Look up! Here are the cosmic sights you can see in the Brazos Valley sky this week
Bright stars, meteor showers, and a couple planets hanging out all visible in the night sky
BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The late October sky is putting on a show this week! Here are the highlights and when they will be visible as you crane your neck skyward:
- MONDAY, OCTOBER 19TH: Look for the bright star Antares low in the southeast, about 5° below the waxing crescent moon. It is the brightest start in the constellation Scorpius and the 15th brightest in the sky! The reddish color makes it known as the “heart of the scorpion” and is sometimes confused for Mars. (Mars, by the way, is much higher in the east-southeast and much brighter)
- TUESDAY, OCTOBER 20TH: The Orionid Meteor Shower peaks overnight. The moon’s light debris should not be much of an issue with it only being illuminated 23%. This is a medium shower that occasionally strengthens, but that is not something forecasted this year. Around 10 meteors per hour are expected for most observers in rural locations. The best view occurs once the radiant point, just up and to the left of Orion’s raised arm, has risen. Ideal time: 90 minutes to two hours before sunrise, as Earth rotates into the debris left by Comet Halley, which produces the meteors.
- THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22ND: Saturn, Jupiter, and the (nearly) first-quarter moon will form a right triangle in the southwest sky after sunset.
- FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23RD: A first-quarter moon will hang over the Brazos Valley
Clouds and morning fog may hinder viewing the Orionid Meteor Shower pre-sunrise Wednesday morning. While not the ideal time, observers may want to step out closer to midnight to try and catch a few zipping across the sky.
By the way, a spooky, scary BLUE MOON is expected to rise over the Brazos Valley on Halloween. It is the second full moon to occur in October this year (the first rising on October 1st). It is known as the Hunter Moon. Given the circumstances, you may need to be on the lookout for werewolves, too.
Copyright 2020 KBTX. All rights reserved.