Admin and Founder of The Secrets of the Universe and former intern at Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore, I am a science student pursuing Master’s in Physics from India. I love to study and write about Stellar Astrophysics, Relativity& Quantum Mechanics.
The autumn has begun in the northern hemisphere and there is a chill in the air. The sky is in transition phase from summer to winter. Soon, the prominent constellations of winter will start rising early. Let us have a look at the top astronomy events in October 2019.
October 4: The conjunction of moon and jupiter
The first prominent event of October is the close approach of Moon and Jupiter. The Moon will pass 1°52' to the north of Jupiter. The Moon will be 5 days old.
October 5: Conjunction of moon and saturn
The Moon and Saturn will share the same right ascension, with the Moon passing 0°15' to the south of Saturn. The Moon will be 7 days old. The exact conjunction will happen at 20:37 UTC. In the Indian Standard Time, it will be 02:07 on October 6. The pair will become visible in the evening sky after dusk. The Moon will be at mag -11.9, and Saturn at mag 0.3, both in the constellation Sagittarius.
The pair will be close enough to fit within the field of view of a telescope, but will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
October 11: The Moon at apogee
The Moon will reach the furthest point along its orbit to the Earth and will appear slightly smaller than at other times. The apogee of 11 October 2019 will occur when the Moon is close to full phase, and so this month's full moon will be a little smaller and less bright than usual. On this occasion the Moon will recede to a distance of 405,000 km from the Earth and appear with an angular diameter of 29.42 arcsec. This may be compared to its average size of 31.07 arcmin.
October 14: Full Moon
The Moon will reach full phase. At this time in its monthly cycle of phases, the Moon lies almost directly opposite the Sun in the sky, placing it high above the horizon for much of the night. Over the nights following 14 October, the Moon will rise around an hour later each day, becoming prominent later in the night. Within a few days, it will only be visible in the pre-dawn and early-morning sky. By the time it reaches last quarter, a week after full moon, it will rise at around midnight and set at around noon.
October 21: Orionid Meteor Shower
One of the most important astronomy events in 2019, the Orionid meteor shower will peak on October 21. The shower will be active from Oct 2 to Nov 7. The radiant of the shower (the hypothetical point from where all the streaks appear to originate) lies in the constellation of Orion, hence the name. The shower can produce 15 meteors per hour, at its peak. However, this assumes dark skies and perfect viewing conditions. The shower will peak close to new moon, and so moonlight will present minimal interference.
October 26: The Moon at perigee
The Moon will reach the closest point along its orbit to the Earth and will appear slightly larger than at other times. As the perigee of 26 October 2019 will occur close to the time of new moon, the moon will appear as no more than a thin crescent. On this occasion the Moon will pass within a distance of 361,000 km of the Earth, and appear with an angular diameter of 33.06 arcsec. This may be compared to its average size of 31.07 arcmin.
October 28: Uranus at opposition
On October 28, Uranus will make its closest approach to Earth. At the opposition, the Earth lies directly between the Sun and the superior planet. Uranus will be in Aries. On this occasion, Uranus will lie at a distance of 18.83 AU, and its disk will measure 3.7 arcsec in diameter, shining at magnitude 5.7. Even at its closest approach to the Earth, however, it is not possible to distinguish it as more than a star-like point of light without the aid of a telescope.
October 28: New Moon
The Moon will pass close to the Sun and become lost in the Sun's glare for a few days. Over coming days, the Moon will rise and set an hour later each day, becoming visible in the late afternoon and dusk sky as a waxing crescent which sets soon after the Sun. By first quarter, in a week's time, it will be visible until around midnight.
So these were the most important astronomy events in October 2019. From 1st October, we are starting the 31 article 'Month of Equations' series. Visit our Facebook web page for more information.