Tomorrow before dawn – October 28, 2016 – watch for the close pairing of the waning crescent moon with the king planet Jupiter in the eastern sky before sunup. If you’ve been watching this part of the sky, you know the moon has appeared as a slimmer crescent each morning, closer to the sunrise. The scene on the morning of October 28 will be particular beautiful.
And, what’s more, it’s wherever you may reside worldwide.
Which one is Jupiter? No problem. Jupiter will be the brightest starlike point of light in the morning sky.
Just be sure to wake up early tomorrow – on October 28 – to view the moon and Jupiter in the east, the sunrise direction. These two worlds in space are bright, among the brightest objects we see in Earth’s sky. But they can’t compete with the sun, and, as dawn breaks and the sky becomes washed with light, they’ll disappear from view.
From temperate and far-northern latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, you’ll see the bright yellow-orange star Arcturus to the north (left) of the moon and Jupiter. Arcturus, a northerly star, cannot be seen from the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year.
From northerly latitudes, Arcturus can be seen in the western sky at dusk or nightfall, way to the north (right) of Venus, the brightest of all the planets. In late October 2016, at mid-northern latitudes, Venus and Arcturus will set in the west roughly 2 hours after the sun, and then Jupiter and Arcturus rise in the east roughly 2 hours before the sun.
At latitudes appreciably north of mid-northern latitudes, Arcturus sets after Venus sets in the evening sky and then Arcturus rises before Jupiter in the morning sky.
At latitudes appreciably south of mid-northern latitudes, Venus sets after Arcturus sets in the evening and then Jupiter rises before Arcturus in the morning.
Bottom line: On the morning of October 28, 2016, a beautiful pairing of bright objects awaits you in the east before dawn. That’s the case no matter where you live on Earth.
Click here to find out the setting and rising times of the sun, moon, planets and Arcturus in your sky.
Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004. He's a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.