Astronomy Info & Events: October

Moon Phases

October 2: Last Quarter Moon

October 8: New Moon

October 16: First Quarter Moon

October 24Full Moon (the Hunter’s Moon or the Full Corn Moon)

October 31: Last Quarter Moon

Special Events

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

ISS visible passes take place during the early evening hours early in the month, shifting to the early morning pre-dawn hours by the latter part of the month. Check out the website:  http://www.heavens-above.com or by using satellite tracking smart phone apps like Sputnik to find out the exact times when the ISS will be visible from your location. The ISS will be seen as a bright moving point of light, moving in an arc from the west to the east during its visible passes.

October 4-10: World Space Week! See http://www.edmontonrasc.com for more details.

October 8/9: Draconid meteor show (10 meteors per hour)

October 12-21: Jasper Dark Sky Festival (Jasper, AB) Check out https://jasperdarksky.travel/ for all the details.

October 13: Fall Astronomy Day

October 15: Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre meeting. 7:30pm-9:30pm in the new Zeidler Dome at the TELUS World of Science. Free to attend.

October 21/22:  Orionid meteor shower peaks over the night of October 21 through the morning hours of October 22.

October 23: Uranus at opposition

October 25: 10th Anniversary of the Mars Phoenix Lander

Visible Planets

Mercury is not visible this month from our latitude but is well placed in the early evening western sky of more southerly latitudes.  

Venus is not visible for most of the month in our night sky as it will be at inferior conjunction on October 26. By the end of the month however Venus begins to slowly move out of the glow of the rising Sun and can be seen making its way into our southeastern morning sky.

Mars is found in the southern sky at sunset and is located in the constellation of Capricornus, the sea goat. Mars sets in the southwest later in the night. The waxing gibbous Moon can be seen near Mars on the nights of October 17 and 18.

Jupiter sinks lower in the southwestern sky after sunset until it finally disappears in the glow of the setting Sun by the middle of the month. The waxing crescent Moon can be seen just above Jupiter on the night of October 11.

Saturn is found low in the south-southwestern sky at sunset this month, setting about two hours later in the southwest. Saturn is located in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer, and can be seen below the waxing crescent Moon on the night of October 14.