Mars will shine brightly in the night sky this month and the Orionid meteor shower will peak in October – NBC Chicago

This month’s full moon has already happened, but according to astronomers, a trio of planets will make prominent appearances in the night sky during the rest of October, and a meteor shower will provide additional spectacles for those who have access to both clear and dark skies. .

Typically, the planet Venus is the second-brightest object in the night sky, but this month that won’t be the case, according to Adler Planetarium experts, because Venus will remain close to the sun in October and will be impossible to see. see. with the naked eye.

Fortunately for astronomers, three other planets will be in the sky during the evening and night, including Mars, which will be very visible in October.

According to the Adler astronomers, Mars will rise between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. for most of the month and rise in the east-northeastern part of the sky.

On the night of October 14 to the morning of October 15, Mars will form a triangle with Betelgeuse, which will appear on its left, and Aldebaran, which will appear on its right. This triangle will actually circle the waning gibbous moon that night, providing an incredible sight for those willing to stay up late to see the show.

Jupiter and Saturn will also be visible throughout the month, and those looking to the southern skies could potentially see both planets at the same time.

According to NASA, Jupiter will rise shortly after sunset in the eastern sky, and about 40 degrees to its right, Saturn will do the same, and both planets will be visible to the naked eye. The planets will form a triangle with the star Fomalhaut during the month.

Saturn will set earlier than Jupiter, just before 2 a.m. at the start of the month and around midnight on Halloween. Jupiter will rise higher in the sky than Saturn and will not set until just before morning twilight at the start of the month and around 4 a.m. at the end of the month, according to Adler scientists.

NASA is also reminding astronomers that the Orionid meteor shower will be active throughout October and November and will peak on October 20.

Although not as prolific as other meteor showers, around 10-20 meteors per hour will be seen at their peak on the 20thebut the moon might clear out some of the weaker meteors in the early morning.

Residents will need to find a dark area under clear skies to view the spectacle.

NBC Chicago

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