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Post Info TOPIC: October 2011


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RE: October 2011
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October marks the return of Venus to the evening sky. At the beginning of the month it can be seen shining at magnitude -3.9 very close to the horizon in the west. By the end of the month it will slowly climb in the western sky and be visible for more than an hour after sunset. This is the beginning of a grand apparition of the cloud covered planet as it climbs higher in the evening sky this winter and next spring.
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This month we were expecting to see a close approach of the comet Elenin. Unfortunately, the comet has recently lost in brightness and it seems that it is breaking up. Even these news haven't stopped all that doomsday nonsense in the blogosphere about this comet crashing into the Earth or perturbing the Earth's orbit, causing earthquakes, and many other ridiculous claims.
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Although Jupiter rises about an hour after sunset, on the evening of Oct. 27 Jupiter will be closest to Earth as we swing between it and the sun. On that evening, it will essentially rise as the sun sets and be visible all night.
A near-full moon will brush by Jupiter during the second week of the month. Watch for it above and to the right of the great planet on the evening of Oct. 12. The following night, the moon will shine just a bit to the left of Jupiter.

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Mars (in Leo) is our sole morning star. Saturn reaches conjunction with the sun on Oct. 13 and then passes into the morning sky.
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Mars will pass through the Beehive star cluster in Cancer the Crab in the 1st October, 2011.

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The biggest show though in October is the big guy in our solar system, the planet Jupiter. Early this month Jupiter rises about an hour after sunset, but by the end of the month it'll rise right around sunset.
By that time it'll be in what astronomers call opposition - when the moon and Jupiter are at their minimum distance for 2011 at less than 370 million miles away. There's no way you can miss it this month. It'll be by far the brightest star like object in the sky.

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Jupiter satellite positions for October, 2011.

octjupsat1.gifoctjupsat15.gif
Daily updates are posted in the Jupiter's satellites thread.



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Eyes on the Sky - October 2011



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The top of the Winter Hexagon, a star named Capella in the constellation Auriga, already rises by 9 p.m., and all of Orion the Hunter will have cleared the eastern horizon by 11 p.m. By the end of October, all of Orion will be visible by 9 p.m., since the whole sky appears to revolve eastward by two hours every month. That equates to any given star rising four minutes earlier each night.
As the nights are getting colder and longer now, there will be several interesting highlights to look for. Some will happen every October, like the Draconid and Orionid meteor showers, and some events are new, like Comet Garrad and the supernova in the galaxy named M101.

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At Opposition

Asteroid (27) Euterpe is at opposition (9.3 Magnitude) on the 4th October
KBO (55636) 2002 TX300 is at opposition (40.850 AU) on the 15th October
Dwarf Planet (136199) Eris is at opposition (95.606 AU) on the 15th October
KBO (15760) 1992 QB1 is at opposition (40.132 AU) on the 21st October
Asteroid (230) Athamantis is at opposition (9.9 Magnitude) on the 24th October
KBO (55637) 2002 UX25 is at opposition (40.454 AU) on the 29th October
KBO (84522) 2002 TC302 is at opposition (45.071 AU) on the 31st October



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