You can see planet Jupiter, Saturn, meteor showers and more in the October sky. This is what NASA says.
The month of October has a lot to offer to space enthusiasts. After watching Jupiter, Saturn, meteor showers and more, NASA has revealed the space events taking place in October. “Stargazing in October? We’ve got you covered. Jupiter and Saturn are visible all month. The full moon lights up the night from October 9. Mars goes retrograde and the Orionid meteor shower puts on a show at its peak on October 20” NASA tweeted.
Both the planets Jupiter and Saturn will be visible all night in October. According to NASA, early in the evening you will find the planets in the southeast, moving slowly west with the stars during the night. They form a triangle with the bright star Fomalhaut. Explaining how you know whether you’re looking at a star or a planet, the research organization said: “When observing this trio, pay attention to how the planets shine with constant light, as the star twinkles. This can be an easy way to know. or what you’re looking at is a planet or a star.”
The retrograde motion of Mars
Mars works steadily eastwards all year round, as usual, relative to the background stars. But in late October, Mars stops this apparent movement and then appears to change course. For the next three months, from November to the end of January, Mars moves west every night. Then, towards the end of January, it reverses direction again and continues its journey east.
This is what is called the retrograde motion of Mars. It happens about every two years, and it really put early observers on a loop. That Mars appears to be changing direction is an illusion caused by the movements of our planet in its orbit passing the Red Planet in its orbit, NASA informed.
The Orionids Meteor Shower
The Orionids meteor shower is active throughout October and November and peaks on the night of October 20. It is a moderate rainfall, usually producing 10-20 meteors per hour at its peak, under clear, dark skies. This year, the moon will be about 20% full on peak nights. So it will interfere a bit if it comes up a few hours before sunrise, but shouldn’t totally spoil the view.
No special equipment is needed to observe meteor showers. Make sure you’re warm enough and look from a safe, dark place away from bright lights, NASA said.