October 2017 – Where to look for the planets

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Use the finder charts on this page to guide you to where to look for the planets in October 2017.

A few pointers:

  • All planets visible to the unaided eye look like stars. Planets visible to the unaided eye include Mercury, Venus, Earth (look down!), Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • In a telescope, Uranus and Neptune are visible as tiny discs. The dwarf planet Pluto remains looking like a star in even the largest amateur telescope.
  • Stars are shown to magnitude 5 on the charts unless otherwise noted. This is a compromise between what you would see from the light polluted skies of a city (where you will see significantly less stars) and dark country skies (where you will see significantly more stars).
  • Unless otherwise noted, the finder charts are prepared for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The charts will be useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia.
  • Chart times are given in AEST or Australian Eastern Standard Time. Remember to change for ‘Summer Time’ if this is in force in your location.

3 October 2017 – Moon and Neptune finder chart – Early evening sky

Moon and Neptune finder chart. Large binoculars or a small telescope will be required to locate Neptune. Chart prepared for 7 pm AEST / 8 pm AEDT on Tuesday 3 October 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

24 October 2017 – Moon, Saturn and Antares finder chart – Early evening sky

Moon, Saturn and Antares (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Scorpius ‘The Scorpion’) finder chart. Chart prepared for 7.30 pm AEST / 8.30 pm AEDT on Tuesday 24 October 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

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