Beautiful evening provides great conditions to look in to space

Once the sun sets temperatures should quickly begin to fall with dry air in place.  Temperatures will be in the 60°s by 11pm and down in to the 50°s by Tuesday morning.

It will be a perfect evening to go outside, look up in to the sky and see several things in space.  As the sun sets, look to the southeast sky about a quarter of the way up above the horizon.  You’ll find a bright object.  It isn’t a star but a planet.  Jupiter to be specific.

An interesting fact about Jupiter this evening.  The planet is approximately 417.8-million miles from Earth.

If you look up from Jupiter you will see another bright dot.  That is a star called Arcturus.  Arcturus is a red giant star located approximately 217.5-trillion miles from Earth.  Astronomers say that the start is roughly 1.5 times the mass of the Sun.

Turn to your right, looking west, and you will see another bright object in the western sky just above the horizon.  That is the planet Venus.  Currently, Venus is approximately 115-million miles away from Earth.

The nice thing about the three objects mentioned above is that you should be able to see it from any location in central Indiana, regardless of light pollution.

SPACE STATION FLY OVER

There is an opportunity to see the International Space Station fly over central Indiana tonight.  Assuming there will be mainly clear skies, you can see it without the use of binoculars or a telescope.  All you need is your eyes.

The space station will be visible for 2-minutes starting at 11:10pm in central Indiana.  To find it, the ISS will become visible in the northwest sky.  It will move steadily across the sky eventually exiting the east/northeastern sky at 11:12pm.

The one thing about the space station you can count on – it won’t be early and it won’t be late.  It is always on time.

All of these things are great for families to do.  Grab the kids and head out and look up!

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