In the month of October, stargazers and young astronomers are in for a treat as there is a long list of exciting events lined up. From Mercury reaching its morning peak to Draconids meteor shower, October will be an astronomer’s delight.
Below are the dates and details related to all these astronomical events:
1 October: Asteroid 40 Harmonia at Opposition – This month a popular constellation called Cetus will take place. The first event is Asteroid 40 Harmonia. This is a large main-belt asteroid that is surprisingly round due to the meteor standards. It is best viewed in opposition when the sun, earth, and asteroid are brightly lit.
5 October: Peak of the Camelopardalid Meteor Shower – Among the many constellations, Camelopardalis is one of the most ignored ones in the night sky. This is a large constellation that represents a giraffe. It will peak on the night of 5 October, this year. Moreover, Camelopardalids aren’t the most active ones but the new moon on this day will make it a perfect night for stargazing.
8 October: Peak of the Draconid Meteor Shower – This northern hemisphere constellation will be seen near the bright star of Vega. The name Draconid Meteor Shower comes from the name constellation Draco, the dragon. On this day, the meteor shower is expected to peak because of the relatively young moon. So, the best viewing prospects will be before dawn or after dusk.
9 October: Close Approach of the Moon & Venus – On this day, a three-day-old Moon will make a close approach with Venus. They will appear just 2°51’ apart in the sky. The best time to view it will be when the dusk fades.
10 October: Peak of the Southern Taurid Meteor Shower – Despite the name Southern Taurid, this meteor shower will actually be visible in the northern hemisphere. It has been named Southern Taurids due to a split in the Taurids meteor shower. On this day, stargazers can see a maximum of 5 meteors per hour.
11 October: Peak of the δ-Aurigid Meteor Shower – Starwatchers will see another delight as the δ-Aurigid meteor shower will peak and be visible on the night of 11 October.
14 October: Close Approach of the Moon & Saturn – On this day, Saturn will appear near the Moon. Both these celestial objects will appear just 3°56′ apart in the sky. Also, the Moon’s first quarter will make it a nice viewing prospect.
15 October: Close Approach of the Moon & Jupiter – The following day, Jupiter will get a chance to appear closest to the Moon. This night will be a nice chance to see these two solar system objects in close proximity.
17 October: Eris at Opposition – Massive, distant Eris will reach opposition on the night of 17 October. It will appear bright in the night sky.
18 October: Peak of the ε-Geminid Meteor Shower – It will be the best time to see meteors. On this day, the ε-Geminid meteor shower will be visible and peak at a maximum ZHR of 3 per hour. It will be easy to spot it with a small waxing crescent moon.
21 October: Peak of the Orionid Meteor Shower – This will be the greatest night in October when the Orionids are easy to spot as they originate from a point in the night sky near the constellation Orion. On this night, the moon will be located in the southern sky and there will be too much light interference. The best time to watch the Orionid shower will be 3:30 am-5:00 am as per the Space Tourism Guide report.
24 October: Mercury Reaches its Morning Peak – In the morning itself, one can spot Mercury as it reaches its highest point in the sky. On this day, Mercury will reach a peak of 17° above the eastern horizon and will be visible to the naked eye.
24 October: Peak of the Leonis Minorids Meteor Shower – This will be the last chance to spot a meteor shower in October. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for shooting stars too. Also, during the pre-dawn hours, the Leonis Minorid meteor shower will be visible and peak in the sky. This meteor shower appears from the constellation Leo with bright regulus.