Saturday, October 17, 2015
Mars Meets Jupiter (Morning, Sunday 18 October)
If you have been up at Dark O'Clock in the morning you may have noticed Mars and Jupiter draw closer together during the week, with Venus coming towards the pair.
Mars and Jupiter's journey cumulates tomorrow morning on Sunday the 18th when the pair are at their closest. Techically they are at their cosest at 22:13 UT, but that is after Sunrise. At Astronomical twilight they are less than a fingerwidth apart (37 arc minutes away) and will both fit in a low power telescope eyepiece.
This will be rather nice to observe, but they are still just over a hand-span from the horizon at nautical twilight, an hour before sunrise. You may require a flat unobstructed horizon to see them.
After this Jupiter heads towards Venus, leaving Mars behind. Jupiter and Venus are closest on October 25.
Mars is a little bit to the lower right now and my portable telescope (a Galileoscope) doesn't resolve Venus as a crescent. I'll try the binoculars tomorrow.