There was no full moon on Halloween this year, but there's still something in the night sky for stargazers to get excited about.
Between the late hours of Oct. 31 and the early morning hours of Nov. 1, depending on your time zone, the moon will reach its first quarter phase, according to the stargazing website In-The-Sky.org. But that's not all. Saturn is also due to reach conjunction with the moon about half a day later. That makes for some excellent skywatching between the evening of Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
From New York City, the first quarter moon will first become visible on Oct. 31 at 6:09 pm EDT (2209 GMT) as the sky darkens and will remain visible through 10:42 pm EDT (0242 GMT), when it sets beyond the horizon. Though it'll be just slightly before the first quarter phase, which occurs on Nov. 1 at 2:37 am EDT (0637 GMT), the moon will still appear very close to half full in the evening. At the exact moment the moon reaches the first quarter phase, it will be located 229,907 miles (370,000 km) from Earth.
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Around the same time, Saturn and the moon will reach conjunction, when both celestial bodies share the same right ascension, according to In-The-Sky.org (opens in new tab). They'll also reach an appulse, or close approach. The ascension technically occurs on Nov. 1 at 5:08 p.m. EDT (2108 GMT), but the moon and Saturn will be obscured by daylight at that time. The best time to see the conjunction occurs shortly after, between 6:09 p.m. EDT (2249 GMT) and 11:49 p.m. EDT (0349 GMT).
During this conjunction and appulse, the moon and Saturn will come within four degrees of one another from the vantage point of Earth — that's close enough to see within the field of view of most binoculars. At this point, the moon will still appear close to half full.
Looking for a telescope to see Saturn, the moon, or anything else in the night sky? We recommend the Celestron Astro Fi 102 (opens in new tab)as the top pick in our best beginner's telescope guide.
To accentuate your viewing of our closest neighbor, check out our ultimate guide to observing the moon, which points out landmarks like lunar seas, towering mountains, and deep craters. You can also find the spots where humans have landed with our Apollo landing sites observing guide.
Of course, in order to see these details, you'll need some tools to strengthen your vision — take a look at our guides for the best binoculars deals and the best telescope deals now for some shopping inspiration.
And if you're looking to capture the memory of your skywatching session, our how to photograph the moon guide provides tips for taking the perfect lunar photos. To gear up for your photo session, we've written guides to the best cameras for astrophotography and best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor's Note: If you snap a photo of the conjunction of the moon and Saturn and would like to share it with Space.com's readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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