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Home / Explore / Astronomy Info & Events: October

Astronomy Info & Events: October

Moon Phases

October 5 First Quarter Moon

October 13 Full Moon (The Hunter’s Moon)

October 21 Last Quarter Moon

October 27 New Moon

Special Events

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

During the month of October there will be several favourable passes of the ISS from October 1 to October 8, with the ISS visible in our early evening sky. On October 25, ISS visible passes move into our early morning sky before sunrise. Check the website http://www.heavens-above.com for exact viewing times for your location.

50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing

We continue to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing, Apollo 11, this month. The Moon will be well placed for early evening viewing from October 1 to October 13. Join us at the RASC Observatory at TWOSE to view the Moon during weekends in early October. Please check the TELUS World of Science – Edmonton’s website for all details on events for this special celebration and for operating times of the RASC Observatory.

October 4 Sputnik launched into space in 1957 (62 years ago)

October 4-8 World Space Week!

October 5 Marc Garneau, Canada’s first astronaut, launched into space 35 years ago.

October 5 International Observe the Moon Night

October 8 Dracon d meteor shower peaks

October 13 Smallest Full Moon of 2019

October 14 Thanksgiving Day

October 18-27 Jasper Dark Sky Festival (See https://jasperdarksky.travel/ for more details of the event.)

TWOSE staff will be at the event on Friday, Oct. 25 & Saturday, Oct. 26.

October 21 Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Edmonton Centre) Meeting

7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. in the Zeidler Dome at the TELUS World of Science-Edmonton. Free event, all invited!

October 22 Orionid meteor shower peaks in the early morning hours before sunrise.

October 28 Uranus at opposition

October 31 Happy Hallowe’en!

The Visible Planets

Mercury becomes visible with difficulty low in the southwestern sky at sunset after October 19. It reaches its greatest elongation east, of 25 degrees, from the Sun on October 20.

Venus begins to become visible low in the southwestern sky after sunset around October 19 from our northerly latitude. From more southerly latitudes, Venus will appear much higher in the sky after sunset due to the higher angle of the ecliptic from those lower latitudes. Look for Venus below and to the right of the waxing crescent Moon on October 29. Mercury will be located below Venus on that same night but will be difficult to see.

Mars begins to emerge from the Sun’s glare, low in the eastern sky, before sunrise this month. Mars is located in the constellation of Virgo, the maiden, and can be seen just below the fairly bright star Porrima. The very slim waning crescent Moon can be seen to the left and above Mars on the morning of October 26.

Jupiter is the brilliant object located in the constellation of Serpens Cauda (part of Ophiuchus), the tail of the serpent, and is seen as the bright object low in the southwestern sky after sunset. During the evening of October 3, look for the slim waxing crescent Moon slightly above and to the left of this bright planet. After sunset on October 30 and 31, the waxing crescent Moon again joins Jupiter in the southwestern sky after sunset.

Saturn remains low along the southern horizon at sunset, setting in the southwest about two hours later. Saturn is located in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer, and is seen just above the handle of the asterism of the “teapot”. The first-quarter Moon can be seen very near Saturn on the evening of October 5. Saturn continues to be one of the highlights of evening observing at the RASC Observatory into the early fall period.