier to see. Here are some highlights of what you can see the moon doing in October’s night sky, followed by some tips on viewing the planets throughout October.

On Friday Oct. 7, look for Mars eight degrees lower and to the left of the Moon. On Saturday, Oct. 8, Mars will appear eight degrees to the lower right of the Moon. On both those nights, The MSU Observatory will be hosting Public Observing Nights.

The Observatory is located in the far south campus, at the corner of Forest and College Roads, and just west of the Agriculture Expo Pavilion. In addition to the 24-inch telescope in the dome, you can look through several portable telescopes set up in the parking lot just west of the entrance to the Observatory.

The Moon will be nearly half full and ideal for viewing with telescopes and binoculars. Be sure to arrive right at the start of the session for a view of Saturn – the ringed planet sets in the first hour.

To learn more about celestial highlights during the month of October, and how to view them, read on here.

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