A wafer-thin waning crescent Moon is very close to Mars before sunrise on October 17th; there was earthshine from my location – morning drivers heading east got a real treat! The distance between Venus and Mars in the morning sky continues to grow; Venus getting lower, and Mars getting higher each day. Venus will disappear from the morning sky in Mid November.
Saturn is still a good observing target after dusk in the southwestern sky, but it is getting a lit lower in the sky each day. A wafer-thin waxing crescent Moon will accompany Saturn on October 23rd.
The Orionids Meteor Shower peak will occur on October 21-22; best times to view the shower are after midnight, and before dawn on October 22nd.
For a second week there are no sunspots visible from Earth, but the lingering coronal hole in the Sun’s northern region has gotten its own article and video at the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) website:
The Inner Solar System
This is the position of the planets in the inner solar system using the NASA Eyes on the Solar System app:
If you click on the Earth in the NASA Eyes app, you will zoom-to the Earth, and you can see real-time positions of several Earth-orbiting satellites:
Earth Orbiting Satellites
If you click on one of the satellites orbiting the Earth, you will zoom-to that satellite. Below is the Jason-3 satellite – which measures sea-level variations over the global ocean with very high accuracy.
To get a good idea of how much stuff is orbiting the Earth, check out: Stuffin.Space:
Apps used for this post:
Stellarium: a free open source planetarium app for PC/MAC/Linux.
NASA Eyes on the Solar System: an immersive 3D solar system and space mission app – free for the PC /MAC.