October 2009

Lunar Events

The Full Moon for October occurs on October 3rd.  Being the Full Moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox, it is the Harvest Moon.

The New Moon for the month occurs on Saturday, October 17th, which make the weekend of October 17-18 as the best weekend for dark sky observation

Mercury

Mercury is visible in the morning during the first half of October and disappears into the glare of the sunrise around October 18thMercury begins this month in the constellation Leo (The Lion) until October 4th when it crosses into the constellation Virgo (The Maiden).

Mercury Elongation On October 5th, Mercury reaches its Greatest Western Elongation, which is the best morning view for its current orbit.  Mercury is 17°56’42” from the Sun at this day and rising over a hour before the Sun.
On October 8th, Mercury, Venus and Saturn are in triple conjunction being less than 5°50’ of each other. Mercury and Saturn are a mere 0°30′ from each other.
M2ercury, Venus and Saturn

Venus

Venus is the Morning Star this month. Venus starts October in the constellation Leo (The Lion) and on October 9th moves into the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) where it will spend the rest of the month.

M2ercury, Venus and Saturn On October 8th, Mercury, Venus and Saturn are in triple conjunction being less than 5°50’ of each other. Mercury and Saturn are a mere 0°30′ from each other.
On October 13th, Venus is a mere 0°30’ from Saturn.
Mercury, Venus and Saturn

Mars

Mars is visible from the early morning hours of October.  Mars rises around 12:45 am (PDT) at the beginning of the month and rises around midnight by the end of the month.  Mars begins the month in the constellation Gemini (The Twins) until October 12th when it moves into the constellation Cancer (The Crab) where it will spend the remainder of the month.

On October 11th, the waning, crescent Moon will pass less than 2° of Mars.

Mars and M44
On October 31st through November 2nd, Mars will pass through the
Beehive Cluster (M44).

Jupiter

Jupiter is observable in the morning hours of October, rising around 2:45 am (PDT) at the beginning of the month and rising around 12:50 am (PDT at the end of the month.  Jupiter is located in the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until January 2010.  Jupiter is in retrograde motion until October 12th.

On October 26th, the waxing, gibbous Moon passes with 2°45’ of Jupiter.
Jupiter, Neptune and Moon

Saturn

Saturn appears briefly in the morning hours of October.  At the beginning of the month Saturn rises about 5:55 am (PDT) and by the end of October, Saturn rises around 4:15 am (PDT).  Saturn is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until December 2012.

M2ercury, Venus and Saturn On October 8th, Mercury, Venus and Saturn are in triple conjunction being less than 5°50’ of each other. Mercury and Saturn are a mere 0°30′ from each other.
On October 13th, Venus is a mere 0°30’ from Saturn.
Mercury, Venus and Saturn

As October proceeds, Saturn continues to improve its position rising earlier and earlier and further away from the Sun.

Uranus

Uranus begins the month in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until October 13th when it passes into the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) where it will remain until January 2010.  Uranus is observable most of the night, setting around 5:45 am (PDT) at the start of October and setting around 3:40 am (PDT) at the end of the month.

Uranus and Moon
On October 2nd, the waxing, gibbous Moon passes within 5°30’ of Uranus.

Neptune

Neptune is located in the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until the year 2010.  Neptune is viewable until the very early morning hours of October, setting around 3:20 am (PDT) at the beginning of October at setting around 1:20 am (PDT) at the end of the month. 

Neptune and Jupiter Neptune can be found within 6° of the planet Jupiter for the entire month of October.

Neptune continues in retrograde motion until November 5th.

Pluto

Located in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023, Pluto is observable in the evening hours of October.  Pluto sets around 11:20 pm (PDT) at the start of October and sets around 9:20 pm (PDT) at its end.

On October 22nd, the waxing, crescent Moon passes about 4°20’ of Pluto.
Pluto and Moon

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