14 October 2012

Red Stars at Night

Evening Sky this week
This week, the dusk sky features alignments of planets, stars and the Moon that will accentuate the western horizon with two red ‘stars’ glowing in the colorful haze of twilight. The two ‘stars’ are a planet and a star, but both are quite distinctive because of their orange-red tinge. Mars is passing near the red supergiant star Antares, and the Moon will be sweeping past the two on the evenings of the 17th and 18th.

If you have an extra-clear western horizon, you can try to locate the faint Mercury and the very young Moon shortly after sunset on Tuesday 16th. This will require the use of binoculars to spot them, but if conditions permit, it will be quite impressive to see.

Image courtesy of Sky & Telescope Magazine.

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