October 2014
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
News for Norther Colorado and the world

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Earthsky Tonight—July 13, Young moon, Mercury sit close to horizon after sunset

Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science
www.EarthSky.org

phase July 13 Earthsky Tonight—July 13, Young moon, Mercury sit close to horizon after sunset10july13 430 Earthsky Tonight—July 13, Young moon, Mercury sit close to horizon after sunsetOur sky chart shows the sky for mid-northern North American latitudes at about 45 minutes after sunset. If you have a level horizon and crystal-clear skies, you might catch the thin waxing crescent moon and the planet Mercury next to the horizon. Mercury sets about one hour after the sun and the moon sets about one hour and 15 minutes after. So, they’ll be hard to catch in the twilight glare. Try binoculars!

Looking for a sky almanac? EarthSky recommends…

The three other evening planets will be much easier to spot. From top to bottom, these worlds are Saturn, Mars and Venus. Venus, by far the brightest of the bunch, sets roughly 2 hours after sunset (at mid-northern latitudes). Ruddy Mars sets nearly 3 hours after the sun, and golden-colored Saturn sets more than 3 hours afterwards. South of the equator, these worlds stay up later after dark.

Saturn and Mars are called superior planets because their orbits lie outside of Earth’s orbit. Saturn, the farthest world that you can easily see with the unaided eye, ranks as the 6th planet outward from the sun. Mars, the next planet outward from Earth, ranks 4th. Earth stands as number 3.

Venus and Mercury are called inferior planets because their orbits lie inside of Earth’s orbit. Venus, the planet one step inward from Earth, lodges at number 2. Mercury is the solar system’s innermost planet, explaining why this world is so often obscured in the sun’s glare.

Jupiter, the 5th planet outward, now shines as the brightest star-like object in the dawn and predawn sky.

Written by Bruce McClure


Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL

CHANDRA Photo Album

U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information center

StarDate Online

Sky and Telescope

National Geographic

Space Com

Amazing Space

The York County Astronomical Society

Scope City

James S McDonnell Planetarium


Print This Post Print This Post