Jane Houston Jones: What's Up for October. Juno's Earth flyby, International Observe the Moon Night
and how to view the moon's far side.
Hello and welcome. I'm Jane Houston Jones from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Jones: On October 9 at 3:21 p.m. Eastern time, or 19:21 Universal Coordinated Time, NASA's Juno spacecraft performs a close flyby of Earth. At closest approach, Juno will come to within 347 miles or 559 kilometers of our planet's surface.
This flyby will provide a gravity assist to the spacecraft, allowing it to pick up the extra speed it needs in order to get to its destination: the giant planet Jupiter.
Jones: October 12 is International Observe the Moon Night, and the moon will be visible before sunset.
It's a night dedicated to encouraging people to look up and take notice of our nearest neighbor.
As the moon sets in the west at midnight, Jupiter is just rising in the East.
On the 25th you'll find Jupiter above the moon. Most people think we see the same 50 per cent of the lunar surface every month.
But a gentle wobble of the moon in the Earth's sky lets us peek at an additional 9 per cent of the moon's surface.
This wobble, or libration, lets us occasionally see a bit around the east and west limb of the moon and over the north and south poles.
This phenomenon becomes apparent when viewing Mare Frigoris in the north and Mare Crisium on the moon's east limb over time
Catch a glimpse of the far side's Mare Orientale on the western limb near the first of the month. It's the youngest impact crater on the moon.
Mare Marginis, Smithii and Australe are all visible after dark on the 11th through the 13th.Try spotting them through any size telescope during International Observe the Moon Night.
You can read about all of NASA's missions, including lunar missions and Juno, at w w w dot NASA dot gov.
That's all for this month. I'm Jane Houston Jones.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Page Editor: Tony Greicius