Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 10th, and Thursday, October 11th, 2018

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, October 10th, and Thursday, October 11th, written by Louis Suarato.

The 4% illuminated, waxing crescent Moon sets at 7:42 p.m. Wednesday. Look 13 degrees to the Moon’s southwest for Jupiter. Thursday night, Jupiter will be just 4 degrees below the Moon, within the constellation Libra. Mars and Saturn are separated by 40 degrees, about 20 degrees above both sides the southern azimuth after sunset. While Saturn is surrounded by nebulae and star clusters in Sagittarius, Capricornus is devoid of deep sky objects around Mars. Look toward the constellation Leo, which rises after 9 p.m., for the Southern Taurid meteor shower. This meteor shower only yields 5 meteors per hour, but is notable for bright fireballs in certain years. What you will see burning up in Earth’s atmosphere are the dusty particle debris from Comet 2P/Enke. Comet Enke is a periodic comet that completes an orbit around the Sun once every 3.3 years. It was discovered in 1786 by French astronomer Pierre Mechain. Comet Enke’s next closest approach to the Sun will be June 25, 2020.

Wednesday night, an extremely bright International Space Station will fly over our region. You can see the ISS with the unaided eye by looking toward the west-northwest horizon at 7:32. The ISS will sail very close to globular cluster M3 before passing Bootes brightest star, Arcturus, and continuing on through Hercules, and passing the Great Globular Cluster M13.The ISS will continue on to Aquila, passing close to its brightest star, Altair. The bright spacecraft will cross through Aquarius, and past Mars, before disappearing into the southeast horizon.

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