What's to see in the night sky in October?

October, 2001

This chart represents the sky as it looks at around 10 PM local time. Some adjustment should be made for longitude, but it shouldn't be much. Right click on the chart, select "Save As" and save the image. You can then print this chart from a photo application, like Print Shop Pro, hold it in front of you with the direction you are facing at the bottom. Then, raise it above your head and you should be able to find your way around from there.



Moon phases

New-10/11_____First Quarter-10/19____Full-10/26____Last Quarter-10/3


Mercury is about the same as last month. You can see it in the evening if you have good, low horizons early in October, but it will drop fast after the 14th.

Mars continues to improve through the month, though still far away.

Venus remains viewable in the morning in the east.

Jupiter begins the slow slide toward the Sun in the west.

Saturn continues to improve in the morning, with a close encounter with Venus around the 14th.

Meteor showers
The Orionids are active from 10/2 through 11/2, peaking at ~20 ZHR on 10/21.

Deep Sky Objects (DSO's)
Messier Objects
Wow! Only one Messier object transits this month near 10 pm. M52 in Cassiopeia, and it's a doozie! Bright, rich, and open. Good one!

Named DSO's
Stephen's Quintet is a favorite test of dark skies. A cluster of 5 very faint galaxies in Pegasus, there's actually a couple dozen withing a degree or two. I usually find it by locating NGC 7331 and moving 1/2 fov south in declination and 1/2 fov west until they show up-the brightest being NGC 7320. All are just visible in the C8.
The Helix Nebula in southern Aquarius is also worth a look. It's very large, but has low surface brightness, so be prepared to squint.
For variable star fans out there, the quintessential variable is up-famous Delta Cepheii, the star that gives the Cepheids its name. Also, there's a LOT of very nice double stars in this area.

Here's the link to SEDS as promised.

January's page February's page March's's page April's page May's page June's page
July's page August's page September's page October's page November's page December's page

Back to this Month


Page URL: http://www.stargazing.net/Astroman/Oct.html

Copyright 1999, Steve Dodder
Webmaster: Steve Dodder
Revised: 1/24/00