This is the Griffith Observatory Sky Report for the week ending Wednesday, October 15, 2014. Here is what’s happening in the skies of southern California:
Now that we are past the full moon, the moon’s appearance comes later and later after sunset as the week advances. Moonrise happens at 6:49 p.m. on the 8th, and is at 11:37 p.m. on the 14th. The moon’s phase wanes from gibbous to last quarter on the 15th.
Orange planet Mars, in Ophiuchus the Snake Handler, can be seen 17 degrees above the southwest horizon as darkness falls. Mars sets at 9:30 p.m.
The brilliant planet Jupiter moves from Cancer the Crab to Leo the Lion on the 13th. The planet is obvious after it clears the east-northeast horizon at 2:00 a.m. Jupiter is bright enough to see until sunrise, when it is nearly 60 degrees high in the east-southeast.
The Hubble Space Telescope will appear brighter than the stars of the Big Dipper when it appears over Los Angeles during the dawn on Thursday, October 9. The HST will move from the southwest to the southeast between 5:51 and 5:58 a.m., PDT. It is highest at 5:54 a.m., when it passes just below the brightest nighttime star, Sirius, of Canis Major the Big Dog. At that time, the famous orbiting telescope will be 340 miles above the earth, and 520 miles from Los Angeles.
Free views of the sun during the day and of the moon, planets, and other celestial objects at night are available to the public in clear weather through Griffith Observatory’s telescopes from Tuesday through Sunday before 9:30 p.m. Check our website for our schedule. The next public star party on the grounds of Griffith Observatory, hosted by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Sidewalk Astronomers, and the Planetary Society, will take place on Saturday, November 1.
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From Griffith Observatory, I’m Anthony Cook and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.