From the 4th – 6th Venus passes close to the
star Porrima (2.7 mag) in Virgo. On the 5th at 6:15am in
the ESE Porrima is just 1 degree above left of Venus.
On the 4th at 6:00am the star Zeta Tauri (2.9mag) in
Taurus is 4 degrees to the left of the moon and 1 degree above.
At 6:00am on the 5th the Star Propus (3.3mag) in Gemini is
1¾ degrees below the moon and ¾ of a degree to the left.
On the 6th at 6:00am the star Wasat (3.5mag) in Gemini is
3 degrees to the left of the moon and 1 degree below.
At 9:00pm on the 6th the star Kappa Geminorum (3.5mag) in
Gemini is just 1¾ degrees above the moon low in the north east, then
at 11:45pm Castor (1.5mag) and Pollux (1.1mag) point the way to the
On the 7th at 11:00pm the Beehive Star Cluster is 3
degrees to the right of the moon.
At 6:30am on the 9th the star Eta Leonis (3.4mag) in Leo
is 2 degrees to the left of the moon.
Mercury reaches maximum western elongation from the Sun on the 10th.
is a planned launch on the 10th
at 7:31pm from Vandenberg Air Force base in California of the
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite. This ocean observation
satellite is part of the Sentinel-6/Jason-CS mission. This U.S.-
European collaboration will add to a longterm sea level dataset.
meteor shower reach their peak on the 10th/11th
November, though they can be seen from the 19th October -
On the 11th at 6:30am the star Denebola (2.1mag) in Leo is
8½ degrees above left of the crescent moon.
From the 12th
– 21st Comet 88P Howell (9.5 mag – Oct 18th)
will be passing below Jupiter and Saturn (from right to left). On the
19th Howell will be just 1½ degrees below right of the
At 6:30am on the 12th the star Porrima (2.7mag) in Virgo
is just 2 degrees to the lower right of the crescent moon with Venus
10 degrees to the lower left.
On the 13th at 6:30am Venus is 5½ degrees above right of
a thin crescent moon. Mercury is 8½ degrees to the lower left of the
moon and 8 degrees above the horizon at 117 degrees azimuth.
From the 13th
– 14th Comet C/2020 M3 Atlas (8th mag - Oct 20th)
is 0.358AU and closest to the earth. Its also in the constellation of
Orion. On the 15th its less than ½ a degree from the star
Bellatrix (1.6 mag).
On the 14th at 6.30am Mercury is 6 degrees upper right of
a very thin crescent moon which is 3 degrees above the ESE horizon at
113 degrees azimuth. The moon is at perigee (357,837km) on the 14th
From the 15th – 19th Venus passes close to
the star Spica (1st mag) in Virgo. On the 17th at 6:15am
Spica is 4 degrees to the upper left of Venus.
On the 16th at 4:50pm a very thin crescent moon will be
seen low in the south west. It will be 3 degrees above the horizon at
Comet C/2020 S3
Erasmus (10.7 mag – Oct 20th) is at perihelion on
December 13th when it will be just 0.423AU from the Sun.
On the 16th Erasmus is less than a ¼ of a degree from the
star Gienah (2.5 mag) in the constellation of Corvus.
At 5:00pm on the 17th a thin crescent moon will be seen in
the south west. It will be 6 degrees above the horizon at 215.5
Comet 156P Russell-Linear (11.5 mag – Oct 18th) is at
perihelion on the 17th. From the 27th – 29th
it passes close to the star Omega Piscium (4th mag) in Pisces. At
7:45pm on the 28th its less than a ¼ of a degree from it
and due south. Its also 15 degrees to the right of Mars.
meteor shower reach their peak on the 17th/18th
though they can be seen from the 5th – 29th.
On the 18th at 5:00pm the star Nunki (2 mag) in
Sagittarius is 1¾ degrees to the lower right of the crescent moon.
Jupiter is 10 degrees upper left of the moon with Saturn is 3½
degrees left of Jupiter.
At 5:00pm on the 19th Saturn is 4 degrees above the
crescent moon. Jupiter is 5¼ degrees to the upper right of the moon.
From the 21st – 23rd Mercury passes close to
the star Zubenelgenubi (2.7 mag) in Libra. On the 22nd at
6:45am Mercury will be 1¼ degrees to the upper left of the star.
Mercury is 4¼ degrees above the horizon and at 121 degrees azimuth.
On the 21st at 8:00pm the star Delta Capricorni (2.8 mag)
in Capricorn is just 3¼ degrees to the right of the moon and 1
At 8:00pm on the 22nd the star Tau Aquarii (4 mag) in
Aquarius is 1 degree to the upper left of the moon. An occultation of
this star by the moon occurs at 10:10:54pm approx. (This time is set
From the 22nd – 25th the asteroid Ceres will
pass within 1½ degrees to the star Skat (3.2 mag) in Aquarius.
On the 23rd at 9:00pm Neptune is 5¼ degrees to the upper
right of the moon. Neptune is also just 1 degree to the upper left of
the star Phi Aquarii (4.2 mag) in Aquarius.
At 6:00pm on the 24th the star Iota Ceti (3.5 mag) in
Cetus is 4¼ degrees below the moon.
On the 25th at midnight Mars is 5 degrees to the upper
right of the moon.
At 6:00pm on the 26th the star Nu Piscium (4.4 mag) in
Pisces is less than half a degree to the upper left of the moon.
The moon is at apogee (405,894km) on the 27th at 12:29am.
At 6:00pm Uranus is 3½ degrees above the moon and 1½ degrees to the
left. At midnight the star Mu Ceti (4.2 mag) in Cetus is 3 degrees to
the left of the moon with Uranus 3¾ degrees to the right and 1½
On the 28th at midnight the star 16369 “Hipparcos Cat
ID” (4.1 mag) in Taurus is 3 degrees below left of the moon.
At 7:00am on the 30th low in the WNW the star Ain (3.5mag)
is 2 degrees to the left of the moon and 1 degree above. Aldebaran
(0.8 mag) is 5 degrees to the left of the moon.
There is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on the 30th. As the
penumbral phase starts at 7:32:21am (and the moon setting at 7:47am)
its unlikely any of it will be seen from the UK. This is the last and
longest lunar eclipse of the year. The penumbral phase will last 4
hours 20mins 59secs. Greatest eclipse is at 9:42:49am.
* = Dates and times
are subject to change.
Solar Orbiter: The
science payload is composed of 10 instruments.
8/10) STIX –
Spectrometer Telescope for Imaging X-rays (Switzerland): Provides
imaging spectroscopy of solar thermal and non-thermal X-ray emission
from 4 to 150 keV. STIX provides quantitative information on the
timing, location, intensity and spectra of accelerated electrons as
well as of high-temperature thermal plasmas, mostly associated with
flares and /or microflares.
News: It was
announced on 19th October by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse
Tyson that an asteroid called 2018 VP1 is scheduled to zip path Earth
this month, on the 2nd. Researchers discovered 2018 VP1
using telescopes at the Zwicky Transient Facility at Caltech's
Palomar Observatory in California. Because of its small size,
scientists have had a tough time keeping track of the object and
plotting its trajectory. It currently has a 0.41 percent chance of
entering our planet's atmosphere but if it did, it would
disintergrate due to its extremely small size.
closest ever recorded approach by an asteroid occurred on August
16th, when 2020 QG flew 1,830miles above the surface of
the Earth. Scientists at Zwicky spotted the SUV-sized asteroid about
6 hours after the close call as it zipped away from Earth.