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October 2014 - Dave Mitsky's Celestial Calendar

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October Calendar by Dave Mitsky

All times, unless otherwise noted, are UT (subtract four hours and, when appropriate, one calendar day for EDT)

10/1   The Lunar X, also known as the Purbach or Werner Cross, an X-shaped illumination effect involving various rims and ridges between the craters La Caille, Blanchinus, and Purbach, is predicted to occur at 4:49; First Quarter Moon occurs at 19:33
10/2   Mercury is at its greatest heliocentric latitude south today
10/4   Mercury is stationary at 18:00
10/5   Neptune is 5 degrees south of the Moon at 21:00
10/6   The Moon is at perigee, subtending 32'58" from a distance of 362,476 kilometers (225,233 miles), at 10:00
10/7   Uranus (magnitude +5.7, apparent size 3.7") is at opposition at 21:00
10/8   Full Moon, known as the Blood Moon and this year’s Hunter’s Moon, occurs at 10:51; a total lunar eclipse begins at 10:25 UT and ends at 11:24 UT; Uranus is 1.2 degrees south of the Moon, with an occultation taking place in the Arctic Ocean, northern Greenland, and northeastern Asia, at 11:00; the peak of the Draconid meteor shower (10 to 30 per hour) occurs at 14:00
10/12 The Moon is 1.4 degrees north of first-magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) at 10:00
10/15 Last Quarter Moon occurs at 19:12
10/16 Mercury is in inferior conjunction at 21:00
10/17 The Curtiss Cross, an X-shaped illumination effect located between the craters Parry and Gambart, is predicted to occur at 7:11
10/18 Jupiter is 5 degrees north of the Moon at 4:00; the Moon is at apogee, subtending 29'31" from a distance of 404,897 kilometers (251,590 miles), at 6:00
10/19 Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) passes with 2 arc minutes of Mars today
10/21 Mercury is at the ascending node today; the peak of the Orionid meteor shower (25 per hour) occurs at 17:00
10/23 The New Moon (lunation 1136) occurs at 21:57; a partial solar eclipse begins at 19:37 UT and ends at 23:51 UT
10/25 Mercury is at perihelion today; Mercury is stationary at 7:00; Venus is in superior conjunction at 8:00; Saturn is 1.0 degree south of the Moon, with an occultation taking place in central and western Europe, southern Greenland, and northeastern Canada, at 16:00
10/26 Asteroid 2 Pallas is in conjunction with the Sun at 16:00
10/28 Mars is 7 degrees south of the Moon at 13:00
10/30 The Lunar X is predicted to occur at 18:39
10/31 First Quarter Moon occurs at 2:48

Ejnar Hertzsprung and Henry Norris Russell were born this month.

Giovanni Cassini discovered Saturn’s odd satellite Iapetus on October 25, 1671.  Two of the satellites of Uranus, Ariel and Umbriel, were discovered by William Lassell on October 24, 1851.  Lassell discovered Triton, Neptune’s brightest satellite, on October 10, 1846. Edwin Hubble discovered Cepheid variable stars in M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) on October 5, 1923.

The Draconid (formerly the Giacobinid) meteor shower peaks on the morning of October 8th but is severely compromised by bright moonlight. The Orionid meteor shower peaks during the morning of October 21st. A late-rising waning crescent Moon will not adversely affect viewing the shower.  Orionid meteors are fragments of Comet 1P/Halley.  Browse http://www.imo.net/calendar/2014#ori for more on the Orionids.

Information on Iridium flares and passes of the ISS, the Tiangong-1, the USAF’s X-37B, the HST, and other satellites can be found at http://www.heavens-above.com/

During the last two weeks of the month, the zodiacal light may be visible in the pre-dawn eastern sky from a dark site. Articles on the zodiacal light appear at http://www.atoptics....ighsky/zod1.htm and http://oneminuteastr...zodiacal-light/

The Moon is 6.7 days old, is illuminated 41.2%, and is located in Sagittarius on October 1st at 0:00 UT. The Moon reaches its greatest northern declination on October 13th (+18.5 degrees) and its greatest southern declination on October 28th (-18.5 degrees). Longitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.6 degrees on October 12th and a minimum of -5.0 degrees on October 25th. Latitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.9 degrees on October 15th and a minimum of -6.8 degrees on October 2nd and October 29th. A partial lunar eclipse begins at 9:15 UT on October 8th and ends at 12:34 UT. Totality begins at 10:25 UT and ends at 11:24 UT. Greatest eclipse occurs at 10:55 UT. Uranus is approximately one degree below the Moon at totality. For further information on the eclipse, see http://eclipse.gsfc....ml#LE2014Oct08T and the articles on pages 50 to 52 of the October issue of Sky & Telescope and pages 54 to 57 of the October issue of Astronomy. Visit http://saberdoesthes...does-the-stars/ for tips on spotting extreme crescent Moons and http://www.curtrenz.com/moon06.html for Full Moon data. Times and dates for the lunar light rays predicted to occur in October are available at http://www.lunar-occ...o/rays/rays.htm

The Sun is located in Virgo on October 1st at 0:00 UT. A partial solar eclipse takes place on October 23rd. The Sun will set while the eclipse is in progress from most of the eastern portion of North America. See the articles on pages 52 and 53 of the October issue of Sky & Telescope and pages 54 to 57 of the October issue of Astronomy and http://eclipse.gsfc....ml#SE2014Oct23P for additional information. The first recorded solar eclipse took place on October 22, 2136 B.C.

Brightness, apparent size, illumination, distance from the Earth in astronomical units, and location data for the planets and Pluto on October 1st: Mercury (magnitude +0.3, 8.1",  39%, 0.82 a.u., Virgo), Venus (-3.9, 9.8", 99%, 1.71 a.u., Virgo),  Mars (magnitude +0.8, 6.1", 89%, 1.54 a.u., Ophiuchus),  Jupiter (magnitude -1.9, 33.7", 99%, 5.85 a.u., Cancer), Saturn (magnitude +0.6, 15.6" 100%, 10.65 a.u., Libra), Uranus (magnitude +5.7, 3.7", 100%, 19.03 a.u. on October 16th, Pisces), Neptune (magnitude +7.8, 2.3", 100%, 29.29 a.u. on October 16th, Aquarius), and Pluto (magnitude +14.2, 0.1"”, 100%, 32.93 a.u. on October 16th, Sagittarius).

During October evenings, Mercury is in the west, Mars and Saturn are in the southwest, Uranus is in the east, and Neptune is in the southeast. At midnight, Uranus is located in the south and Neptune in the southwest. Mercury can be found in the east, Jupiter in the southeast, and Uranus in the west in the morning sky.

Mercury disappears into the glare of the Sun as the month progresses. The speediest planet is at its greatest heliocentric latitude south on October 2nd and is stationary on October 4th and October 25th. It is in inferior conjunction on October 16th. Mercury reappears in morning twilight during the last week of the month.

Venus is in superior conjunction on October 25th when it will be approximately one degree north of the Sun and is not readily visible again until early December.

Mars is about 15 degrees above the horizon an hour after sunset this month. It lies approximately four degrees from its rival, the first-magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii), as October begins. The Red Planet travels rapidly eastward this month.  It exits Ophiuchus and enters Sagittarius on October 21st. Mars reaches its maximum southern declination for 2014 (-24°57') on October 26th. On October 27th, it passes 0.5 degree south of M8, the Lagoon Nebula. Mars is seven degrees south of the Moon on October 28th.

Jupiter rises about 2:30 a.m. DST as October begins and about 1:00 a.m. DST as the month ends. It leaves Cancer and crosses into Leo at midmonth. Jupiter passes five degrees north of the waning crescent Moon on October 18th. Click on http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/ to determine transit times of the central meridian by the Great Red Spot. Data on Galilean satellite events is available at http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/ and on page 54 of the October issue of Sky & Telescope.

In early October, Saturn is just ten degrees above the horizon an hour after sunset.  It is occulted by the Moon from some parts of the world on October 25th. Saturn disappears into the evening twilight by the end of October.

Uranus reaches opposition on October 7th. At that time, the seventh planet shines at magnitude 5.7, subtends 3.7 arc seconds, and is 2.6 light-hours from the Earth. It is occulted by the Moon from some parts of the world on October 8th. Uranus is located about three degrees south-southeast of the fourth-magnitude star Delta Piscium as October begins and about the same distance south of that star at month’s end.

Neptune lies less than one degree west of the fifth-magnitude star Sigma Aquarii this month. It transits the meridian some 2.5 hours before Uranus does.

Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune can be found on page 51 of the September issue of Sky & Telescope and at http://d366w3m5tf081...eptune_2014.pdf

The dwarf planet Pluto is located in northern Sagittarius but will be very low in the sky as darkness falls. A finder chart is available on pages 50 and 51 of the June issue of Sky & Telescope, page 243 of the RASC Observer’s Handbook 2014, and at http://www.bluewater...2014_2_810K.jpg

For more on the planets and how to locate them, see http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/ and http://www.astronomy...g/?page_id=1367

Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) travels northward through Ophiuchus this month.  It passes within two arc minutes of Mars at approximately 3:00 p.m. EDT (19:00 UT) on October 19th. The ninth-magnitude comet will miss Mars by only 132,000 kilometers (82,000 miles). A short article on the event appears on page 53 of the October issue of Sky & Telescope. Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS can be seen in Puppis before dawn. The sixth-magnitude comet will be in the vicinity of the open star cluster M93 in mid-October. For additional information on comets visible in October, browse http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/ and http://www.aerith.ne...t/future-n.html

Asteroid 37 Fides travels southwestward through southern Pisces this month. It passes less than one degree south of the fourth-magnitude star Epsilon Piscium on October 1st. During the second and third weeks of October, the 108-kilometer-sized asteroid lies within two degrees of Uranus. Browse http://scully.cfa.ha...d=b2014&o=00037 for an ephemeris. The following asteroids reach opposition this month: 37 Fides (magnitude 9.8) on October 9th, 41 Daphne (magnitude 11.9) on October 11th, 55 Pandora (magnitude 10.4) on October 18th, 88 Thisbe (magnitude 10.4) on October 20th, 28 Bellona (magnitude 11.0) on October 27th, and 46 Hestia (magnitude 10.6) on October 31st. For information on this year’s bright asteroids and upcoming asteroid occultation events respectively, consult http://www.curtrenz.com/asteroids and http://asteroidoccultation.com/

Click on http://astrocast.tv/ and

for informative videos on astronomical events taking place this month.

Some deep-sky highlights for the month are discussed at http://www.astronomy...g/?page_id=1373

Free star maps for August can be downloaded at http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html and http://www.telescope...thly-Star-Chart

The famous eclipsing variable star Algol (Beta Persei) is at a minimum, decreasing in magnitude from 2.1 to 3.4, on October 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, and 31. Consult http://www.skyandtel...watching-tools/ and page 53 of the October issue of Sky & Telescope for the times of the eclipses. For more on Algol, see http://stars.astro.i.../sow/Algol.html and http://www.solstatio...ars2/algol3.htm

Eighty-five binary and multiple stars for October: Struve 2973, Struve 2985, Struve 2992, Struve 3004, Struve 3028, Otto Struve 501, Struve 3034, Otto Struve 513, Struve 3050 (Andromeda); 29 Aquarii, 41 Aquarii, 51 Aquarii, 53 Aquarii, Zeta Aquarii, Struve 2913, Struve 2935, Tau-1 Aquarii, Struve 2944, Struve 2988, Psi-1 Aquarii, 94 Aquarii, 96 Aquarii, h3184, Omega-2 Aquarii, 107 Aquarii (Aquarius); Otto Struve 485, Struve 3037, 6 Cassiopeiae, Otto Struve 512, Sigma Cassiopeiae (Cassiopeia); Xi Cephei, Struve 2883, Struve 2893, Struve 2903, Krueger 60, Delta Cephei, Struve 2923, Otto Struve 482, Struve 2947, Struve 2948, Struve 2950, Struve 2984, Omicron Cephei, Otto Struve 502 (Cepheus); Otto Struve 459, h1735, Struve 2876, Otto Struve 465, Struve 2886, Struve 2894, h1756, Struve 2902, Struve 2906, 8 Lacertae, Otto Struve 475, 13 Lacertae, h1828, 16 Lacertae (Lacerta); Struve 2857, Struve 2877, 34 Pegasi, Struve 2908, Xi Pegasi, Struve 2958, Struve 2978, 57 Pegasi, Struve 2991, h1859, Struve 3007, Struve 3021, Otto Struve 504, Struve 3044 (Pegasus); Struve 3009, Struve 3019, Struve 3033 (Pisces); Eta Piscis Austrini, Beta Piscis Austrini, Dunlop 241, h5356, Gamma Piscis Austrini, Delta Piscis Austrini, h5371 (Piscis Austrinus); h5417, Delta Sculptoris, h5429 (Sculptor)

Notable carbon star for October: RZ Pegasi

Seventy-five deep-sky objects for October: NGC 7640, NGC 7662, NGC 7686 (Andromeda); NGC 7180, NGC 7183, NGC 7184, NGC 7293, NGC 7392, NGC 7585, NGC 7606, NGC 7721, NGC 7723, NGC 7727 (Aquarius); Cz43, K12, M52, NGC 7635, NGC 7788, NGC 7789, NGC 7790, St12 (Cassiopeia); B171, B173-4, IC 1454, IC 1470, K10, Mrk50, NGC 7235, NGC 7261, NGC 7354, NGC 7380, NGC 7419, NGC 7510 (Cepheus); IC 1434, IC 5217, NGC 7209, NGC 7223, NGC 7243, NGC 7245 (Lacerta); NGC 7177, NGC 7217, NGC 7320 (the brightest galaxy in Stephan's Quintet), NGC 7331, NGC 7332, NGC 7339, NGC 7448, NGC 7454, NGC 7479, NGC 7619 (the brightest member of Pegasus I), NGC 7626, NGC 7678, NGC 7742, NGC 7769 (Pegasus); NGC 7541, NGC 7562, NGC 7611 (Pisces); IC 5156, IC 5269, IC 5271, NGC 7172, NGC 7173, NGC 7174, NGC 7176, NGC 7201, NGC 7203, NGC 7214, NGC 7221, NGC 7229, NGC 7314, NGC 7361 (Piscis Austrinus); NGC 7507, NGC 7513, NGC 7713, NGC 7755, NGC 7793 (Sculptor)

Top ten binocular deep-sky objects for October: M52, NGC 7209, NGC 7235, NGC 7243, NGC 7293, NGC 7510, NGC 7686, NGC 7789, NGC 7790, St12

Top ten deep-sky objects for October: K12, M52, NGC 7209, NGC 7293, NGC 7331, NGC 7332, NGC 7339, NGC 7640, NGC 7662, NGC 7789

Challenge deep-sky object for October: Jones 1 (PK104-29.1) (Pegasus)

The objects listed above are located between 22:00 and 24:00 hours of right ascension.

Edited by stevend
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Very good deluge of data! Thank you for the obvious time & trouble to assemble this.

Clear & Dark Skies,


Thanks, but all I did was copy & paste from Cloudy Nights. Dave Mitsky is the main man.

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Nice one thanks. Excuse ignorance, but what is K12 in the top ten dsos?

I am going to guess K = Keplar, can anyone else confirm ?

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Yes, there is a Kepler 12, a star in Lyra with a planet Kepler 12b. I hadn't realised there was a Kepler list!

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Dave, much appreciated. I pulled this off cloudy nights and have continuously enjoyed your calendars. Can you tell me how to find RZ pegasi direct email is agottfried@fullerton.edu thanks allen

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Dave, much appreciated. I pulled this off cloudy nights and have continuously enjoyed your calendars. Can you tell me how to find RZ pegasi direct email is agottfried@fullerton.edu thanks allen

Dave is on Cloudy Nights not here afaik.

Edited by stevend

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