October Moon at Ascending Node

   Around midnight local time Saturday night October 19th or very early Sunday October 20th the 21-day old waning gibbous Moon rises. As it is rising the Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving north. This is known as the ascending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path has with the ecliptic. The ecliptic is actually the Earth’s orbit and the Moon’s orbit is inclined about 6o from the ecliptic. So there are two node intersections, the ascending and descending nodes.

   On the day of the node crossing the waning gibbous Moon will be around the kneecaps of the Gemini Twins with the ‘Twin Stars’, Pollux and Castor about 12o east from the Moon.

   Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as many graphics show? From our perspective on the Earth the Moon appears to circle around the Earth. However, in reality, the Moon orbits the Sun together with the Earth*

*Click here to read my 2006 Scope on the Sky column “The Real Shape of the Moon’s Orbit”. (PDF)

   
   
   

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 in Conjunction with Uranus

   Wednesday October 16th the 18-day old waxing gibbous Moon will rise in the east near the two open star clusters in the constellation of Taurus the Bull. These are the Hyades, a v-shaped asterism making up the face of the Bull, and the Pleiades (aka the 7 Sisters) a small dipper-shaped group of stars on the shoulder of 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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October Apogee Moon

   Our Moon reaches apogee, (greatest distance from Earth), for this orbit, on Thursday October 10th. At that time the Moon will be at a distance of 31.82 Earth diameters 252,216 miles (405,902 km) from the Earth.

   On the day of the apogee Moon the 12-day old waxing gibbous Moon rises about 1-2 hours before sunset local time and is above the horizon the remainder of the night hours, setting at around sunrise the following morning.

   Does our Moon actually go around the Earth as this graphic shows? From our perspective on the Earth the Moon appears to circle around the Earth. However, in reality, the Moon orbits the Sun together with the Earth*
   *Click here to read my 2006 Scope on the Sky column “The Real Shape of the Moon’s Orbit”. (PDF)

   
   
   

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


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.

October Moon near Saturn, at Descending Node, and It’s International Observe the Moon Night


   Saturday October 5th the Moon will be crossing the plane of 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.

   On the day of the node crossing the 7-day old first quarter Moon will be over the southwestern horizon and will be about 1-2o to the east from the ringed planet Saturn. Jupiter shines brightly further to the west near the reddish star Antares. With binoculars or telescope the dwarf planet Ceres may be visible.

   Saturday evening is also International Observe the Moon Night. There may be a telescope set up in your area for observing the Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter. Depending on local weather of course!

   
   
   
   
   

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 in Close Conjunction with Jupiter

   Wednesday evening October 3rd the 5-day old waxing crescent Moon will be about 1-2o from -2 magnitude Jupiter. Should make for a great view using binoculars. Keep an eye on the Moon over the next few days as it continues moving eastward and waxing toward first quarter phase and the planet Saturn.

   
   
   

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 Gets Clawed

   Tuesday evening October 2nd the 4-day old waxing crescent Moon will be in the claws of Scorpius the Scorpion, and about 6-7o from the heart of Scorpius, the reddish star Antares. The Moon will be about 8o from 8th magnitude Dwarf Planet Ceres, and about 11-12o from -2 magnitude Jupiter.

   
   
   

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 Conjunction with Mercury and Venus

   Sunday evening September 29th the very thin 1.5-day young waxing crescent Moon will be over the western horizon near the two inner planets Venus and Mercury, and nearby reddish star Antares.

   
   
   

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.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.