Crescent Moon and Jupiter Meet-Up Halloween Night

Photo Credit
Amy O'Brien

Our Friend, the Crescent Moon

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This week’s crescent Moon is extra special. On Halloween night, October 31, see the brightest “star” next to the Moon? That’s Jupiter! Then on November 1 and November 2, the Moon travels to Saturn for another planet meet-up. Here are Bob’s viewing tips.

The crescent is the shape most associated with a celestial object. Sure, the full Moon is circular, but when we think of a circle we have so many possible links from eye-pupils to wedding rings that the shape simply doesn’t possess an off-Earth connotation. The crescent is different. Bays and beaches and bananas assume that shape, but our first and deepest connection is with the Moon.

The Moon is a crescent whenever it is closer to the Sun than we are. This means it is always located in the sunward direction, and thus isn’t visible at midnight. It’s seen within a few hours of twilight.

See your local Moonrise/set time.

Halloween: The Moon Passes Jupiter

On October 31, Halloween, that dazzling “star” right next to the crescent Moon is Jupiter! Just look up as darkness falls and watch the Moon pass by the King Planet.

Related Article: How Rare is a Full Moon on Halloween?

All Saints Day: The Moon Meets Saturn

On November 1 and 2, a larger crescent Moon will have passed Jupiter to go visit beautiful Saturn!  Now the nearest “star” to the Moon is the ringed planet!  Jupiter sits below the Moon and Saturn, fairly close to the horizon.

So the Moon now serves as a kind of usher or guide to those two largest planets, which are about to vanish until well into next year. If you own any kind of telescope this is your last chance to enjoy Jupiter’s four moons and dark equatorial belts, and for you to drool at Saturn’s amazing rings.

Again, the time to look is nightfall. What could be easier?  If you don’t own a telescope dig out those old binoculars that are gathering dust somewhere. They’re not powerful enough to display Saturn’s rings,  but if steadily braced will reveal Jupiter’s moons

And wait till you see the crescent Moon through them. It’s a joy to behold.

Read more about our captivating crescent Moon.

About The Author

Bob Berman

Bob Berman, astronomer editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob is the world’s most widely read astronomer and has written ten popular books. Read More from Bob Berman

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