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What's Up...
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...

The following tips on current and upcoming astronomical events
have been gathered from magazines and other sources by Dave Gamble
with the objective of giving OC RASC members a heads-up on
special personal
astro-experiences to look forward to.

Mon. Oct. 3 – Tonight the building crescent Moon is just above Venus in the early evening. Only the width of two fingers separates them.

Wed. Oct. 5 – Moving along on its calls, the Moon’s growing crescent is approaching Saturn which will be only about the width of three fingers away to the west early this evening.

Thurs. Oct. 6 – Mars makes a close approach to the third magnitude star Lambda Sagittari. Only about one third of the width of the Moon separates them tonight. Meanwhile, the waxing crescent Moon will pass just north of Saturn.

Fri. Oct. 7 – Checking off another planet, the partial phase of the Moon next visits Mars which will be less than the width of your fist to the southeast.

Sat. Oct. 8 – The Moon continues its round of calls, tonight posing above Mars in the evening sky.

Sun. Oct. 9 – This is first quarter Moon night, which always provides a dramatic evening scene in clear weather, particularly in the fall.

Mon. Oct. 10 - Another reminder that the Zodiacal Light can be seen at its fall best at this time of year. Created by the Sun illuminating dust particles in the equatorial plane of the solar system, the faint triangle of light extends up into the pre-dawn eastern sky.

Tues. Oct. 11 – For early risers, Mercury will pose only a Moon width and a half away from bright Jupiter which is now entering the morning sky. A good low eastern horizon will help with this observation.

Thurs. Oct. 13 - Algol the Devil Star will be at minimum brightness from 9.00 pm to 11pm tonight. Since the fading in and fading out are gradual, check out its brightness with neighbouring stars in Perseus earlier in the evening and compare it with the minimum brightness around 10pm.

Sat. Oct. 15 – Tonight the ice giant Uranus reaches opposition and its closest distance from Earth. An excellent finder chart appears on Page 37 of the Sept./Oct. Sky News. The waxing gibbous Moon is also busy pointing out remote planets, posing just over two of its widths above the blue ice giant Neptune.

Sun. Oct. 16 – This is Full Moon night, marking the traditional Hunter’s Moon of the fall season. This occurs as our neighbour is near the closest part of its orbit from Earth (Perigee), so its slightly larger size should put on quite a show, lighting up the Okanagan autumn.

Tues. Oct. 18 – It is always exciting to see celestial mechanics in live action. Tonight we will be able to witness the Moon brush just underneath bright Aldebaran in Taurus.

Fri. Oct. 21 - The Orionid meteor shower will peak tonight, though it will be somewhat compromised by the waning gibbous Moon this year. Aside from the moonlight, activity should be strong several nights before and after. The early morning hours should provide the best view with the radiant in Orion well placed in the southern sky.

Sat. Oct. 22 – Tonight is Last Quarter Moon with the reverse half lit globe rising over the eastern Okanagan mountains around midnight. The monthly dark sky observing period will soon be underway.

Tues. Oct. 25 – If you see the waning crescent Moon rising in the early morning hours this morning, check out the bright star that rises just before it. This is Regulus in Leo, beginning its long journey across the sky which will take it into night sky prominence by next spring.

Thurs. Oct. 27 – There will be an interesting planetary asterism in the southern sky tonight. Saturn, Venus and Antares in Sagittarius will form a congo line close above the early evening horizon.

Fri. Oct. 28 – Jupiter continues its slow climb into the morning sky. Before daybreak it will be joined by the narrowing crescent Moon just above the eastern horizon

Sat. Oct. 29 – We return to the evening sky where Venus and Saturn will pose together, only about the width of two fingers apart.

Sun. Oct. 30 – This is New Moon night with our neighbour safely tucked away in the daytime sky, leaving the night hours open for some fine deep sky explorations… given clear skies of course. Tonight bright Venus will appear just two finger widths below Saturn.