Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hallowe'en Treats

Hallowe'en night will be a great night to check out the sky. It's dark early, although with Daylight Savings Time running longer this year, we still have that extra hour of evening daylight to contend with. Many folks will be out trick-or-treating, which either means you'll be outside walking around with your kids, or having a stream of visitors to your door. Either way, it's a great time to see what celestial treats the sky has in store.

On Hallowe'en night, the sun sets about 6:06PM Central Daylight Time for southern Manitoba. It will start to get dark over the next hour, but try and get to a spot where you have a clear view to the southwest. Brilliant Venus will be visible soon after sunset low in the southwest, with a thin crescent moon below it. Any trees or houses will block your view, though - you really need to get an unobstructed horizon to see this!

Higher and farther to the south is Jupiter - not quite as bright as Venus, but still outshining the rest of the stars. Make note of how far apart Jupiter and Venus are - by the time the Moon rolls through this part of the sky again next month, they'll be almost on top of each other.

If you've got a telescope, bring it out and show the trick-or-treaters what's up in the sky!

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