• Chris Baker

What's Up? - OCTOBER 2021

Each month I highlight a few objects you can spot in the night sky without the need for optical equipment. Here are the exciting things for OCTOBER 2021



The Challenge

This month I am setting a challenge - to see if you can spot a number of objects in the night sky.

The challenge includes stars, star clusters, constellations and a galaxy!


The guide below will help you.


The selected objects are close together and can be observed late evening in the same part of the (northern hemisphere) sky.


Pleiades

Pleiades is a jewelled open star cluster which appears as a fuzzy blob in the sky- you can't miss it!

Look EAST at around 10pm and you'll see Pleiades. Below the star cluster you will also see the bright red star Aldebaran and to the north of Pleiades the blue/white bright star Capella. (Ignore Uranus in the map below as this is not visible with the naked eye).




Courtesy of Stellarium


That's three objects ticked off!



CASSIOPEIA

Now look higher in the sky and further north and you'll spot the constellation of Cassiopeia. You'll see it easily as the main part- (the asterism) is a 'W' shape, currently on it's side.




Courtesy of Stellarium


ANDROMEDA (M31)

Now for the bigger challenge - to spot the Andromeda galaxy (M31)


Here it is relative to Cassiopeia - and all you'll see is a faint blob - but remember it is 2.5 million light years away so spotting it under UK light polluted skies is a challenge!




Courtesy of Stellarium


PEGASUS

Now move further East and see if you can spot the large rectangle making up the main part of Pegasus.



Pegasus in the night sky



Courtesy of Stellarium


The best way to spot this wonderful constellation is to look for the large asterism - the rectangle - as you see in the diagram above. Look high-up in the evening sky.


Let me know if you see this constellation and any of the objects this month! ENJOY!




PLANETS


The Gas Giants - Jupiter and Saturn


Jupiter is that beautiful bright object you can see in the southern night sky after sunset - You cannot miss it!


LOOK SOUTH MID EVENING ONWARDS


Saturn is also nicely placed to observe this month although it is never as bright as Jupiter. Again it is in the southern sky and not that far from Jupiter.

Mid month they will be near a beautiful Moon too.


Note that planets, unlike stars, do not twinkle- this may help you spot them.


Jupiter and Saturn.


Courtesy of Stellarium



Enjoy the night sky this month and let me know about your observations


Thank you for reading this blog and do let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to my Newsletter each month.

chris@galaxyonglass.com

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