Pocaster: Rob Webb

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Title: Last Minute Astronomer October 2023

Organization: Physics teacher at Pequea Valley High School

Link: ; ;
follow me : @MrWebbPV on Twitter and Instagram

Don’t forget this podcast is found on my Podbean page, Stitcher, and iTunes.  There’s also a video version on my YouTube Channel and I can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @mrwebbpv. The Pequea Valley Planetarium and its events and updates are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @pvplanetarium.

Use a sky map from to help you out.


Venus shines bright at sunset all month, with Mars nearby, while Saturn, Jupiter, and even Mercury shine in the mornings, and the Beehive Cluster gets two wandering guests, all in the solstice month of June.

Today’s sponsor:  Big thanks to our Patreon supporters this month: Rob Leeson, David Bowes, Brett Duane, Benett Bolek, Mary Ann, Frank Frankovic, Michael Freedman, Kim Hay, Steven Emert, Frank Tippin, Rani Bush, Jako Danar, Joseph J. Biernat, Nik Whitehead, Michael W, Cherry Wood, Steve Nerlich, Steven Kluth, James K Wood, Katrina Ince, Phyllis Foster, Don Swartwout, Barbara Geier, Steven Jansen, Donald Immerwahr

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Halloween month brings us some spooooooooky astronomy.  Saturn and Jupiter soar ominously above, Venus shines before dawn, and rocks fall from the sky.

Welcome to Observing With Webb for the last time…but only because I’m in the process of rebranding and relaunching the podcast. I’m changing over to The Last Minute Astronomer, which you can find on most of the social media platforms, but in a very empty and young state.  Feel free to start following now, knowing that there will be more to come in the future.

         My name is Rob and I’m your Last Minute Astronomer, bringing astronomy to normies, with little time to spare.  Let’s start with the naked eye planets we can all see, get the Moon phase dates, and then highlight the events for the month.  So break out that calendar and imagination.

Naked-eye PLANETS


  • Saturn – About 20˚ above the horizon in the SE. Fairly dim, but still brighter than all the stars around it.
  • Jupiter – SUPER bright in the East after 8pm.  Just find the brightest point of light in that direction, and you’ve got it.

Throughout the night

  • Saturn & Jupiter – Starting off in the SE, with brightest Jupiter on the left and dimmer Saturn about 70˚ to the right, these two march westward through the night, with Saturn setting around 2:30am and Jupiter staying a little above the horizon in the West at sunset.


  • Venus – By 3:30am, Venus will be above the horizon, rising to about 30˚ above the horizon by sunrise.  Brilliant, brighter than everything around it


Last Quarter Moon – 5th (Visible midnight into the morning)

Morning Crescents (look East in the AM)

New Moon – 14th (darkest skies)

Evening Crescents (look West after Sunset)

First Quarter Moon – 22nd (Visible until midnight)

Evening Gibbous (Mostly lit, after Sunset)

Full Moon – 28th (Visible all night)

Waning Gibbous (Mostly lit, rises later at night)

10th CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Venus, Regulus – The Waning Crescent Moon is just 8˚ up and to the left of Venus, with Leo’s brightest star Regulus right in between them. Visible in the East after 4am until the sun rises.

14thANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE – Saturday is a great day for North America, which experiences a rare annular solar eclipse where the Moon, further away in its orbit than average, is smaller in our view, aligns with the Sun, but doesn’t cover it entirely, leaving a ring of fire. Wear your eclipse glasses, try to travel to the path where you’ll see the ring, or hang out where you are and witness the Moon partially the Sun.

21st – 22ndOrionid Meteor Shower – Usually a decent meteor shower, producing around 15 meteors per hour.  This year the Moon will be at First Quarter, setting around midnight, leaving the best views after midnight and into the morning.  Get out there whenever you can, let your eyes get dark adapted (don’t look at your phone), find a nice spot to lie down away from light pollution, be patient, and look at the whole sky, with an understanding that they will be coming from a spot in Orion’s club.

Some advice for watching:

    Find a dark location and lie down in a reclining chair or hammock

    Look above Orion’s head, near his club.  That is where the radiant is – where the meteors will appear to be coming from.

    The strategy to observe this year is to get out there whenever you can, but the later you stay up, the more you’ll see, since the radiant will be higher and you’ll be closer to the peak. 

Check the weather to see if the skies will be clear

Adapt your eyes to the dark by staying away from light sources or using a red light if you need to look at a star chart or not trip over something. 

If you’re feeling extra nerdy, do a scientific meteor count (S&T and IMO)

23rd – 24th CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Saturn – The Moon is just 8˚ to the right of Saturn on Monday the 23rd, and moves to the other side by the same amount the next night.  Visible in the SE after sunset, setting in the SW after 2am.

28th CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Jupiter – The Full Moon is above Jupiter by just 4˚.  Visible all night.

31stHalloween – Trick-or-Treating will commence under three great telescopic objects to find: Saturn high, but dim, Jupiter bright and low in the East, and a just past Full Moon rising in the East after 7pm.  If you have a telescope, this would be a FANTASTIC year for getting the scope out for some sidewalk astronomy.


Use a sky map from to help you out.

After Dinner:

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. 

Before Bed:

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.

Before Work:

Orion – Look south to find the vertical bow-tie that is Orion the Hunter.

Don’t forget this podcast is found on my Podbean page, Stitcher, and iTunes.  There’s also a video version on my YouTube Channel and I can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @mrwebbpv. The Pequea Valley Planetarium and its events and updates are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @pvplanetarium.

End of podcast:

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