What’s Up in the October Sky

Evening sky, looking south around 21:30 EDT on Saturday, 03 October2020. Sky Safari star chart annotated (Annotable, Pixelmator & Graphic) by Peter Tagatac

October’s Evening Planets

Bright Mars will be in Pisces the Fish all night. Mercury will be up moving between Virgo the Maiden and Libra the Scales for about 1 hour after sunset close to the horizon in the first half of the month. Jupiter, Saturn, and dwarf Pluto will be in Sagittarius the Archer until midnight and setting earlier every night until 10 PM by the end of October. Neptune is in Aquarius the Water bearer and Uranus in Cetus the Sea monster all night.

October’s Evening Stars

Spot the Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra the Harp, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle. Spot Antares in Scorpius the Scorpion, and spot Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman until around 8 PM in the first week of the month. Bright Capella is in Auriga the Charioteer and Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull. Spot the stars of constellations Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Draco, Sagittarius, Pegasus, Hercules, Aquarius, Aries, Cetus, Capricornus and the two Dippers (the Big and Little Dippers).

 

Morning sky, looking south around 03:30 EDT on Sunday, 04 October2020. Sky Safari star chart annotated (Annotable, Pixelmator & Graphic) by Peter Tagatac

October’s Morning Planets

Bright Venus could be seen as of 4 AM. It will move between Leo the Lion and Virgo the Maiden during October. Red Mars will be up in Pisces the Fish until sunrise. Uranus will be in Uranus in Cetus the Sea Monster until the morning. Neptune is in Aquarius the Water bearer until 6 AM and setting earlier every morning.

October’s Morning Stars

The Winter Triangle of Sirius (the brightest star viewed from Earth) in Canis Major the Great Dog, Betelgeuse in Orion the Hunter, and Procyon in Canis Minor the Small Dog will be up as of 2M until sunrise. Spot Capella in Auriga the charioteer, Aldebaran in Taurus the Bull, Betelgeuse and Rigel in Orion the Hunter,  and the stars of Aries, Gemini, Orion, Pisces, Cepheus, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Cetus, Draco, Perseus, Leo, and the two Dippers (the Big and Little Dippers).

October Skylights

    • Oct   1     Full Moon at 5:05 PM
    • Oct   3    Moon at apogee (252,500 miles away)
    • Oct  6     Mars at its closest to Earth in 202 (38.57 million miles away)
    • Oct  9     Last Quarter Moon at 8:40 PM
    • Oct 13    Mars at opposition, its brightest in 2020
    • Oct 16    New Moon at  3:30 PM
    • Oct 16    Moon at perigee (221,800 miles away) closest Moon in 2020
    • Oct 21    Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks, Pre-dawn
    • Oct 22   Moon form a small triangle with Saturn and Jupiter – Dusk
    • Oct 23   First Quarter Moon at  9:20 AM
    • Oct 30   Moon at apogee (252,500 miles away) farthest Moon in 2020
    • Oct 31    Full Moon – Blue Moon at 10:50 AM
    • Oct 31    Uranus at opposition, its brightest in 2020

Times given in EDT.

 

Resources

Download Ken Graun’s October 2020 sky chart for reference and observing ideas.
Another equally helpful resource is Skymaps monthly evening sky charts available for different hemispheres. Download The Evening Sky Map for October .

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