What We’re Watching: October 2021
Meteor showers galore! We have a fun month of skygazing events ahead. We compiled a few of our favorites that you won’t want to miss!
October 6: New Moon
No moon will be in sight on this night! You’ll have dark skies and views untainted by moonlight. Weather permitting, it will be the best day of the month for viewing faint, distant objects. You should also be able to have good visibility of Uranus (early morning of October 6th) and Jupiter and Saturn (night of October 6th).
October 7: Draconids Meteor Shower
The Draconids Meteor Shower is a smaller shower that will produce approximately 10 meteors per hour at its peak on October 7th. Unlike most meteor showers, the Draconids will be most visible in the early evening rather than early morning. The new moon should produce excellent dark skies perfect for catching sight of lots of these slow-moving meteors.
The Draconid meteors will originate from the constellation Draco, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
October 20: Full Moon
The moon will have a fully illuminated face the night of October 20th. Its moonlight will cast a beautiful glow over the earth, but will also make it difficult to view fainter objects in the sky.
Did you know - the Native American tribes called this moon the Hunters Moon because this was the time of year when game was fat and ready to hunt.
October 21-22: Orionids Meteor Shower
This mid-sized meteor shower will produce around 20 fast-moving, green and yellow meteors per hour at its peak on the late night of the 21st and early morning of the 22nd. The mostly full moon will block out the fainter meteors, but find a dark location away from city lights and you should still get a great show of the brighter meteors!
The Orionids were produced by the left behind grains from the comet Haley, which has been observed since ancient times. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Orion, but can appear anywhere in the sky
October 29: Venus at Greatest Eastern Elongation
This will be a great night to get an excellent view of Venus. On the night of October 29th it will be a mere 47 degrees from the sun. You can look to find Venus in the western sky after sunset.
If you learned anything from this month's What We’re Watching Sky Gazing Guide, be sure to share it with a friend or on social media for others to enjoy!