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Home / Explore / Astronomy Info & Events: October

Astronomy Info & Events: October

The Visible Planets

Mercury is seen low along the eastern horizon before sunrise early in the month. However, by October 7, Mercury becomes lost in the glare of the rising Sun. Mercury will be at its point of superior conjunction on October 20. Mercury is not seen for the rest of the month.

Venus rises three hours before sunrise along the eastern horizon and shines brilliantly in the eastern sky until sunrise. On October 10, look for Venus just below the slim waning crescent Moon. From October 5 to 12, you can see Venus near the bright star Regulus of the constellation of Leo, the lion. Venus will be wandering through the constellation of Leo all month long. Venus is at its greatest elongation west of 46° on October 23.

Mars is not visible this month.

Jupiter rises along the east-northeast horizon at sunset this month. It is found amongst the stars of the constellation of Aries, the ram, and will be seen just below the bright star Hamal of that constellation. On the nights of October 1 and October 28, look for Jupiter near the Moon. Jupiter will be at its point of opposition early next month, so telescopic views of Jupiter will be nothing less than spectacular!

Saturn is seen low along the southeastern horizon at sunset and is found in the constellation of Aquarius, the water bearer. As the night goes on Saturn moves higher into the southern sky, appearing highest in the south around 11:00 p.m. MDT early in the month and by 9:00 p.m. MDT by the end of the month. On the nights of October 23 and 24, look for Saturn above the waxing gibbous Moon.

Moon Phases

October 6 Last Quarter Moon

October 14 New Moon

October 21 First Quarter Moon

October 28 Full Moon (The Hunter’s Moon)

Special Events

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

During the month of October there will be early morning, pre-sunrise passes of the ISS starting around October 17. Check the website http://www.heavens-above.com for exact viewing times for your location.

October 4 Sputnik launched into space in 1957 (66 years ago)

October 4-10 World Space Week! This year we celebrate “Women in Space”

October 5 Marc Garneau, Canada’s first astronaut, launched into space 39 years ago.

October 14 Partial solar eclipse visible from Alberta

(Annular Solar Eclipse from parts of USA, Central America, and South America).

Partial Solar Eclipse Times for Edmonton:

Eclipse Begins: 9:18 a.m. MDT

Mid-Eclipse: 10:28 a.m. MDT (54% of Sun Obscured)

Eclipse Ends: 11:44 a.m. MDT

Safe solar filters are required to view this partial solar eclipse.

Safe eclipse viewing glasses will be sold in the Galaxy Gift Shop at

TELUS World of Science – Edmonton.

The RASC Observatory will be open, weather permitting, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 pm to view the eclipse safely though proper solar telescopes.

October 14-22 Jasper Dark Sky Festival

See https://jasperdarksky.travel/ for more details of the event.

TELUS World of Science - Edmonton staff will be at the event on Friday, Oct. 20 & Saturday, Oct. 21.

October 16 International Observe the Moon night

October 16 Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre meeting

Live in the Zeidler Dome at TELUS World of Science - Edmonton and presented virtually through Zoom.

7:30 p.m. – 9:30 pm

Free for anyone to attend.

See http://www.edmontonrasc.com for more details.

October 20 Mercury is at superior conjunction

October 21 Orionid meteor shower peaks in the evening hours.

October 23 Venus is at greatest elongation west (46°)

October 28 Very slight partial solar eclipse visible from Asia, Africa, and Europe.

Not visible from North America.