Podcaster: Alice Enevoldsen aka Alice’s AstroInfo

Alices-Astro-InfoTitle: What’s Up Tonight! Southern Skies October 2015 Edition

Organization: Alice’s AstroInfo

Link :
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 2015, 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


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 2015 skies … over the Southern Hemisphere.

How are you today?… Exhausted? Yeah! Me too. It was a whirlwind last week what with the so-called #SuperBloodMoon lunar eclipse for half of the world, International Observe the Moon Night, Moon Festival, and the first flight of Perlan II – the sailplane designed to fly to 30km, the edge of space, without an engine. No, I’m not kidding about that.

Let’s look forward at the rest of this month first!

Top News and Sky Objects this Month:

World Space Week is now, October 4-10.

The Southern Taurid meteor shower is going on from September through November, peaking around October 9th or 10th. This meteor shower isn’t much to go out and watch at any specific time, but it does mean we’ll have extra fireball meteors that you might notice if you’re skywatching anyway. The Northern Taurids have a similar timeframe, starting mid-October and going through early December.

The last supermoon of the year is the full moon on October 27.

October 17th we’ll have a nice close conjunction of Mars and Jupiter early in the morning just before sunrise. Look in the East, Venus will also be brilliant nearby.

October 25th is the second conjunction of these three – this time Jupiter and Venus will be close and Mars will be offset a little. This is also in the East just before sunrise.

And later on November 3rd we have the final conjunction pairing Mars and Venus, with Jupiter hanging out nearby.

I’m a little puzzled as to whether we get to call this a triple conjunction or not. I think, technically, not. We have three planets in close proximity, meeting three times within a two-and-a-half week period. When two objects remeet each other three times within a short period of time, as happens occasionally with Mercury or Venus and nearby stars or planets farther out, that’s called a triple conjunction. In this case we don’t have three meetings of the same two objects, we have three meetings of pairs within a group of three objects. They all remain close together for the whole period. At 5 degrees apart, the furthest of the triad is always just a little farther than we’d usually call a conjunction. We also have the further problem that as events observed from the earth, things like triple conjunctions are not exactly well-defined astronomically, and are more like “it’s going to look cool on such-and-such a date.”

A final note on things to watch for – in November comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) might brighten to magnitude 4 after passing the Sun. For now, if you have a Telescope or Binoculars, watch for it after sunset, and keep an eye on the news to see how bright it is. It’ll be moving from constellation Centarus and Libra into constellation Virgo, where we’ll see it before sunrise. As of today it is magnitude 6.3, so with perfect skies or binoculars you’ll be able to find it. A camera with a long-exposure setting and high resolution might also catch it.

Let’s cover the Moon Phases, dates adjusted for Sydney, Australia.

The day of the new moon will be October 13th, and on that day 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 21st, is ideal for late afternoon and early evening observation.

The next full moon will be October 27th. It rises around sunset, and sets around sunrise.

The last quarter moon on November 3rd will be visible in the early morning sky.

The lineup of early Evening Constellations gains Cetus, Eridanus, Columba, Lepus and Aries.

You can download a nice starmap from the Sydney Observatory at

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, International Year of Light podcast about what’s up in the skies over the Northern Hemisphere.

This podcast is based at 33°S: times and dates are given for Sydney, Australia. Most information will be good anywhere from about 25°S to 50°S, though you may have to adjust the time zone. This will include major cities in Australia, New Zealand, countries in Africa south of Mozambique and Namibia, as well as the parts of South America south of Paraguay.

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,” you can e-mail me from my website!

Once again, I’m Alice Enevoldsen. You can find me online as AlicesAstroInfo on Twitter, Facebook, and 

Bye! See you later

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.
Monthly Sky Guides from Sydney Observatory

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy

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