Like every month, NASA presents us with the phenomena that will take place in our sky throughout the month. The presence of Jupiter and Saturn, Mars retrograde and meteor shower stand out.
We are already in October and, like every month, the POT does us the favor of announcing the phenomena that we will be able to see throughout this new month, as well as a series of tips to be able to enjoy them in their maximum splendor.
In the first place, they stand out, and it is not for less, the presence throughout October of Saturn and Jupiter in our skies that we will be able to see them every evening when the sun goes down.
In the early afternoon, you will find Jupiter and Saturn to the southeast, moving slowly west along with the stars over the course of the night. They form a triangle with the bright star Fomalhaut.
A very good trick to know if we are really facing this triangle is that the star will emit a bright light that blinks, while the planets will always remain illuminated.
Secondly, Mars. And it’s just, this one has been heading east all year, but this month (the end of October) it will change its path to the west each night. Then, towards the end of January, it will reverse direction again and continue its journey east.
In the NASA video you can learn more about this so-called “retrograde motion” of Mars, which occurs about once every two years. That Mars seems to change direction it is an illusion caused by the movements of our planet in its orbit as it passes the Red Planet in its orbit.
About every 26 months, we overtake Mars, which moves more slowly in its orbit. During that period when we pass Mars, and before we go around our orbit away from it, we see Mars retrograde, which seems to change direction, although it continues to advance in its orbit.
Orionid meteor shower
Finally, let’s go with an event that will occur between October and November: the Orionid meteor shower, which it reaches its maximum on the night of October 20. We’re talking about 10-20 meteors per hour at its peak, so it’s pretty moderate.
“The name of the shower comes from the fact that the trajectories of its meteors can be traced to an area of the sky near Orion”says the space agency, adding that the meteors in this particular shower are dust fragments left over from Halley’s Cometwhich was last seen in Earth’s skies in 1986.
This year, the Moon will be 20% full on the nights of maximum splendor. So it will get in the way a bit when you leave a couple of hours before sunrise, but it shouldn’t totally spoil the experience. According to NASA, no special equipment is needed to observe meteor showers. Just make sure it’s dark enough (and warm enough).
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism