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CURRENT SKY HIGHLIGHTS

Be VERY CAREFUL NOT TO OBSERVE SUN DIRECTLY!  INSTANT BLINDNESS CAN OCCUR!!!  Instruments can explode!!! Cease viewing before Sun actually rises 
if you're using binoculars or telescope!!!  

Hubble Space Telescope imaged Aurorae on Saturn in 2004, images two days apart and in UV band.  Aurorae on Saturn are more closely modulated by Solar Wind than aurorae on Earth and Jupiter, and persist for several days on Saturn.

PLANET and SKY INFORMATION:  (updated October 16th, 2014)

Major Sky Events upcoming:

Partial Solar Eclipse happens with following alignment of Sun-Earth-Moon:
S       M E      the narrow shadow of the Moon rapidly sweeps across a portion of
the Earth, we're off to the side of the deep shadow path (totality), but close enough to have about 2/3 of the Sun covered by the Moon at maximum eclipse
which happens at 245 PM on Thursday, October 23rd, during the New Moon.
The eclipse is visible from 1238 PM until 452 PM from Eugene.
You'll need to directly view the Sun to see the Moon pass across it, so safe
filtering is absolutely required: sunglasses, smoked glass, exposed film do NOT
block the damaging UV and IR radiation, you risk instant and permanent eye injury
or blindness!  Also avoid cheap eyepiece filters that sometimes come with small telescopes, these can explode in your face when heated by solar rays.
You need professional welder's glass, #14 or darker, professional coated glass filters,
or special solar safe mylar film, there are online sources available such as Rainbow Symphony and Thousand Oaks.  Eugene Astronomical Society will have filter equipped telescopes set up at the Science Factory that afternoon (opposite Autzen Stadium in Eugene), you're welcome to join us.
You DON'T need telescopes to view either of these eclipses, but you do need filters for the Solar one, there are "Eclipse Glasses" that feature the proper mylar material on sale online from Thousand Oaks and a few other firms.
Likewise, DON'T attempt to photograph the solar eclipse with your cell phone camera or other unfiltered digital camera, you'll fry the camera!  (you can try to photograph through the proper filters).

NASA scientist, Fred Espanek, has an excellent website set up with detailed information about upcoming eclipses, see the "Mr. Eclipse" website.

Planet Parade:
Mercury and Venus are in conjunction (lined up) with the Sun next several days, Mercury will emerge briefly into morning sky shortly, Venus emerges into evening sky, and will be joined by swift Mercury by December!  Venus appears extremely close to position of Sun during the eclipse but will be nigh impossible to spot due to the extreme brightness of the Sun, please DON'T try to spot Venus!

Bright coppery Mars is low in southwestern sky by twilight, brightest and orangiest dot in that part of sky, don't confuse with Mars' rival, star Antares, same color, but further toward the west.  Mars sets by 800 PM. 

Jupiter rises around 200 AM, the bright dot low in wee hours eastern sky.

Saturn, the yellowish dot currently to right of Mars, low in western post sunset sky, will soon drop into the sunset and be gone for rest of year, reemerging in predawn sky in a few months.

Don't confuse Saturn with brilliant yellow star, Arcturus, much higher in evening western sky.

The Waxing Crescent Moon will once again slip by Saturn and Mars and Anatares in post sunset western sky the last week of October.

Uranus and Neptune are visible through middle of night in southern sky if you have a telescope.

The Big Dipper is low to the north now most of the night.

The Summer Triangle is visible low in NW by darkness, marked by stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair.

Galaxy M31, the Great Andromeda Galaxy, rises in early evening, and is high in the sky by mid evening.

If you stay up later, observe Capella, the bright star of Auriga, appears in the northeast now by early evening, and the stars of Orion accompanied by the other winter bright stars such as Aldebaran, Castor, and Pollux, just peak out in the southeast around 1100 PM, harbingers of Winter.


 
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