Lunar eclipse, comet shooting stars and many constellations: Amateur astronomers can discover a lot in the starry sky in October.
October sees a partial lunar eclipse, the full length of which can be observed from Central Europe. However, only six percent of the Moon’s surface is obscured by Earth’s shadow.
Because the full moon only penetrates approximately 13 percent of its apparent diameter into the Earth’s shadow. The cosmic shadow play begins on Saturday, October 28 at 9:35 PM DST and ends at 10:53 PM with the Moon emerging from the shadow zone.
There is a full moon at the end of October
Shortly before and after the penumbra phase, the Moon’s southern california shows a slight gray haze caused by Earth’s penumbra. The scene takes place against the background of the constellation Aries. The exact position of the full moon occurs at 10:24 PM on October 28.
The moon will be far from Earth on October 10, separated from us by 405,425 kilometers. The new moon will be reached on October 14 at 7:55 p.m. Since the Moon shortly thereafter crosses the apparent path of the Sun, called the ecliptic, from north to south, an annular solar eclipse occurs.
The annular eclipse region extends from western North America through Central America and northern South America, ending in the tropical Atlantic Ocean. The maximum annular phase duration of five minutes and 17 seconds was reached over Panama. This solar eclipse cannot be observed throughout Europe, even in its partial stages.
Discovering planets in the sky
Jupiter graces the evening sky in the constellation Aries. Hence, it is the brightest planet ever and can be seen throughout the night. Only after Venus rises in the morning sky will the giant planet be surpassed in brightness. On the night of the first to the second, the moon, which is still almost full, meets the giant planet as it passes north of it.
Saturn can also be seen in the constellation Aquarius in the first half of the night. Although the ringed planet is nowhere near as bright as Jupiter, it is still easy to see with the naked eye. To see Saturn’s ring, you need a telescope with at least 30x magnification.
Venus shines as a bright morning star above the eastern horizon. On the twenty-fourth day, it reaches its maximum western angular distance from the sun, and experts talk about its maximum elongation. There is a beautiful celestial sight on the 10th when the trine of Venus, the waning crescent, and Regulus in Leo can be seen low in the eastern sky around 5 a.m. Venus rises at the beginning of October around 3:30 a.m. and 20 minutes later at the end of the month.
Shooting stars in October
Nimble Mercury ends its morning visibility in the first days of October and then remains invisible. Mars remains hidden in October.
From the 6th to the 10th, the Draconic stars appear. It appears to emanate from the constellation Draco. They trace their origin to Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, which is why this meteor shower is also called the Giacobinids. The maximum is expected to be on October 9 this year.
Almost at its zenith, you can see the celestial star W, Queen Cassiopeia. On the other hand, Ursa Major moves low along the northern horizon and can be easily missed.
The large star-studded square of Pegasus occupies its place high in the south. Pegasus is the guiding star of autumn. This is why Pegasus Square is also called Autumn Square. According to classical myth, the winged horse Pegasus emerged from the body of the terrible Medusa after Perseus cut off her serpentine head with a single sword stroke.
Our neighboring Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy
The hero Perseus is also represented as a constellation in the autumn sky. The series of Andromeda stars adjoins the autumn box. In the constellation Andromeda, under good viewing conditions, you can see a faint, elongated spot of light. It is our Milky Way Galaxy, the famous Andromeda Galaxy. At a distance of about 2.5 million light-years, it is the farthest object that can still be seen with the naked eye.
Aries can be seen halfway up the eastern sky, a small constellation whose three bright stars form an obtuse triangle. Aries is easy to spot, although its stars are not particularly bright. The giant planet Jupiter is currently shining in Aries.
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