2017-10-1 : What’s Up in the Sky in October 2017?

Title: What’s Up For October? Planet Pairs, Stellar Superstars, Observe The Moon Night!!

What’s Up for October? International Observe the Moon Night, planet and moon pair-ups, and a meteor shower!

You can’t miss bright Venus in the predawn sky over Mount Baker. Look for fainter Mars below Venus on the 1st, really close on the 5th, and above Venus after that.

Mid-month, the moon is visible near Regulus, the white starry heart of the constellation Leo.

In the October 8-11 predawn sky watch the moon glide near the Pleiades star cluster and pass near the red stars Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus and Betelgeuse in Orion.

October 13, the Moon and M44 will make a close approach, passing within 2°53′ of each other. The Moon will be 23 days old.

“M44 aka the Beehive Cluster, is an open cluster in the constellation Cancer. It is one of the nearest open clusters to the Solar System, and it contains a larger star population than most other nearby clusters. Under dark skies the Beehive Cluster looks like a nebulous object to the naked eye; thus it has been known since ancient times. The classical astronomer Ptolemy called it “the nebulous mass in the breast of Cancer,” and it was among the first objects that Galileo studied with his telescope” see Wikipedia.

From Victoria (click to change), the Moon and M44 will be visible in the dawn sky, rising at 00:43 (PDT) – 6 hours and 48 minutes before the Sun – and reach an altitude of 57° above the south-eastern horizon before fading from view as dawn breaks at around 07:10.

After dusk in the early part of the month look for Saturn in the southwest sky over Metchosin. It will be above another red star: Antares in Scorpius. Later in the month, find the moon above Antares October 22 and 23.

Saturn will be above the moon on the 23rd and below it on the 24th.

Uranus reach opposition on October 19th. It’s visible all night long and its blue-green color is unmistakeable. It may be bright enough to see with your naked eye–and for sure in binoculars.

Don’t forget each night, all the planets walk across the sky on a 12 hour night walk following the path of the Sun and Moon – from East to West along the ecliptic.

In Oak Bay we call this path the Salish “Walk of the Planets”. Milky Way Stars and other Galaxies move differently, rotating each night around the North Star.

The Orionids peak on October 20 — a dark, moonless night. Look near Orion’s club in the hours before dawn and you may see up to 10 to 15 meteors per hour.

Use binoculars to look for bright asteroid 7 Iris in the constellation Aries. Newbies to astronomy should be able to spot this magnitude 6.9 asteroid.
Look later in the month and sketch its positions a day or two apart–to see it move.

Finally, celebrate International Observe the Moon Night on October 28 with our RASC (Royal Astronomy Club). The first quarter moon that night will display some great features!

You can find out about all of NASA’s missions at: www.nasa.gov
Great website : In-The-Sky.org customized to Oak Bay

Dark Skies to all friends of Cattle Point Star Park.

Summary is from the transcript of “What’s Up in October  2017” by NASA announcer and astronomer Jane Houston Jones with specific permission for localization to Cattle Point DARK SKY Urban Star Park and the Oak Bay News. You can subscribe to her weekly BLOG at : http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/category/10things

This article is from Oak Bay News in October 2017.

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