Oct 5th: What’s Up Tonight! Southern Skies October Edition

By on October 5, 2014 in

Podcaster: Alice Enevoldsen aka Alice’s AstroInfo

Alices-Astro-InfoTitle: What’s Up Tonight! Southern Skies October Edition

Organization: Alice’s AstroInfo

Link : www.alicesastroinfo.com
Heavens-Above Starcharts for anywhere, anytime, not installation required
Stellarium Free planetarium-style program for your computer or tablet
7Timer – Clear sky charts (will it be clear enough for stargazing?). Input your location, then click on “ASTRO” in the pop-up.

Description: Presented as a counterpart to Awesome Astronomy’s Northern Hemisphere monthly forecast, Alice talks about what’s visible from the Southern Hemisphere. Focused at about 33°S, this forecast should work for anywhere between 25°S and 50°S

Bio: Alice Enevoldsen currently volunteers as one of NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors. She has been working in planetariums since 1996, has a B.A. in Astronomy-Geology from Whitman College, and a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University. Her fascination with the stars led her to try her hand at astronomy research in Boston and Walla Walla, where she realized that her calling in life was actually to work in outreach and be a translator for scientists. Now she works hard to share her love of the stars and excitement about astronomy with as many people as possible.

Today’s sponsor: This episode of “365 Days of Astronomy” is sponsored by — no one. We still need sponsors for many days in 2014, so please consider sponsoring a day or two. Just click on the “Donate” button on the lower left side of this webpage, or contact us at signup@365daysofastronomy.org.


Hello, I’m Alice Enevoldsen, coming to you not-so-live from Alice’s AstroInfo with a podcast about what’s up in the October 2014 skies … over the Southern Hemisphere.

How are you today? … oh good! I’m doing well too.

Let’s get started with some Notable Sky Objects and Events in the October skies.

Those of you in Australia, New Zealand, and similar longitudes within the Southern Hemisphere have a total lunar eclipse to view on the evening of October 8th. (A couple weeks later on October 23rd, the Northern Hemisphere has a partial solar eclipse as well.)

Just a week after the lunar eclipse, Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Springs will intersect with Mars’s orbit on October 19. The comet will not hit Mars, at last calculations according to Guy Ottewell it will be about six times farther away than one of Mars’s moons: Deimos. All of the missions currently operating at Mars are planning observations of the cometary close encounter.

One more close-approach that warrants a mention because it might garner media attention is the close-approach flyby of Asteroid 2014 SC324 (I am so loving these names right now…) on October 23. It will be a little farther away than the Moon’s orbit: it would be as if you added another 5 Earth-diameters to the Moon’s orbit to get to the right distance. I should clarify, this is the close approach of an asteroid to the Earth, the last one was a close approach of a comet to Mars. Also, this asteroid is not going to hit us, and as opposed to the comet at Mars, this will be nigh impossible to see from the surface of the planet.

We also have World Space Week at the beginning of the month, October 4-10. (Not to be confused with Astronomy Week, Astronomy Day, Global Astronomy Month, Space Week, Sun-Earth Day, the International Year or Astronomy, or the International Year of Light … I think that’s most of the ones that might be confusing).

Moving on to the “Hey, what’s that?” section:

Those of you who prefer to see your stars before the Sun rises (by the way you’re crazy) will notice Jupiter shining in the East before sunrise, and above that will be the bright stars of the Orion section of the sky: Betelgeuse, Rigel, Aldebaran, and Sirius (the last two aren’t in the constellation of Orion, they’re just nearby).

In the evenings you’ll notice Mars high in the West or Saturn setting just after the Sun.

Pegasus, Pisces, Cetus, and Eridanus join the lineup of Evening Constellations.

If you see Meteors this month it is likely they’re part of one of the many meteor showers we have going on during any given week of the year. This month you’ll be seeing Orionids, and if you see fireballs or bolides those are likely either the Southern or Northern Taurids. You can report bolide sightings to the American (yeah, I know they’re not so local, but they take worldwide sightings) the American Meteor Society at www.amsmeteors.org.

Moving on, a quick overview of the upcoming Moon Phases:

The full moon on October 8 rises around sunset for its eclipse, and sets around sunrise. The next full moon is November 6.

The last quarter moon is October 15 or 16 (depending on your time zone). For the week around the last quarter moon it is visible in the early morning sky.

The day of the new moon, October 23 or 24 (again, the time zone thing), you won’t see the Moon at all, but a day before or after you might see a tiny sliver of a crescent Moon as the Sun rises or sets, and a few days outside of that the Moon will be up all day.

The first quarter moon, October 31, is ideal for late afternoon and early evening observation.

Well! Thanks for tuning in: I hope I gave you some things for which to keep your eyes peeled.

For those of you who haven’t listened before I’m here as a foil for Ralph and Paul with Awesome Astronomy and their monthly 365 Days of Astronomy podcast about what’s up in the skies over the Northern Hemisphere. I’ll be basing this podcast around 33-35°S, so it should be good anywhere from about 25°S to 45° or 50°S. This will include major cities in Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa, as well as the parts of South America south of Paraguay. Those of you living nearer the equator will have to combine both podcasts to figure out what’s most visible in your sky.

I’ll add some of my favorite planning links to the end of the transcript for you as usual. If you have suggestions, things that you’d like me to add to the “What’s up tonight, Southern Skies Edition,” please leave them in the comments!

Once again, I’m Alice Enevoldsen. You can find me online as AlicesAstroInfo on Twitter, Facebook, and www.alicesastroinfo.com.
Bye! See you later!

Useful Links:

Heavens-Above Starcharts for anywhere, anytime, no installation required

Stellarium Free planetarium-style program for your computer or tablet

7Timer – Clear sky charts (will it be clear enough for stargazing?). Input your location, then click on “ASTRO” in the pop-up.

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by Astrosphere New Media. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by libsyn.com and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at 365DaysOfAstronomy.org or email us at info@365DaysOfAstronomy.org. In the new year the 365 Days of Astronomy project will be something different than before….Until then…goodbye

About Alice Enevoldsen

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