By Heather Durham | September 30, 2021
Greetings everyone and welcome to the latest edition of Celestial Seasonings! This month, we have a plethora of meteor showers along with a new YouTube video for this month that I highly recommend you start with before planning your sky watching shows. Included as well, is a link to meteor showers created and maintained by NASA. You can put a meteor shower date on this NASA page and view prior showers.
Our autumn equinox began in the afternoon of September 22. It’s pumpkin spice and apple picking season. Warm days and cool nights produce the changing color of the leaves on our trees. Then we are able to feast our senses on all that nature has to offer this time of year along with our journeys into the night skies.
Have a pleasant month, enjoy yourselves and look forward to your astronomical offerings.
October 5. The Camelopardalis meteor shower will put on a fine display this evening. This comes from the Constellation Draco and should produce overnight with its finest show just before dawn. According to Wikipedia, this “is a large but faint Constellation in the northern sky representing a giraffe.”
October 8. On this date, we will enjoy another meteor shower from the Constellation Draco – the Draconids. Dusk will be ideal time for viewing. In 1933 and 1946, the Draconids were “among the most impressive meteor storms of the 21st century.”
October 9. The Moon and Venus will rise closely to one another while rising to the right.
October 10. The Southern Taurid meteor shower in the Constellation Cetus will display for approximately 12 hours from 7 pm until 7 am the next morning. Because of their occurrence in late October and early November, they are also called Halloween Fireballs.” Saturn will begin moving towards the east again.
October 11. The δ-Auridid [Delta-Auridid] meteor shower in the Constellation Auriga will bring a display tonight. The comet Kiess (C/1911_N1) is the source of this shower.
October 12. Tonight, our Moon will be at first quarter.
October 14. The Moon and Saturn will come close to each other and ascend right.
October 15. The Moon and Jupiter will come close to one another and rise to the right.
October 18. Jupiter will begin moving east again. The ε-Geminid [Epsilon-Geminid] meteor shower from the Constellation Gemini should be visible most of the evening. This is one of two meteor showers that do not stem from comets, but from object 3200 Phaethon, an asteroid.
October 20. The full Hunter’s Moon is tonight.
October 21. The Orionids meteor shower from the Constellation Orion will display tonight. According to Wikipedia, this “is the most prolific meteor shower associated with Halley’s Comet.” A dwarf planet known as 136108 Haumea, will travel close by the Sun. The Moon and Uranus will closely approach one another in the evening sky.
October 23. Mercury will move towards half phase and will be visible just before dawn.
October 24. Tonight, the Leonis Minorid meteor shower will put on a display but is faint. This comes from the Constellation Leo Minor. The Moon will move as far away from the Earth in its orbit. Mercury will travel to its farther distance from the Sun.
October 26. The open star cluster, NGC869 in Perseus will be in the evening sky, but difficult to see without equipment.
October 27. NGC884 also from Perseus will be on display but difficult to see with a naked eye.
This and NGC869 may be referred to as a Double Cluster.
October 28. Mercury will reach its highest location in the sky on this date. Venus will move towards half phase. The Moon will be at its last quarter.
October 29. Venus will move to its furthest distance from the Sun.
Ford, D.F. (n.d.). October 2021. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org.
Jenniskens. P. (n.d.). NASA Meteor Shower Portal. Retrieved from cams.seti.org/FDL/index.html
Wikipedia, (2020, April 2). Aurigids. Retrieved from en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurigids.
Wikipedia. (2021, July 28). Camelopardalis. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camelopardalis.
Wikipedia. (2021, April 27). Draconids. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Draconids.
Wikipedia, (2021, August 13). Geminids. Retrieved from en.Wikipedia.org/wiki/Geminids.
Wikipedia, (2021, July 4). Taurids. Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taurids.
YouTube. (2021, September 15). October 2021 Astronomical Events. Retrieved from youtu.be/rCr6y2RIFsY