October Sky Sights

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By Chuck McPartlin

Mars is now in conjunction with the Sun, but will be back for a nice appearance at a decent altitude in December of 2022. On Saturday, October 9, catch a beautiful gathering of a slim crescent Moon, brilliant Venus, and the red supergiant star Antares just after sunset. A week later, on October 16, it's International Observe the Moon Night.

The Moon is full on Wednesday, October 20, and will unfortunately be there to drown out the Orionid meteor shower the next morning. If you do see any bright meteors around that date, you're seeing pieces of Comet Halley.

Halloween this year will have a moonless evening sky.

The International Space Station will be making some nice visible evening passes between October 1 and October 9, followed by predawn passes into November. Its orbit may change from time to time, so to get the latest and most complete predictions, visit Heavens Above <https://tinyurl.com/y5yt22ch>

On Friday, October 1, the ISS will make a brief trip through the bowl of the Big Dipper, lasting less than a minute, at 8:46 PM PDT in the NNW.

On Saturday, it will rise at 8 PM in the NNW, and pass below the bowl of the Big Dipper and into dim Camelopardalis in the NNE, where it will vanish at 8:01 PM.

We'll get two passes on Sunday. The first will start at 7:13 PM in the N, going very low over our mountains from the forelegs of Ursa Major, through Perseus, and into dim Triangulum in the NE at 7:16 PM. On its next orbit, it will pop up at 8:48 PM in the NW and climb to the end of the handle of the Big Dipper, where it will fade out at 8:50 PM.

Monday will have a bright pass starting at 8:02 PM in the NW which will climb through the bowl/handle juncture of the Big Dipper, then through the handle of the Little Dipper, and through Cepheus into Cassiopeia in the NE, where it will fade into the Earth's shadow at 8:05 PM.

Tuesday's first pass will appear in the NNW at 7:15 PM, passing through Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, and Andromeda, below the Great Square of Pegasus, and into Pisces in the E where it will disappear at 7:20 PM. The station will rise again at 8:52 PM in the WNW and go above orange Arcturus and into Serpens Caput in the W where it will vanish into our shadow.

On Wednesday, October 6, the ISS will show up at 8:05 PM in the WNW, and cruise toward our ocean horizon on a higher and longer path through Ophiuchus and Scutum, then between Sagittarius and Capricornus, where it will disappear in the S at 8:09 PM, almost in line with Jupiter and Saturn.

Thursday's pass will be the best of this series, rising at 7:17 PM in the NW by the Big Dipper's handle, then climbing by bright Vega, through the tail of Delphinus, and past Jupiter in Aquarius, to set in the SE at 7:24 PM near Fomalhaut, the mouth of Piscis Austrinus.

Friday will have a dim pass starting at 8:09 PM in the WSW, cruising below Arcturus and Venus, along Scorpius from head to stinger, and ending at 8:12 PM in the SSW in dim Telescopium. James Bond will return.

The last evening pass will begin on Saturday at 7:21 PM in the WNW and be a slightly higher copy of Friday's pass, ending in the S at 7:26 PM.

The ISS will transition to predawn passes for us until mid-November.

Hasta nebula.

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a-1633041400 Sep 30, 2021 03:36 PM
October Sky Sights

Thank you so much for this schedule! Wish there were someplace in Santa Barbara where there is a light-less sky. I've printed the descriptions of what and where, hopeful.

macpuzl Sep 30, 2021 03:55 PM
October Sky Sights

You're welcome. At least the ISS is normally bright enough to be seen even in light-polluted skies, but you lose the constellations under those conditions.

FondofSB Oct 01, 2021 09:02 AM
October Sky Sights

Dear Chuck !

Thanks as always.
And both Jupiter and Saturn are nicely visible and well positioned in the evening sky with the moon passing by them as it moves eastward day after day. Last month you had a nice rectangular sighting of the three of them. It is worth tracking them day after day .

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