Night Skies for September and October

Right after sunset in the evening Venus is still very prominent and high up in the west and will remain visible through much of the fall before joining the other planets in the morning skies near winter time.

Jupiter, almost exactly like Venus, is very prominent in the morning skies several hours before sunrise and will keep rising earlier and earlier each day until it moves into the late night sky later near the start of 2003. Jupiter will be visible now through the early summer of next year, with Saturn also close at hand.

Since Saturn is dimmer and a far more deeper orange than Jupiter, it isn't as prominent and gets lost more in the glare of twilight. But in short order you'll be able to easily see it in the morning skies

The Orionid meteors, not the most prominent or spectacular, will be seen best on or about October 20 to 21st high in the southern sky and up near the zenith. Shower is best seen from 11 pm until 4 am and out in the dark country skies you can see 15 to 30 per hour while in the city only 10 to 15 are readily seen.

Mars will become visible early in the morning later this fall and early winter, then make its way slowly into the evening sky later next year when Mars will be at almost full brightness, being around 36 to 40 million miles from the Earth (it sometimes gets no closer than 55 million due to eccentricities in the orbits of both Mars and Earth).

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