Today is the start of the new season. For stargazers, it promises to be something special.
Today is the autumnal equinox, the noon sun is directly above the equator, and every place on Earth has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The sun will rise due east, move in an arc along the celestial equator and set due west.
Leaves fall and bright stars rise. Orion returns. The moon is a little higher. In addition to being an excellent time of year for stargazing, there are six specific stargazing activities not to be missed. So grab your jacket and we’re into the night.
Here’s exactly what’s happening in the sky this fall, day and night:
1. The closest Jupiter in 166 years
When: September 26, 2022
On this day, the giant planet Jupiter will come to its annual “opposition,” the point in Earth’s orbit when we — on a faster orbiting world — move to a position right between the sun and Jupiter .
At the moment of its opposition, it is exactly 593.6 million kilometers away from the earth, which is Closest approach to Earth since 1963 until 2139, make this The ‘best’ opposition in 166 years and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It has a brightness of -2.9 etc, making it currently the brightest thing you can see in the night sky after sunset other than the moon.
2. The Orionids
When: October 21/22, 2022
From around 21:00 tonight until the early hours of tomorrow is the peak of the Orionids. So keep your eyes open (no binoculars or telescope needed) as it has 10 to 20 “shooting stars” per hour that should be visible in a dark sky without a moon, as the waning crescent is only 17% The brightness doesn’t rise until about 3:30am, however, the view should be at its best after midnight.
The Orionids are caused by dust and debris left behind by Halley’s Comet in the inner solar system. While they can appear from anywhere, the radiant of the meteors is the constellation Orion, specifically its red star Betelgeuse.
3. Partial solar eclipse in Eurasia
When: October 25, 2022
Today’s partial solar eclipse is the second and final partial solar eclipse of 2022, the other being on April 30 last year. It can be seen from Europe, Northeast Africa and Central Asia. At the highest point in Russia, exactly 82% of the Sun will be obscured by the Moon. From Western Europe, it would appear to be overshadowed by about 15-30%.
4. America’s “Blood Moon”
When: November 8, 2022
The last of two total lunar eclipses in 2022 will be seen in North America, but the last will be in 2025. Easiest to see from the western and central U.S. states, as well as the Pacific Ocean, Japan, Australia and Russia, the full “Beaver Moon” will turn a spectacular reddish hue within 84 minutes during the event.
It won’t be broken until June 26, 2029, when the total duration is 102 minutes. this is a simulation what it will be like. You should also be able to see Uranus above the eclipse, which will add to the spectacle.
5. Mars is brightest for 26 months
When: December 7, 2022
Tonight will also see the fourth planet Mars, which “hedges” every 26 months. It marks the point in time when Earth is between the sun and Mars, so from our perspective, the Earth is completely illuminated by the sun. As such, it’s at its brightest time of year, so it’s the best time to watch it. As a bonus, it also means that it rises in the east at dusk and stays in the night sky all night.
6. ‘Cold Moon’ eclipse of Mars
When: December 8, 2022
As seen from somewhere on Earth, the moon hides a planet a few times a year. But a full moon near its brightest every 26 months eclipses Mars? Now this is a rare situation. That’s exactly what happened on December 8, 2022. It’s not something you want to miss.
I wish you a clear sky and an eye-opener.