• Chris Baker

What's Up? - OCTOBER 2022

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 2022.


There is a partial eclipse of the sun seen from the northern hemisphere and a bumper planet month.



PLANETS

Last month was a wonderful month for observing a number of planets with Jupiter in particular sparkling in the night sky. This month is great too so take a look below!


The Gas Giants - Jupiter and Saturn


How to Observe


Jupiter

The largest planet in the solar system puts on another spectacular show this month. It rises mid evening in the SOUTH EAST - you cannot miss it and it remains in the sky all night.

Worth looking out on the 8th if it is clear as it will be joined by a full moon only 3 degrees between them.

If you have binoculars and are able to keep them steady, resting them on a wall for example, observe Jupiter and you may well spot up to four of its moons. Let me know if you manage this.


Jupiter is visible all month and close to the full moon on the 8th October

Courtesy of Stellarium


Saturn

Visible all month look south - although it begins to dim later in the month. Worth spotting on the 5th October as it will be close to an 81%-lit moon.


Saturn is visible all month in the south and close to the moon on the 5th October

Courtesy of Stellarium


Mars

This is a great month to spot our neighbour Mars! The red planet rises mid evening and remains in the night sky until dawn. You will need to look south. It's also going to be close to the moon on the 15th October so worth a look then too if it's clear.

You can't miss the red planet this month!


Mars is visible all month to the south and close to the moon on the 15th October

Courtesy of Stellarium


Note you can see it below Pleiades and close to the red star Aldebaran. The red star Betelgeuse is peaking over the horizon too...


Venus

This bright planet is becoming increasing difficult to see as it is rising shortly before sunrise. So if you're up early then you may just see it low down in the East. In early November it will emerge as an evening object.


Venus mid-month rising just before the sun here at 6:30. Look east

Courtesy of Stellarium


Mercury

Your chance to spot this illusive planet this month! It is a morning object, rising an hour before sunrise at the beginning of the month and and hour and a half by the 20th. Look east

On the 24th it is preceded by a slither of a moon! Worth seeing that for sure!


Mercury visible just prior to sunrise all month and close to a 1% moon on the 24th Oct.

Courtesy of Stellarium


Partial Eclipse of the Sun

For those of us in the northern you'll be able to observe a partial eclipse of the sun on the morning of 25th October.

A partial eclipse occurs when, from a spot on the Earth, part of the sun's disc is obscured by the Moon's disc. So it is the Moon's shadow passing over us.


This eclipse is best seen from those in the east of the UK and to some extent further north - but will be visible from all over the UK.

When? - The morning of 25th October.

The eclipse will began at different times depending where you are located but first contact can be expected shortly after 10am BST (9am UT), the maximum about 50 minutes later around 10:58am (BST) and then the last contact at around 11:50am. So you'll have plenty of time to see it -if it's clear!


How?

Firstly, DO NOT observe the sun directly and NEVER through optical equipment such as binoculars, it will cause blindness.

Try making a small hole in a piece of card as shown below or use a sieve or colander which will show multiple images of the eclipsed sun!




Let me know if you manage to this this fascinating event!


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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