Nene Valley Astronomical Society
The Local Society For Amateur Astronomers In Wellingborough & East Northants
Home            Eagles Eye

 

 
October 2013
 
The Moon:   
 
New – October 5th
First Quarter - October 11th
Full - October 18th
Last Quarter - October 26th
As an aid to their identification, the Moon will be close to: Mars on October 1st, Venus and Antares on October 8th, Uranus on October 14th
and 15th, the Hyades on October 21st, Jupiter on October 26th, Mars and Comet ISON on October 30th and Vesta, Ceres and Comet
Encke on October 31st.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mercury - Reaches greatest eastern elongation on the 9th, but is unlikely to be seen so low down in the western sky just after sunset, as it
sets very quickly.
 
Venus - Also low in the western sky after sunset, again sets very quickly.
 
Mars - Moving into Leo from Cancer throughout the month. It will be close to Comet ISON on the 1st of the month. They will also be close
together once again on the 15th when they will also be close to Regulus, making a nice straight line.
 
Jupiter - Located within Gemini this brilliant planet (Mag -2.1) is visible after midnight in the eastern sky.
 

Saturn - Now extremely low down in the western sky after sunset and lost.

 
Uranus - This (just) naked eye planet at magnitude 5.7, is visible in Pisces. It reaches opposition on the 3rd when it will be at its biggest
and brightest.
 

Neptune - Located in southern Aquarius at magnitude 7.9.

 
 
 
   
 
COMET ISON C/2012 S1 - Now getting very exciting as it is starting to brighten rapidly as its distance from the Sun decreases. This comet will only be
visible in the morning sky throughout its apparition, so set those alarms. On the 1st ISON, predicted to be at about 11th magnitude at this time, will be close
 to Mars. On the 15th, as the comet starts to pick up momentum, it passes close to Mars once again, making a straight line with Regulus. By the end of the
 month, ISON will be between Leo and Virgo, leaving Mars well behind. By this time it should have brightened to about 8th magnitude, so easily visible in
binoculars or a small telescope. A close-by crescent Moon may interfere somewhat.
 
 
 
Comet 2P/Encke – Also visible in the morning sky, starts the month as an 11th magnitude object in Auriga. Moving rapidly south east, it passes Lynx,
Leo Minor and finds itself in northern Virgo by the end of the month. It should have brightened to about 7th magnitude by this time.
 
Comet 154P/Brewington – This comet is visible for most of the night in the constellation of Aquarius. Brightening from mag. 9.8 to 9.2 it will move northwards
and end up close to the Water Jar asterism by the end of the month.
 
 
 
 
The Stars:
 
 
Chart drawn for October 1st at 11pm, October 15th at 10pm and October 31st at 9pm.  Planetary and lunar positions are shown for mid-month.
Chart from Nightvision. 
 

High overhead lies Cepheus, looking much like a child’s drawing of a house and the brilliant white star Vega in Lyra. Look for the red Garnet star just off
and halfway across the base of Cepheus. Low in the south the bright 1st magnitude star Fomalhaut shines very lonely surrounded by much fainter stars.
Higher in the south are Capricornus and Aquarius. Towards the north, Ursa Major is now getting low in the sky, but being circumpolar, will never set.
Arcturus has almost set in the western sky and Ophiuchus has half gone. In the western sky Taurus is now starting to rise. With the nights rapidly getting
darker and longer, winter is approaching fast. Let’s hope that we get some clear skies to enjoy the imminent arrival of Comet ISON. How will the comet
behave and how bright will it be? The answer to that is that we really do not know. Just make sure you get out there in the early morning sky to enjoy it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
For a much fuller guide, graphics and the latest news visit please click here to visit my website (opens in new window) 
Dave Eagle