Athena Preparatory

Private High School Education & College Preparation

The Night Sky For The Week Of 10-8-23

On Friday, October 6, stargazers can observe Arcturus shining in the west as twilight fades away, while Capella rises in the north-northeast. Later in the evening, both stars will shine at the same height, depending on the observer’s latitude and longitude. Turning around and looking low in the south-southeast, one can spot the 1st-magnitude Fomalhaut at about the same height. Jupiter can also be seen as a bright light more than a third of the way from Capella to Fomalhaut, while Saturn glows pale yellow and steady above Fomalhaut. In the early morning hours of Saturday, October 7, the waning Moon highlights Gemini’s Castor and Pollux. On Sunday, October 8, Cygnus the Swan with Deneb as its tail floats straight overhead after nightfall, while the Great Square of Pegasus balances on its corner high in the east. On Monday, October 9, stargazers can catch Venus, the “Morning Star,” hanging with the Moon and Regulus after setting their alarm for about 1¼ or 1½ hours before sunrise. On Tuesday, October 10, Vega is the brightest star, very high west of the zenith after dark. In the early dawn of Wednesday, October 11, the waning Moon shines lower left of Venus and Regulus. On Thursday, October 12, W-shaped Cassiopeia stands on end halfway up the northeastern sky, while the dim Little Dipper extends left from Polaris off to its left in the north. On Friday, October 13, Vega is the brightest star high in the west, while Altair is not quite as bright in the southwest. On Saturday, October 14, an annular eclipse of the Sun can be seen in Oregon, northern Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, west-central and southern Texas, Central America, Colombia, and Brazil. A partial solar eclipse will also be visible over a much wider area. Finally, on Sunday, October 15, Deneb has replaced Vega as the zenith star after nightfall, while Capricornus has replaced Sagittarius as the zodiacal constellation low in the south.