Will you be trick and treating this Halloween? If you are, there’s some terrific stargazing in the early evening! It involves four planets and the Moon!
Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn will light up the skies throughout October with the Moon also adding to the spectacle; ideal for getting you in the mood for Halloween and planning the perfect costume.
Venus returns during October as the ‘Evening Star’, although low on the western horizon early in the month, it will slowly gain altitude throughout the month and be easily visible, looking beautiful and shining brilliantly.
Mercury will be at it’s best for viewing mid-month and Jupiter will twice have a close encounter with the lovely crescent Moon, on the 4 and 31 October. Saturn, as always, shines a soft yellow glow, making it easy to pick out from the crowded sky.
When to look: 7.30pm, Thursday 31 October 2019
Which direction to look: West
Very low on the western horizon, you’ll see bright Venus. Appearing just to the left is the closest planet to the Sun, Mercury. Higher in the sky a beautiful crescent Moon is just below the largest planet in our Solar System, Jupiter. The next brightest object higher up is probably the prettiest planet in our Solar System, Saturn.
If you keep watching these planets over the coming weeks, they will all move position in the night sky. Mercury will disappear from view below the horizon. Venus will appear to move up closer to Jupiter by the end of November before making its way up to Saturn in mid-December.
This special grouping of planets and the Moon will certainly be a treat rather than a trick! With the warmer weather, it’s a perfect time to be out stargazing and enjoying the night sky views.
For more stargazing tips, visit www.astrotourismwa.com.au.