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Venus in the morning and a partial lunar eclipse

Venus in the morning and a partial lunar eclipse

Venus in the morning and a partial lunar eclipse

Stefan Dieter
October 1, 2023

The night sky is currently dominated by two planets: in the morning the bright planet Venus can be seen in the east, and in the evening it is illuminated by the gas giant Jupiter, which is about to enter into opposition. A partial lunar eclipse can also be observed at the end of the month. Only a small part of the Earth’s satellite enters the Earth’s shadow.

Regulus between Venus and the crescent Moon on October 10, 2023 at around 6 CEST in the east.

The weather in the last days of September didn’t really feel like fall — quite the opposite: last month was summery in many places and some are hoping it will continue as a golden October. And the autumn constellations don’t seem to have taken over the night sky yet: Anyone looking up at the evening sky will quickly notice that the sky currently doesn’t look significantly different than it did four weeks ago. There’s a simple reason for this: the effect of the constellations moving slowly toward the west is roughly offset by an earlier sunset.

You can still see some of the summer constellations: that’s how it is
Summer triangle [Findkarte]

The stars Deneb in the constellation Swan, Vega in Lyra and Vega in Vulture can still be clearly seen in the sky. But of course the autumn constellations can also be seen, although the stars of the typical autumn constellations are less bright and therefore less visible. The hallmark of autumn is the large square in the east PegasusFollowed by Andromeda.

The Pegasus constellation, which is supposed to represent the flying horse, is upside down in the sky. The striking square forms the horse’s body, with the neck and head extending from the lower right corner. The constellation is located under the head and neck Aquarius. If you imagine a line passing through the upper left and lower right corners of the Pegasus square, it points to Sadalmelik, the main star in Aquarius. The star is 760 light-years away from Earth. Directly to its east you can see four stars arranged in a Y shape, which are also known as the “water jug” of Aquarius.

in Andromeda Provided you have dark skies and good eyesight, you can still see a very special object: our neighboring galaxy, Messier 31. The constellation Andromeda is relatively easy to identify: its brightest stars come from the star Syra or Alferatz, to the northeast. Pegasus tetrad, a line of four stars. From the third star, Mirash, it then ascends – almost at a right angle – to two fainter stars and finally reaches the Andromeda Galaxy.

However, one should not expect a magnificent spiral galaxy here, especially if observed with the naked eye, but rather just a faint, blurry object. This also explains why these and other galaxies were called “nebulae” 100 years ago, and why there has been a long debate among astronomers about whether galaxies like our own are the Milky Way or actually just nebulae within the Milky Way. This question was only clarified by Edwin Hubble’s observations: he was able to determine the distance to the Andromeda Nebula, so that it was clear that this galaxy was much further away than our Milky Way Galaxy could be.

Another eye-catching constellation in the sky Cassiopeia. It can be observed year-round and is currently high in the Northeast. Because of its strange shape, it is often referred to as the “celestial W.” From this constellation you can easily find a beautiful observation object for binoculars or small telescopes: the double star clusters NGC 869 and NGC 884. [Findkarte], which lies between the celestial W and Perseus. What initially looks like a small, bright cluster is actually a cluster of hundreds of stars. Astronomers have counted more than 400 of them, but there is no doubt that there are many others, but they are hidden by interstellar dust. The clusters are located about 7,000 light-years from Earth.

Among the planets Venus Still the bright morning star. Our neighbor in space rises about four hours before sunrise and shines brightly in the constellation Leo. Our other neighbor in space MarsIt is heading towards its conjunction with the sun, which it will reach next month. It is not visible in the night sky. The gas giant is completely different Jupiter: This will be facing the sun at the beginning of November, so it will be visible as a bright object almost all night long. It is located in the constellation Aries. Annular planet Saturn It has already passed its opposition, but can still be easily seen in the night sky. The planet closest to the sun Mercury It can also be seen in the morning sky in the first days of October.

Shooting Star fans can also get their money’s worth in October. Meteor showers can be observed this month: in the first half of the month, meteor showers occur in October.Dragonians It can be seen, which has its starting point (the so-called rays) in the sky in the constellation Draco. Hence the name Draconids; The Draco constellation is called Draco in Latin. The stream can be traced back to comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. The maximum is expected to be reached on October 9. There is also a stream of meteors throughout October Orionides active. Meteors originate in the constellation Orion. The maximum is expected on October 22.

October has another special feature: there is a partial moon during the full moon on October 28 Lunar eclipse to observe. Although only up to twelve percent of the Earth’s satellite is in the Earth’s shadow, at least this can be seen in its entirety from all parts of Germany. It starts at 9:35pm CEST, the cap is reached at 10:14pm CEST, and the offer actually ends at 10:53pm CEST. After that, you can look forward to a longer night: ending on the morning of October 29th summerso we can sleep for an hour longer.


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