Jupiter near the Crescent Moon and Ceres
The moon will return to the evening sky worldwide and hop over the bright planets this week. Here are your observing tips.
Jupiter will be setting in the west at about 8:45 pm local time this week, but the earlier-arriving sunsets of October are still giving us time to view the spectacularly bright planet, albeit through a lot of intervening atmosphere.
As the sky begins to darken this week, look for the giant planet sitting about 1.5 fist diameters above the southwestern horizon. On Wednesday and Thursday, in a darker sky, the moon will hop over bright Jupiter – starting at Jupiter’s lower right on Wednesday and then moving to the planet’s upper left on Thursday. On the evening of Thursday, October 31, the waxing crescent moon will be positioned four finger widths to the upper left (or celestial east) of Jupiter. The pair will fit together in the field of view of binoculars and will be visible with the naked eye.
At the same time, look for the magnitude 8.35 dwarf planet Ceres sitting below and between Jupiter and the moon. Ceres is the largest object in the main asteroid belt that lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It is both the largest of the asteroids and the only unambiguous dwarf planet inside Neptune's orbit. You will need a telescope to observe it.
Find out the exact time of celestial events and easily identify objects in the sky above your location with Star Walk 2.
Keep looking up and enjoy the sky!