Night Sky for October 2021

Bright Planets and Meteor Showers

By Bob Berman
October 1, 2021
Crescent Moon and Venus

Look up! The Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn meet in the evening sky!  Planet watching is ideal as it’s darker earlier but still mild. See Bob Berman’s Sky Watch for October to get more details. 

Sky Watch October 2021

by Bob Berman, as featured in The Old Farmer’s Almanac

With the autumnal equinox, the seasons have turned and we’ll enjoy darker night skies ahead—great for seeing some really bright planets and meteor showers! Here are Bob Berman’s highlights of the monthly night sky.

October 7 to 10: Close Approach of the Moon & Venus

Locate the moon and Venus low in the west after sunset on October 7, 8, 9 and 10, 2021.

On the 9th of October, in evening twilight, the young crescent Moon hovers closely above now-brilliant Venus, nestled in the claws of Scorpius.  Look after dusk fades for this dramatic conjunction. 

October 8–9: Draconid Meteor Shower

The Draconoids aren’t a major meteor shower but they do bring about six meteors per hour. Late evening is the best time to see these shooting stars, which will radiate from the constellation Draco, the dragon (near the bright star of Vega). See the Meteor Shower Guide.

October 13 to 15: Moon, Jupiter, & Saturn Converge

On October 13 to 15, the Moon will appear to pass planets Jupiter and Saturn. Look southward. These 3 objects grouped together offer the finest targets for small backyard telescopes.

  • On Wednesday, the 13th, look first for the waxing Moon (which is near First Quarter); then note the brightest object that appears to the Moon’s upper left. That’s Giant Jupiter!  Saturn’s even closer to the Moon but much dimmer.
  • On Thursday, October 14, the Moon has travelled closer to Jupiter, appearing to hover just to the Moon’s upper left. You can’t miss it. Jupiter is brighter than any star. Faint Saturn is now a little further away, about 4 degrees north.
  • On the Friday, October 15, the Moon has now passed 4 degrees south of Jupiter; the bright planet will appear to the upper right of the Moon.

Find the Moon rise/set times and also planet rise/set times.

October 15 to 17: Venus Meets Antares

Venus meets Scorpius’s famous orange star Antares from the 15th to the 17th, before crossing into the oft-called “13th zodiacal constellation” of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer, on the 21st, where it will spend the next 10 evenings.

October 20: Full Hunter’s Moon Rises

October’s full Moon appears on Wednesday, October 20, 2021. Like September’s Harvest Moon, the Hunter’s Moon rises around the same time for several nights in a row, so start looking for it on Tuesday, October 19! Learn more about the Hunter’s Moon.

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October 20–21: Peak of the Orionid Meteor Shower

The Orionids traditionally has the best shooting stars in October, though the full Moon needs to be considered his year. The meteor shower lasts from October 2 to November 7. Given the full Moon (October 20), starting looking earlier or later than the peak (October 21).

The Orionids radiate from the well-known constellation Orion the Hunter, specifically from a point near the hunter’s club.  When looking for the meteor shower, look away from the Moon towards darker regions of the sky.

See the Meteor Shower Calendar.

Source: 

The Old Farmer's Almanac

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Reader Comments

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mary beth shipley You are AMAZING!!

mary beth shipley Thank you so much for finding that! I never imagined I'd find this information out.

Saturn:

we were in the sixth grade that year; I used to see the moon w/my Father's Binoculars; very interesting;

Saturn:

Saturn was close to the Earth that year; an amazing sight~

Nice to be able to see Planets; Stars;

Nice to be able to see Planets & Stars: I have a small backyard telescope; to research the telescope usage; I recall seeing Saturn + Rings in about 1964 w a telescope at our school; w the professor; it was really cool !!!

DIANNA part 3

I think I found it! On July 26, 1982 the crescent moon was in conjunction with three planets!! Mars, Jupiter and Saturn! that would have definitely been an amazing site! I took a screenshot of it off of Stellarium app. My email is my name at yahoo.com if you want to contact me, I will send to you. You can also Google that date and put in the words “moon and planet conjunction july 1982” and probably find something on your own as well but the Stellarium screenshot is stunning!!

DIANNA part two

To make it easier you can pull up a moon phase calendar let’s say starting in 1977 and you can determine which days are a crescent moon, then you can check just those days out for each month. I will start looking myself to see if I see anything, I’ve gotten real good/fast at it lol

Dianna

There is an app called Stellarium that let you go back and forth in time… you can literally look at any single night in the sky from years backwards or forward. You could start with about the age you think you are and play with it until you see what you saw. You can adjust features so that you have the names of the stars and constellations etc. Great app and also a full version website. Actually the full version website might be better for this because the screen would be bigger. Good luck!

Crescent Moon with 3 stars

When I was a kid I remember a crescent moon with 3 stars clustered near the southern tip. It was beautiful and unusual. I've never seen it again. It would have been late 70's to early 80's. I've always wanted to know more about that. Anyone know?

HALLOWEEN MOON

A Halloween full moon will ALWAYS be a blue moon. Think about it. ;-)