Space and Astronomy

Phases Of The Moon

New Moon

First Quarter

Full Moon

Last Quarter

Monday October 8
8:47 p.m.

Tuesday October 16
11:02 a.m.

Wednesday October 24
9:45 a.m.

Wednesday October 31
9:40 a.m.

The Planets and Special Events

The Orionid Meteor Shower peaks on Saturday October 20. Best viewing is in the early morning after the Moon sets at at 3:04 a.m. and the start of dawn. These meteors are caused by fragments from Comet Halley.

A Public Star Party with telescopes provided by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society and the Los Angeles Sidewalk Astronomers will take place on the front lawn of the Griffith Observatory from 2 p.m. until 9:45 pm on Saturday November 17..

Venus (Mag -4.3) is too close to the sun for good viewing at dusk. It will appear again in the morning sky in November.

Jupiter (Mag -1.8) appears low in the southwest after susnet.

Mars (Mag -1.0) is well placed for viewing high in the south at sunset.

Saturn (Mag +0.5) is in the south-southwest at sunset and sets at 11:20 p.m. on the Oct 1 and 9:30 p.m. on Oct 31.

Reprinted with permission, the information above is made available in the Griffith Observer , a monthly publication by the Griffith Observatory. For complete information on the Planets and other items related to Astronomy, please visit the Griffith Observatory Web Site.

Fun Facts

When you hear somebody talk about a celestial object being 30 (or 30 degrees) above the horizon, how in the world do you know how far up that is ? Well, hold your hand out at arms length with your thumb and fingers together, the palm of your hand facing you with the sky behind it. The distance from the edge of the little finger on the bottom of your palm to the edge of your thumb on the top is about 10 (10 degrees). Two palm widths is 20, three is 30 and so on.

The theory that our Sun is the center of the universe and our planets revolve around it was first documented by Nicolas Copernicus. The interesting thing is that Copernicus was a Catholic Priest and Philosopher, not an Astronomer. But he believed that God would have made the movements of the planets more simple than the previously documented theory (which was very complex). As we know today, Corpernicus was right !

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