Last Week's Stargazing Tips

October 24: Polaris

The Pole Star, Polaris, stands due north every night of the year. To find it, line up the stars at the outer edge of the bowl of the Big Dipper. Then follow that line up and away from the bowl until you come to the first moderately bright star.

October 23: Solar Eclipse II

The Moon is “new” at 4:57 p.m. CDT today. At that moment, it will be partially covering the Sun’s disk, creating a partial solar eclipse. The eclipse will be visible across the United States, although the East Coast will miss its final stages.

October 22: Solar Eclipse

The afternoon sky will get a little darker than normal for most of the United States tomorrow afternoon during a partial solar eclipse. The Moon will cover part of the Sun’s disk for a few minutes, although the Sun will be too bright to view directly.

October 21: M31

The largest single object visible to the unaided eye is M31, the Andromeda galaxy. It looks like a small, faint smudge of light in the constellation Andromeda. It is high in the east at nightfall and directly overhead around midnight.

October 20: New Names

Upsilon Andromedae is one of the brightest stars in the night sky known to have four or more planets. It is about a third of the way up the east-northeast sky at nightfall, and stands directly overhead in the wee hours of the morning.

October 19: Orionid Meteors II

The thin but reliable Orionid meteor shower is at its best the next couple of nights. The view is best in the wee hours of the morning, when you might see a dozen or so “shooting stars” per hour.

October 18: Meteor Showers

The Orionid meteor shower will strafe Earth over the next few nights. It should be at its best tomorrow and Monday nights, although you might see a few outliers tonight as well. The shower is best viewed in the wee hours of the morning.

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