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See the young Moon meet the gas giants at dusk, 3–5 October

1 Oct 2019, 21:16 UTC
See the young Moon meet the gas giants at dusk, 3–5 October
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Observers in Western Europe and the UK should look low to the south-southwest at nautical dusk (about 8pm BST in the British Isles) from 3 to 5 October 2019 to view the waxing crescent Moon pass close to Jupiter and Saturn, the Solar System’s largest gas giant planets. This looping animation represents a section of the sky some 50 degrees wide, or about twice the span of an outstretched hand at arm’s length. Note that the Moon’s apparent size has been enlarged three times for clarity. AN animation by Ade Ashford.Now that the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness is upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s sobering to think that the opposition dates of Jupiter and Saturn – the two largest planets in the Solar System – were four and three months ago, respectively. At the start of October, Saturn is low in the south as civil twilight ends, while Jupiter has already started its descent into the south-southwest. Observers at our northern temperate latitudes should, therefore, make the most of any opportunities to view them.
Fortunately, the waxing crescent Moon of the current lunation acts as a very convenient celestial guide to identifying Jupiter and Saturn with the ...

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