Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.
The crescent Moon travels through the southwestern night sky later this week, past Jupiter and Saturn.
New Moon at 9:47 p.m. MDT.
Mercury (in Virgo)
Mercury is in hidden by the Sun this week.
Venus (in Libra/Virgo)
You might catch Venus very low in the west-southwest about 15 minutes after sunset, but it soon disappears into the glare of the Sun. Viewed through binoculars or a telescope, it’s a crescent with about 10 percent of its surface illuminated (tip: to get a better telescopic view of Venus without all the glare, observe it while it’s still high in the blue sky).
Mars (in Capricornus)
The bright red planet is getting dimmer. Mars is in its best viewing position in the south just after dark – it sets about 1 a.m.
Jupiter (in Libra)
Jupiter appears in the southwest during twilight, but soon disappears below the horizon.
Saturn (in Sagittarius)
Look for Saturn just above the tip of the ‘spout’ of the Sagittarius ‘teapot.’ The ringed planet is that yellowish “star” in the south-southwest after dark.
Uranus (in Aries/Pisces)
Look in the east during the late evening. Did you know that you can easily see Uranus with binoculars if you know where to look? Check out the Sky & Telescope finder chart at http://wwwcdn.skyandtelescope.com/wp-content/uploads/WEB_UrNep18.pdf. Happy hunting!
Neptune (in Aquarius)
Look in the southeast during the late evening.
BRIGHT IRIDIUM FLARES
The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my short article at: http://scaspueblo.com/blog/2017/02/25/iridium-flares/.
Monday (October 8) 5:49:20 a.m. / Magnitude -1.5 / N / Elevation 35 degrees
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS) and TIANGONG2 (CHINESE SPACE STATION)
These are too numerous to list here! If you’re seriously interested, load the ISS DETECTOR or HEAVENS-ABOVE app on your smart phone or tablet.
Pueblo West, Colorado