The second of two sky shows this overnight period will be early in the morning on Friday October 9. This is follow up to what many were able to see this Thursday morning. A conjunction is like a traffic jam, or cluster of visible celestial bodies from our view. In this case, the crescent moon will be clustered with the planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter.
This first view shown here was on Thursday morning at 5:45 AM. The moon was above Venus, and the other planets were out of this frame. Thanks to Carla Carr grabbing her camera early in Mt. Airy. Tomorrow that will change.
Compare to the celestial mapping at the bottom of this post to get a better idea of what you can expect looking at Friday’s map. Note that the crescent moon is waning, so less will be illuminated, making for a more dramatic scene.
Note: The first sky show is the Thursday ‘evening’ Draconids Meteor Shower
When To See It?
The full cluster of visible objects will rise in the east by 4:30 AM EDT, but at that time you must be on the water or have an unobstructed view, so you can sleep in an extra 30 to 60 minutes. Also note, the moon will be below Venus, while much closer (in perspective) to Mars and Jupiter. This close proximity will make for a great photo. I hope you can test your skills and ISO settings to get and hopefully share your shot.
The conjunction should be high enough in the sky by 5:30 AM EDT, and there will be a good 90 minutes or so for quality viewing. If you saw it this morning, note that the moon will not be in the same location. The orbit and closer proximity of the moon results in a faster transit, while the planets appear to be ‘nearly’ stationary from one day to the next.
With this is mind, the moon will be lower in the sky when the sun rises. So there will be less time to view it, and it will be lower than where you may have seen it Thursday.
Times To Consider:
With respect to Baltimore as a central point
- Astronomical Dawn at 5:41 AM
- Nautical Dawn at 6:12 AM – First noticeable light on the horizon
- Civil Dawn at 6:43 AM – Noticeable light in the eastern sky
- Sunrise at 7:10 AM – The crescent moon will still be visible, but the planets will fade.
Comparing To Thursday
Here is another look at Carla’s photo (and a few others). See how this related to the sky map for the day and darkness of the sky with later photos.
Debbie Carle is a Maryland resident visiting Florida. She got this around 6:40 AM
My photo was taken jut before 7 AM. I should note that our sunrise is at a different time than the Florida view. But you will see how bright it was at that time. Hint: You can see it, but get out earlier.
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