Podcaster: Rob Webb
Title: Observing With Webb in October 2019
Organization: Physics teacher at Pequea Valley High School
Description: October gets us back into the fall observing season with chances to see each naked-eye planet, a bunch of great lunar encounters, and a wonderful night of sights for the trick-or-treaters.
Bio: Rob Webb is a physics, astronomy, and sustainability teacher at Pequea Valley High School in Pennsylvania. His passions include teaching, astronomy, astrophotography, planetariums, running, reading, and golf. A proud graduate of Dickinson College in 2005, he also obtained a Master’s Degree in Science Education from Penn State University after conducting research in regards to the current state of planetariums in Pennsylvania. Feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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October gets us back into the fall observing season with chances to see each naked-eye planet, a bunch of great lunar encounters, and a wonderful night of sights for the trick-or-treaters.
First Quarter Moon – 5th (Visible until midnight)
Full Moon – 13th (Visible all night)
Last Quarter Moon – 21st (Visible from midnight into the morning)
New Moon – 27th (darkest skies)
1st – 6th – Close Encounter – Moon, Jupiter, Saturn – Yet again a great lineup with Saturn and Jupiter starting each night in the SSW, almost 30˚ above the horizon and about 25˚ apart from each other. Beginning on the 1st, the three will be evenly spaced, with the Moon being 25˚ to the right of Jupiter, which is 25˚ to the right of Saturn. The next night the Moon travels to 12˚ to the right of Jupiter, and on the 3rd it closes the gap to just 1.5˚, definitely within a camera’s range. Now the Moon spends the night of the 4th directly between Jupiter and Saturn. On the 5th, Saturn is just 2.5˚ up and to the right of the Moon. On the 6th, the Moon bids adieu to the gassy outer planets and finishes the encounter 12˚ to the left of Saturn, creating a great evening lineup of the Moon, Saturn, and Jupiter until Jupiter sets around 10pm.
20th – 22nd – Orionid Meteor Shower – A decent meteor shower, producing around 20 meteors per hour. The thick waning crescent Moon rises a bit after midnight, making late evening when it’s not out your better chance to see the most meteors. Either way, go out any of these three days, let your eyes get dark adapted (don’t look at your phone), find a nice spot to lie down away from light pollution, and be patient.
26th – Close Encounter – Moon, Mars – In making its comeback, Mars also makes a great view with the very thin crescent Moon just 7˚ above it in the SSE after 6:30am.
29th – Close Encounter – Moon, Venus – Might be tough, but if you have a nice clear SW horizon, find bright Venus and a very thin crescent Moon in almost the same spot, the Moon being 4˚ above Venus.
Halloween: 31st – This
should be a GREAT night to take the telescope out for those trick-or-treaters.
Look SW and the beautiful crescent Moon is just 4˚ to the left of Jupiter, a
second awesome target for the scope. Up and to the left is Saturn, a classic
outreach object. If you have a great view of the SW horizon, you may even catch
Use a sky map from www.skymaps.com to help you out.
The Summer Triangle: Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila, Delphinus – Look straight up before 8pm and you’ll be able to see Lyra (the Harp), Cygnus (the Swan), Aquila (the Eagle), (and Delphinus the Dolphin.) These three constellations have the three brightest stars of the summer constellations (Vega, Deneb, Altair – respectively.) Those bright stars create the summer triangle. Off to the east of this is the small but beautiful constellation of Delphinus. If you’re under dark skies (away from city lights) you may just catch a glimpse of the Milky Way passing through Cygnus and Aquila.
Fall Constellations: Pegasus & Andromeda -Look pretty much straight up before 10pm and you’ll be able to see the Great Square of Pegasus, with Andromeda curving off of one corner. If your skies are decently dark, you might catch the faint fuzz that is the Andromeda Galaxy.
Orion – Look south to find the vertical bow-tie that is Orion the Hunter.
End of podcast:
365 Days of Astronomy
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