Even if on the ground we are not going through our best moment, lovely things are happening in our skies.
October is going to be a magical month as we are going to experience 3 meteor showers (Draconids, Taurid and Orionids), 2 full moons, Mars being the closest for 40 years and the Cygnus region (a northern constellation lying on the plane of the Milky Way) hitting the horizon.
7th of October: Draconids.
Luckly, this year the moon will not rise until late evenying, providing a more hours of dark sky. This will be a huge advantage as the best time to view the Draconids is during the early evening hours. The Draconid shower is usually a sleeper, rarely offering any more than five meteors per hour. But watch out if the Dragon awakes! The Draconid meteor shower produced awesome meteor displays in 1933 and 1946, with thousands of meteors per hour seen in those years. European observers saw over 600 meteors per hour in 2011.
10-11th October: Taurid.
The Taurids are a slow and long-lasting meteor shower, occurring every year from late October and through November. Although this shower only produces about 5 meteors per hour, its fireballs are spectacular.
21th October: The Orionid.
Created by the Comet Halley. Halley takes 76 years to make a complete revolution around the Sun so it won’t be visible again from Earth until 2061. You can’t lose this opportunity! The expected peak morning will be the 21st of October, get your family and find a secluded viewing spot, away from the city lights so you’re ready to see the 20 meteors per hour that this shower displays.
Cygnus is the 16th largest constellation in the night sky. Its name means “the swan” in Latin, and it is also known as the Swan constellation.
The Cygnus is associated with many different myths but the most popular one is the Spartan Queen Leda. After being seduced by Zeus, she gave birth to two sets of twins: the immortals Pollux and Helen and the mortals Castor and Clytemnestra.
This month, the Cygnus region will hit the horizon, creating a beutiful effect as this constellation is just above Aquila, a very interesting region, which has a dark dust lane that blocks the view of the Milky Way.
A RARE BLUE MOON IN HALLOWEEN
The Harvest Moon: The first of October’s full Moons will be on Thursday, October 1, reaching it’s peak of illumination at 5:06 pm. This moon won’t be visible until after sunset as it rises about 30 minutes later each night. This extra light early in the evening, traditionally, is what gave farmers extra time for harvesting beyond sunset. Therefore, they called it the Harvest Moon.
The Blue Moon: October’s second full Moon rises on Halloween—Saturday, October 31—and hits it’s peak of illumination at 10:51 am.Unfortunately, this moon would not be actually blue. It receives this name because it is the second full moon of the month. What is more interesting about this is that it is the second blue moon of the year (the first one was in March) and this only happens 4 times per century!
As we already know, Earth and Mars orbit the sun. But, because Earth is closer to the sun, orbits more quick. Earth makes two trips around the sun in about the same amount of time that Mars takes to make one trip.
In the year 2018, Mars was brighter than all the stars. It was even brighter than the second-brightest planet, Jupiter.
Earth will pass between Mars and the sun next on October 13, 2020 so we will be lucky to spot Mars in it’s more brightness and red in color since 2018.