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The sky is not a painting, it's a movie. Stars pulse, flare, some explode as supernova, asteroids whiz by the earth, new comets appear in the sky, Aurora sets the northern skies ablaze and meteors streak through Earth's atmosphere.
The Full Moon for October
The Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon. In October this full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Courtesy Farmers Almanac.
October Visible Lunar Highlights
All times are EST
The Planets Visibility for October
Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter in the morning sky
Morning Sky E
Mercury and the Moon on the morning of October 11th are low in the early morning eastern sky appearing close at an Angular separation: 01°17'16" apart. Midmonth Mercury is at -0.4 magnitude and diameter 00°00'.07" with a phase of 50.65 and rises at around 5:46 a.m. in the morning sky. Mercury is in Virgo. Highest in the sky around before sunrise.
Morning Sky E
Midmonth Venus rises at around 3:30 a.m. in the morning sky. Venus is at -4.4 magnitude and diameter 00°00'.27" with a phase of 44.35, it is seen through a telescope as below. Venus is located in the constellation Leo the Lion. On the 25/26th of October Jupiter and Venus are in conjunction and appear at Angular separation: 01°07'11" from on another. Highest in the sky around before sunrise.
Morning Sky E
Midmonth Mars will be in the morning sky at 1.8 magnitude with a diameter 00°00'.04"in the constellation Leo the Lion rising at 4:23 a.m.. On the 17/18th of October look for Jupiter and Mars in conjunction only an Angular separation: 00°25'56" from each other. Highest in the sky around before sunrise.
To find Mars look for a reddish object low in the west northwest sky. To see which part of the surface is visible at any time, check out the Mars Profiler at Sky & Telescope Magazine's web page.
Morning sky E
Midmonth Jupiter will be in the morning sky at -1.8 magnitude with a diameter 00°00'.31" in the constellation Leo the Lion rising at 4:02 a.m.. On the 17/18th of October look for Jupiter and Mars in conjunction only an Angular separation: 00°25'56" from each other. On the 25/26th of October Jupiter and Venus are in conjunction and appear at Angular separation: 01°07'11" from on another. Highest in the sky around before sunrise.
Evening sky SW
October 16th Saturn lies about about 5 degrees below a thin crescent Moon. Saturn midmonth is at +0.6 magnitude and diameter 00°00'.15" setting around 8:29 p.m. It will be in the southwest sky after sunset midmonth. Highest in the sky around right after sunset. Saturn is in the constellation Libra the Scales. Through a small telescope Saturn will reveal the famous rings of the planet. Rings currently are 24.6° tilt. See: Saturn's moons locations
Evening - Morning Sky E-SW
Uranus reaches opposition, being closer, larger, and brightest this year , October 11th. Uranus midmonth at 5.7 magnitude and diameter 00°00'.04" rising around 6:14 p.m.. Highest in the sky around 12:30 a.m.. Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces. Best observed around 2:00 - 4:00 a.m. when higher in the sky. A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a green-gray disk. See: Sky and Telescope location PDF. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope
Evening - Morning Sky E-SW
Neptune midmonth is at 7.8 magnitude and diameter 00°00'.02" visible after sunset in the southeast and sets at 3:41 a.m.. Highest in the sky around 10 p.m.. A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a blue green disk. Neptune is located in the constellation Aquarius. Best observed around 2:00 a.m. when highest in the sky. See: Sky and Telescope location PDF. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope
4Vesta and Ceres
4Vesta at 6.3 magnitude is in the constellation Cetus the Whale. 4Vesta is best observed around 2-4 a.m. when highest in the sky. Ceres at 8.4 magnitude. It is in the constellation Microscopium the Microscope, it is best observed around 9:30 p.m. when highest in the sky low in the south.
Pluto at midmonth is located amid the stars of the Milky Way in the constellation Sagittarius. Pluto is at magnitude +14.2 and diameter 00°00'.00". Pluto is highest in sky around midnight. A large telescope is needed to see this distant object.
Comets Brighter than 8 Magnitude
For more on current Comets and locations see: Seiichi Yoshida web site here.
The Draconids peak on October 8-9; most year.
The Orionid meteor shower peaks on October 21. The waxing gibbous Moon sets around 1:30 am, which should provide a 4-hour window of dark skies. Expect rates of 15 meteors or so per hour.
Some local links below to Heavens Above satellite information website.
Also see: Spaceflight NASA
Real time solar wind dials are linked live to the ACE Spacecraft.
If the dial on the left (Magnetic Field) has dipped below zero, the speed is high and the dial dynamic pressure is in the yellow/red, be alert for Aurora. Anytime the gauges are in the Red and the dial on the left, the Magnetic Field BZ has dipped to the yellow-red... Aurora will be occurring in our area. See link to solar wind gauge here: REAL TIME SOLAR WIND
See explanation of solar wind dials below by clicking on photo of dials