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Dave Mitsky
2007-Oct-01, 04:22 PM
October Calendar

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

10/1 Mars is less than 7' north of the fourth magnitude binary star 1 Geminorum at 5:00
10/2 Mars is 5 degrees south of the Moon at 20:00; a maximum lunar libration of 9.1 degrees occurs at 22:00
10/3 Mars is at the ascending node today; Last Quarter Moon occurs at 10:06; Mars is 0.9 degree south of the bright open cluster M35 in Gemini at 20:00
10/5 The Moon is 1.1 degrees north of the bright open cluster M44 (the Beehive or Praesepe) in Cancer at 11:00
10/7 Venus is 3 degrees south of the Moon at 3:00; the Moon is 0.2 degree north of the first magnitude star Regulus (Alpha Leonis), with an occultation taking place in Great Britain, Europe, northern and eastern Africa, and the Middle East, at 7:00; Saturn is 1.3 degrees north of the Moon, with an occultation taking place south of Polynesia, at 16:00
10/8 Mercury is at its greatest heliocentric latitude south today; the peak of the Draconid or Giacobinid meteor shower (rate is variable) occurs at 19:00
10/9 Venus is 3 degrees south of Regulus at 11:00
10/10 A minimum lunar libration of 4.7 degrees occurs at 2:00
10/11 New Moon (lunation 1049) occurs at 5:01
10/12 Mercury is stationary at 7:00
10/13 Mercury is 1.3 degrees north of the Moon at 1:00; the Moon is at apogee, subtending 29'24" from a distance of 406,492 km, at 10:00
10/15 Venus is 3 degrees south of Saturn at 14:00; the Moon is 0.5 degree south of the first magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii), with an occultation taking place in most of Antarctica and the southern half of South America, at 15:00
10/16 Jupiter is 5 degrees north of the Moon at 6:00
10/18 A double Galilean shadow transit begins at 8:42; a maximum lunar libration of 8.4 degrees occurs at 12:00
10/19 First Quarter Moon occurs at 8:33
10/21 Neptune is 1.3 degrees north of the Moon, with an occultation taking place in part of Antarctica at 3:00; a double Galilean shadow transit begins at 21:39; the peak of the Orionid meteor shower (10 to 20/hour) occurs at 22:00
10/22 Asteroid 2 Pallas is stationary today
10/23 Uranus is 1.7 degrees south of the Moon at 1:00
10/24 Mercury is in inferior conjunction at 0:00
10/25 A minimum lunar libration of 5.2 degrees occurs at 3:00; a double Galilean shadow transit begins at 10:36
10/26 Full Moon, known as the Hunter's or Blood Moon and the largest of 2007, occurs at 4:52; the Moon is at perigee, subtending 33'30" from a distance of 356,755 km, at 12:00
10/27 Mercury is at the ascending node today; Venus is at the ascending node today
10/28 The Moon is 1.0 degree north of the bright open cluster M45 (the Pleiades), with an occultation taking place in Europe and eastern North America, at 1:00; Venus is at greatest western elongation (46 degrees) at 15:00; a double Galilean shadow transit begins at 23:34
10/30 A double Galilean shadow transit begins at 18:02; Mars is 3 degrees south of the Moon at 19:00
10/31 A maximum lunar libration of 9.1 degrees occurs at 3:00; Neptune is stationary at 20:00

A lunar occultation of some of the Pleiads (i.e., the stars of the Pleiades) can be seen from eastern North America at dusk on the evening of October 27. The Moon is 19.5 days old on October 1 at 0:00 UT. The Moon reaches its greatest northern declination on October 2 and 29 (+28 degrees) and its greatest southern declination on October 16 (-28 degrees). Times and dates for the lunar light rays predicted to occur this month are available at http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/rays.htm

The Sun is in Virgo on October 1 at 0:00 UT.

The planets and Pluto on October 1: Mercury (0.1 magnitude, 7.0", 57% illuminated, Virgo), Venus (-4.7 magnitude, 34.2", 33% illuminated, Leo), Mars (-0.1 magnitude, 9.7", 87% illuminated, Gemini), Jupiter (-2.0 magnitude, 35.2", 99% illuminated, Ophiuchus), Saturn (0.7 magnitude, 16.5", 100% illuminated, Leo), Uranus (5.8 magnitude, 3.7", 100% illuminated, Aquarius), Neptune (7.9 magnitude, 2.3", 100% illuminated, Capricornus), and Pluto (+14.0 magnitude, 0.1", 100% illuminated, Sagittarius).

Visibility of the classical planets: Jupiter is low in the southwest in the evening; Mars is in the east after midnight; Venus is in the east in the early morning, Mars is high in the south, and Saturn is in the east.

Mercury is still poorly placed for observers living in the northern hemisphere this month.

Venus climbs as high as it ever does in the dawn sky during October. An hour before sunrise, it is approximately 30 degrees in altitude in the southeast. A waning crescent Moon, Venus, Saturn, and Regulus form a tight group on the morning of October 6. Venus, Saturn and Regulus lie within a 5 degree circle for four days beginning October 9. A day later the trio forms a 4.6 degree wide circle. Venus is about 3 degrees due south of Regulus on October 9 and 2.9 degrees south of Saturn six days later. Venus is half-illuminated when it reaches greatest elongation on October 28.

Mars is now large enough for fruitful telescopic observation. It grows from 10 to 12 arc seconds during October and increases in magnitude from -0.1 to -0.6. For several days, it passes approximately one degree south of the bright open cluster M35. As the eastward motion of Mars decreases, it passes north of Eta and Mu Geminorum between October 7 and October 12. In early October, the major Martian feature Syrtis Major is visible around midnight.

Jupiter sets less than 60 minutes after dark by the end of the month. Io and Europa are near their greatest elongations from Jupiter on the evenings of October 9 and October 16. All four Galilean satellites form a tight group to the west of Jupiter on the evening of October 25. Click on http://skyandtelescope.com/observing/objects/planets/article_107_1.asp to determine transits of the central meridian by the Great Red Spot. Data on the Galilean satellites is available at http://skytonight.com/observing/objects/javascript/3307071.html#

Saturn's rings have now closed to just 8 degrees, making it a bit less luminous than usual. It rises in the east-northeast around 2:00 a.m. at mid-northern latitudes.

Uranus is 1.4 degrees west of the fourth magnitude star Phi Aquarii at the beginning of October. By the end of the month, its westward (retrograde) motion has increased the distance to 2.2 degrees. Uranus is located due south less than 2 hours after Neptune has reached that position.

This month Neptune is located a bit less than 2 degrees to the northwest of the fourth magnitude star Iota Capricorni.

The dwarf planet Pluto is poorly placed for observation during October.

Gliding southward through Aquarius, asteroid 2 Pallas shines at ninth magnitude. It passes to the west of the fifth magnitude star 30 Aquarii on October 27.

Comet C/2007 F1 (LONEOS) may brighten to seventh magnitude as it travels through Coma Berenices towards the first magnitude star Arcturus. The comet passes to the south of the elliptical galaxy NGC 4278 on October 8.

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 Cepheii, 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)

Challenge binary star for October: 78 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.