Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Tonight's Sky for October 7: Saturn Sets 2 Hours After the Sun

Anyone wanting to get a look at Saturn had better hurry up as the ringed planet and, at least for now, the only naked eye planet visible in the evening, is now setting just two hours after the Sun. To see Saturn, look low in the Southwest sky after the sky starts to dim. In the general vicinity, there will be a pair of 'stars' around 1st magnitude. The red one is Antares, alpha Scorpius, and the other is Saturn.

As an interesting aside, this presents a great opportunity to observe how one can tell a star and planet apart with just the naked eye since these bodies are close to each other and close in magnitude. What's the difference? A star will twinkle because it shines from its own light and a planet will not thanks to the fact that it 'shines' from reflected light.

Don't believe this? Well, go out this evening and take a look! 

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