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Photo of the Week.The Moon reflects a sliver of bright sunlight just before total eclipse on October 14, 2014.

Astronomy news for the week starting Friday, October 31, 2014.

Daylight Savings time ends on Sunday, November 2. All times are now Standard.

The Moon grows from just past first quarter (which was nicely placed on Thursday, October 30) through waxing gibbous to full Moon on the evening of Thursday, November 6, just about the time of Moonrise in North America, giving us a near-perfect view. This full Moon suffers no eclipse, however, missing the Earth's shadow as it usually does. The full Moon will lie just north of the roundish head of Cetus, the Sea Monster or Whale, but will be so bright as to wash out the faint asterism. Instead look due east to see Aldebaran in Taurus. Sadly, there are no significant planetary passages, just one several degrees north of Neptune the night of Saturday the 1st and another that takes place during daylight just north of Uranus on Tuesday the 4th. Of far more significance, the Moon goes through perigee, where it is closest to Earth, on the evening of Sunday the 2nd. Halloween (Friday the 31st) marks a "cross quarter day" that falls between the first day of fall and that of winter, reminding northerners to get their warm coats out.

The week really belongs to the giant and the shrimp of the planetary system, to Jupiter and Mercury. Now rising just before midnight, Jupiter dominates the morning sky to the west of the Sickle of Leo and the star Regulus. The planet's four Galilean Moons (the largest and farthest out, Ganymede, as big as Mercury) are easily visible in a small telescope, even in steadily-held binoculars. Mercury makes a splash by passing greatest western elongation for this orbital round on Saturday the first, when it rises just at the break of dawn. With a clear horizon, in growing morning twilight you might (using binoculars) spot the star Spica nearby, Mercury the brighter of the two. In the evening, Mars hangs in there not setting until 8 PM to the west of the Little Milk Dipper of Sagittarius at the beginning of the week, within it by the end, the red planet almost 25 degrees south of the celestial equator. Just look for the brightest thing in the southwest in early evening. Note finally that the Taurid meteor shower is active after midnight the first half or so of November.

In mid-evening look for the Great Square of Pegasus (the Flying Horse, of course) as it crosses the sky high to the south, Andromeda streaming up and to the left from the northeast corner, the star that marks it, Alpheratz, shared by both constellations. The right hand side of the Square points downward to Fomalhaut, which sails across the autumn sky above the southern horizon, with Grus, the Crane, down and to the right. The Square's left hand side lies just east of the equinoctial colure, the great circle that connects the equinoxes and the celestial poles.

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