Don’t put away the lawn furniture just yet — those reclining loungers are great for skywatching! But northern nights have gotten quite chilly, so before you head out make sure you’re dressed warmly and maybe grab a blanket.
In the nights after full Moon (October 4th), Jupiter, the King of Planets, has the evening sky pretty much all to itself. It's easy to spot above the southern horizon as night falls.
But three other planets — Venus, Mercury, and Saturn — are putting on quite a show in the east before dawn. They'll dance with each other throughout the first two weeks of October, with a thin crescent Moon joining the finale on the morning of the 16th.
To get a personally guided tour of these sights and others, like this year's better-than-average showing of the orionid meteor shower, download this month's audio sky tour to your iPod or other handheld device — or just use your computer to play it. It's hosted by Kelly Beatty, S&T's senior contributing editor.