Archive for October, 2010

October 2010

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Lunar Events

The New Moon for October occurs on Thursday, October 7th, which makes the weekend of October 9-10 as the best weekend for dark sky observing this month.

Since the Full Moon of November was the Harvest Moon, the Full Moon on October 22nd is the Hunter’s Moon.

At the end of October the Moon passes two prominent star clusters.

Moon and M45
On October 25th the waning, gibbous moon passes about 2° from the asterism Pleiades (M45).

Moon and M44
On October 30th, the Last Quarter Moon passes within 4°30′ of the Beehive Cluster (M44).

Mercury

Mercury begins this month in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until October 25th then it crosses into the constellation Libra (The Balance).

October 8th finds Mercury and Saturn in conjunction passing within 0°35′ from each other. Mercury and Saturn

Unfortunately Mercury returns into the glare of the morning sunrise early in the month, around Ocotober 3rd, and will be difficult to observe for almost the entire month.

Venus

Moving in retrograde, Venus is the Evening Star for October and begins this month in the constellation Libra (The Balance) a mere 6°30′ from the planet Mars. On October 19th, Venus moves into the constellation Virgo (The Maiden).

Venus, Mars and Moon On October 9th, Venus, Mars and the waxing, crescent moon are found together only about 7°45′ apart.
By October 21st, Venus sets at the same time as the Sunset, however it is far enough South that it might still be visible at sunset. Venus
Venus By October 30th, Venus rises with the sunrise again it is far enough south that it show be visible at this time.

Mars

Mars is observable all month during the evening hours of October.  Mars begins the month in the constellation Libra (The Balance) and on October 27th crosses into the constellation Scorpius (the Scorpion).

At the start of October Mars sets around 8:00 pm (PDT) and by the end of the month sets around 7:15 pm (PDT).

Venus and Mars
On October 4th, Venus and Mars pass within 6°35’ of each other

On October 9th, Venus, Mars and the waxing, crescent moon are found together only about 7°45′ apart. Venus, Mars and Moon

Jupiter

Jupiter is observable all month, all night.  Jupiter can be found in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) at the start of October and on October 14th crosses into the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer).

Uranus is in close proximity to Jupiter all month and finding Jupiter is a good first step to finding Uranus. At the beginning of October Jupiter and Uranus are less than 1°30’ from each other, as Jupiter, in retrograde,  moves away from and by the end of the month they are still only 3°15’ apart. 

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon
On October 19th, Jupiter, Uranus and the waxing, gibbous moon are all within 6° from each other.

Saturn

Saturn, located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until December 2012, emerges into the morning hours around October 18th. Saturn is observable the latter half of the month and by the end of October rises around 5:05 am (PDT).

Uranus

Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until May 2012.  Uranus is visible all night, all month.

Uranus is in close proximity to Jupiter all month and finding Jupiter is a good first step to finding Uranus. At the beginning of October Jupiter and Uranus are less than 1°30’ from each other, as Jupiter, in retrograde,  moves away from and by the end of the month they are still only 3°15’ apart. 

Jupiter, Uranus and Moon
On October 19th, Jupiter, Uranus and the waxing, gibbous moon are all within 6° from each other.

Neptune

Neptune is located in the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until January 2011. Neptune is observable until the very early morning hours. At the start of October Neptune sets around 3:30 am (PDT) and by the end of the month Neptune sets around 1:30 am (PDT).

Neptune and Moon
On October 17th, the waxing, gibbous Moon passes within 4°20’ of Neptune.

Pluto

Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023.  Pluto can be observed this month during the evening and late evening hours. Pluto sets around 11:30 pm (PDT) at the start of October and by the end of the month  sets around 9:32 pm (PDT).

PLuto
October 15th - Pluto’s relative position in the month of October.


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