There’s a chance of clear skies on Thursday evening for the NYC metro area! (and perhaps your area, too!) Check the Canadian model for updates.
Can you make it an ‘all nighter’ on Thursday night/Friday morning?
Here we go!
How early in evening twilight can you see Jupiter?
How red is the Great Red Spot? Check within a few hours of its crossing the center of Jupiter’s disk at 11:15pm.
Don’t need sleep? Europa and Io cross in front of Jupiter starting at 1:18 and 2:38am, respectively, and their shadows dot the planet starting 3:31 and 3:42. Can you see both shadows at once from 3:42 to 3:46?
Jupiter and Io and Europa at 1am Thursday night/Friday morning.
Saturn rises by 9:30pm with its brightest moons clustered closely around the planet and its wonderful rings. How many can you see?
Saturn Thursday Evening. Another moon, Iapetus is not shown, but is just north of Saturn.
There’s even a comet to be seen in good binoculars: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/…/comet-johnson-makes-a-spl…/
The ISS passes over us in twilight, low in the north at 9:36pm. China’s latest space station passes Leo at 9:53. (And on Wednesday evening, the Tiangong-2 passes through Gemini, Ursa Major and Hercules starting at 9:15pm, if you get a break in the clouds.) The ISS passes low in the north again at 11:15 and 12:45am.
Did I mention the Moon? See how much detail you can see during twilight and afterwards. It’s a wonderful half-lit moon with lots of detail to be found.
Get a good star chart at heavens-above.com or http://www.skymaps.com/ for the ‘fixed’ objects in our skies.
If you have a dark sky and a clear northern horizon, take a time exposure of the northern sky. Aurora have been active lately and you might catch something the eye can’t pick up!
If you make it to the end of night, watch Venus, as bright as it gets from our point of view, rise in the pre-dawn sky. With Venus, you win some and lose some depending on the amount of twilight – in the dark, about 4am, find faint Uranus a few degrees to Venus’ upper left. After the sky brightens, the decreased contrast will allow you to see Venus at half-phase.
Get out there and enjoy!