Jupiter shines like a beacon in the evening skies of October.
Rising in the eastern sky about an hour after sunset as the month begins, find Jupiter shining at a bright magnitude of -2.9. Jupiter reaches opposition on Oct. 28, which means it rises in the eastern sky exactly at the same time as the Sun sets in the western sky. On the evening of Oct. 13, find the waxing gibbous Moon just to the left of Jupiter.
Venus shines low in the western sky during October. Shining brilliantly at a magnitude of -3.9, Venus will be the brightest celestial object in this part of the sky, making it easy to spot. Venus sets about 30 minutes after the Sun in early October, and will be above the western horizon a full hour after the Sun sets by the end of the month.
Mars rises about 1 a.m. in the eastern sky for early-morning sky watchers. Just before morning twilight begins, find the red planet shining at a dimmer magnitude of +1.3. On the mornings of the first few days of October, Mars will be in the Beehive Open Cluster. Using binoculars, you will see Mars among the many stars of this open cluster. On the morning of Oct. 21, find a waning crescent Moon just to the right of Mars.
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