Go Out:  Look Up!

A Guide to the Sky, Telescopes, and Telescope Programs


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What is up Tonight?

(In the event that this page is not up-to-date, skip to the links below for external resources).

Almost everything is "up" tonight, if you're willing to observe from dusk to dawn.  We'll list things here that are visible after Sunset and rise within a couple hours afterward.

Note that the Moon is different every night, rising about 50 minutes later (and lying about 15 degrees further east every day).  Why does it change?

What's up for October 2014?

(there are a number of on-line resources available that are more detailed and up-to-date than the following list.  Finder charts and phone apps are also available to aid in finding "what's up tonight").  Please refer to the Links page and the links at the bottom of this page for a list of great resources.


There are plenty of phone "sky apps" that can help you find sky targets.

Saturn is still visible in west at sunset.  The rings are visible even in binoculars.

Mars is visible, but will not show much detail.  Maybe a polar ice cap as a white spot.

Jupiter and its moon are always worth target.  It's that really bright "star" that rises after midnight.  Even binoculars will show a cloud band or two as well as the four Galilean moons (which change position nightly).

The summer Milky Way overhead at sunset, running south to north. It's great to browse through with binoculars or a small scope.  If you're in a dark, clear sky, that cloudy swath of grey is the Milky Way. 

 

Lunar Eclipse Epidemic!

Four total eclipses in 18 months!  April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4 2015; Sep 28 2105.

It's rare and known as a Tetrad.  Here's some info: MrEclipse, NASA Eclipse.

 

 

The sun is up every day and visible from even the brightest, dirtiest sky.  Click here for more info on solar observing

 

Viewing Location

Where are you?

The whole sky is up at all times.  Everything in it is up everyday.  So why can't you see it all at any time?  The sun washes out the sky during the day and, of course, the earth gets in the way.  The Earth does block out the Sun so that we can see the stars, but it does also block out how far to the south we can see.  The closer you get to the equator on earth, the less of the sky is permanently blocked out. From San Diego at 32 degrees North Latitude, we cannot see the sky closer than 32 degrees to the south celestial pole.  


Links

Some links to good targets tonight or this week:

Whole sky map of tonight’s sky with interesting targets at SkyMaps.com (scroll down to the Current Month to download a map)

Sky & Telescope’s This Week’s Sky at a Glance (overview of highlights)

Astronomy Magazine’s The Sky this Month and The Sky this Week

Tonight’s Sky (useful and thorough, but text-based.  Requires some knowledge)

Heaven’s Above: good information, include a whole sky chart for tonight

Free Planetarium Software:

Stellarium Free Planetarium Software

Questions or comments? Email:Jeff Martin