October Moon at Ascending Node, and at Perigee

   Wednesday October 31st the 22-day old last quarter Moon will be crossing the ecliptic moving north. This is known as the ascending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path has with the ecliptic. (see animated graphic below)
   Also on that same day, Wednesday October 31st, the last quarter Moon reaches perigee, (closest distance from Earth). At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 29.025 Earth diameters, (230,032 miles 370,201 km), from the Earth.

On the day of perigee and ascending node the first quarter Moon rises at around midnight and is only a few degrees away from the open star cluster M-44, the Beehive Cluster.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Sun Enters Libra

310ct-view-from-earth   Wednesday October 31st the Sun in its apparent eastward motion along the ecliptic, moves out of the constellation Virgo the Harvest Maiden and into the constellation of Libra the Scales. This is the true or actual position of the Sun as opposed to the pseudoscience of astrology which usually has the astrological Sun one constellation ahead or east from the Astronomical Sun’s position.

   Read a little more about how astrology has the Sun incorrectly placed in a previous blog, and in another blog discussing the effects of precession.
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Moon-Jupiter Conjunction

   Monday, October 29th during the early evening shortly after sunset local time the innermost planet Mercury will be about 3-4o from the outer planet Jupiter. BOth will be low over the western horizon bu should make for an interesting view with binoculars.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Taurus Takes it on the Nose!

    Friday evening October 26th the 18-day old waning gibbous Moon will be 5-6o from the reddish star Aldebaran. This star, at the point of the v-shaped open star cluster the Hyades, represents an angry eye of Taurus the Bull.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Venus at Inferior Conjunction

   Friday October 26th the inner planet Venus reaches its orbital position known as inferior conjunction.
   This is one of four points along an inner planet orbit. At inferior conjunction Venus is between the Earth and the Sun – sort of like our new Moon phase – but not necessarily directly in line. If that were so, inferior conjunction at the same time as Venus in direct line with the Earth and Sun (a node crossing at inferior conjunction) it would be a somewhat rare transit of the Sun by Venus. These happen as a pair of transits about one time each century with the last pair of Venus transits in June 2004 and June 2012. Here are some pictures of the June 2012 Venus Transit. Here is a link to the Vimeo web site to watch a video of the 2012 Venus Transit.
   By the way the next pair of Venus Transits are December 2117, and December 2125.


    At this inferior conjunction Venus is 6.36o south of the ecliptic.

   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Uranus at 2018 Opposition

view-from-uranus   Wednesday October 24th the outer planet Uranus reaches a position in its orbit around the Sun when it is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. This coincidentally is known as opposition, and it is an orbital position which only the planets further from the Sun than the Earth may reach.

   On Wednesday evening shortly after sunset local Uranus will be just above the eastern horizon a few degrees west from the full Moon. This graphic includes the ecliptic to show how the planets orbit the Sun within a few degrees from the ecliptic.
   
   
   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Sun Not in Scorpius

  According to the pseudoscience of astrology the Sun enters the constellation of Scorpio the Scorpion on Tuesday October 23nd. When in fact the actual position of the Sun is still within the boundaries of the constellation of Virgo the Harvest Maiden.

   Read a little more about how astrology has the Sun incorrectly placed in a previous blog, and in another blog discussing the effects of precession.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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International Observe the Moon Night

   Saturday October 20th is International Observe the Moon Night. That evening the 12-day old waxing gibbous Moon rises around 5 pm local time and will be over the southeast horizon during the evening hours. Joining the Moon are several planets – all located to the west, right, from the Moon. Early, shortly after sunset the inner planet Mercury will be just above the western horizon. Moving east from Mercury is Jupiter, then Saturn, then Mars. The planet Neptune is only a few degrees above the Moon but because of the Moon’s reflected light Neptune will not be visible.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Moon Passes Mars

   Over the next 2 evenings, Wednesday October 17th and Thursday the 18th the waxing gibbous Moon will be passing the planet Mars coming within about 2-3o from Mars.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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October Moon at Apogee and at Descending Node

   Wednesday October 17th the 9-day old waxing gibbous Moon will be crossing the ecliptic moving south. This is known as the descending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path (dark green line) has with the ecliptic.
   Also on the same day the waxing gibbous Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), on Wednesday October 17th. At that time the Moon will more or less be at a distance of 31.69 Earth diameters, (251,175 miles (404,227 km), from the Earth.
   

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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