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Sunday, October 10, 2021


International Observe the Moon Night, Saturday October 16, 2021

 Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, The International Space Station and Venus on international Observe the Moon night, Saturday October 16th, 20:53 ACDST, 82 minutes after sunset (click to embiggen). 



Elsewhere in Australia will see a similar planetary line up that the equivalent time (82 minutes after sunset). You will need a specific prediction for your site for the ISS (eg from Heavens above)  

International Observe the Moon Night is on Saturday October 16. Although the moon is past last quarter, which is good for crater viewing, there is a lot to see with the unaided eye or binoculars. As well, on the 16th the waxing moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn. 

For most of Australia there is a spectacular addition as the international space station shoots between Venus and the other planets in the late twilight. The time and exact location will be different for each site, so you will need a specific prediction for your site for the ISS (eg from Heavens above)

At this time the Moon is at maximum libration, with Mare Humboldtanium now visible in binoculars or telescopes.While the moon keeps on face towards the earth, changes in perspective form the Earth and Moons relative positions in their orbits means that sometimes we can see bits of the Moon normally hidden, this is libration

Other features visible are the very obvious Copernicus crater, Gassendi crater right on the dark/light boundary and Sinus Iridium. See the map to the left, click to embiggen.

There are many ways to observe the Moon. Unaided eye, binoculars, telescope. No matter what approach you choose, it will be well worth it to go out and just look up. 

Average view of the Moon
Maximum libration on October 16, showing Mare Humboldtanium at the edge of the Moon (click to embiggen for a clearer view)

In the week  leading up to international Observe the Moon night on the 16th the Moon is rather beautiful as it dances amongst the planets. On the 10th (tonight) Venus, the crescent Moon and the bright star Antares from a triangle.  The First Quarter Moon forms a line with Jupiter and Saturn on the 13th and the waxing Moon is close to Saturn on the 14th. Then the waxing Moon is close to Jupiter on the 15th. On the 15th the waxing moon is close to Jupiter and the pair fit into the FOV of 10x50 binoculars. So happy Moon viewing all!

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