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Tour of the Sky: October 2007

3 Oct 2007, 10:27 UTC
Tour of the Sky:  October 2007
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Download this month's sky map!
Kym Thalassoudis does a wonderful job creating accurate and easy to use star
maps every month! Visit his site at www.skymaps.com for skymaps and links to
other useful astronomical sites. Also a great portal for astronomical gifts!

Northern hemisphere sky
mapSouthern hemisphere sky
map

Those in the Southern Hemisphere should also visit
James Barclay's site for a great tour of the Southern Hemisphere October
sky.

Another great site for Southern Hemisphere viewers is the Royal Astronomical
Society of New Zealand's Southern Hemisphere Calendar can be found at the RASNZ siteIan
Musgrave has a very handy Southern Hemisphere site called Southern Sky Watch.

Download "What's up
2007: 365 days of Skywatching" by Tammy Plotner, published by Universe Today
(Faser Cain) it is a fantastic and it is free!

Planets for October 2007Keep and eye on Venus, Saturn, Regulus
(and waning crescent moons) all month long..
Mercury- In Virgo Mercury is well placed in the evening sky for more
Southern viewers (South of 30 degrees N) into mid October. Mercury is stationary
on th 12th and then moves into inferior conjunction October 24th. Poor viewing
for Northern viewers 0.1 mag (1st) to 3.9 mag (21st)
Venus- In Leo Venus is brilliant in the morning sky and climbing
higher daily. Venus, Saturn and Regulus make a attractive triangle for the
unaided eye for several days around October 13th. Venus dominates the morning
sky reaching greatest elongation west October 28th -4.4 mag (1st) to - 4.3 mag
(21st)
Mars- In Gemini. Earth is slowly catching up to Mars so the red
planet will continue to look larger through December when Earth and Mars are
their closest approach. -0.1 (1st) to -0.4 mag (21st)
Jupiter- Starts the month near globular cluster NGC6235. Jupiter, in
Ophiuchus sets an not long after the sun by mid-month. Take advantage of October
to enjoy the gas giant before we start losing him in the sun's glare as we go
into the end of the year -2.0 mag (1st) to -1.9 mag (21st)
Saturn- In Leo Saturn rises several hours before sunrise with Venus
and Regulus in a nice little trio. 0.7 mag (1st) to 0.8 mag (21st)
Uranus-In Aquarius 5.7 mag (1st) to 5.8 mag (21st)
Neptune-Will camp out in Capricorn all year long 7.9 mag (1st) to 7.8
mag (21st)

Key Dates for October 2007

Great site for sunrise and sunset
times and a downloadable toolbar application by Steve Edwards

Astronomical Highlights

October
Great
Worldwide Star Count!

2
- Mars 5 deg S of Moon

3
- Last Quarter moon (10:07 UT)

- Mars .9 deg S of M35 at the foot of Castor

4
- Go outside and look for satellites and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of
Sputnik!
(more....)

5
- Moon 1.1 deg N of the Beehive M44

- Comet 96P/Machholz 1.7 deg NE of Jupiter (faint - mag 11?)

7
- Venus 3 deg S of Moon

- Regulus .2 deg S, Saturn 1.3 deg N of Moon, possible occultation (7:00 UT)
Check the webpages for the International
Occultation and Timing Association for possible occultation for your
area.

8
- Draconid
meteors peak

9
- Venus 3 deg S of Regulus. Venus, Saturn and Regulus in a nice
cluster

11
- New Moon

- Good time to start your lookout for Comet 8P/Tuttle (currently very faint
12th mag). Starts out in October near Polaris moving into Cepheus in early
December possible brightening to naked eye magnitude as it reaches Cassiopeia
around the 22nd of Dec. Which of us will be first to spot it?

12
- Mercury stationary

13
- Mercury 1.3 deg N of Moon

- Moon at apogee (406492 km)

15
- Venus 3 deg S of Saturn

- Antares .6 deg N of Moon, possible occultation (15:00 UT) Check the
webpages for the International
Occultation and Timing Association for possible occultation for your
area.

16
- Jupiter 5 deg N of Moon

18
- Double shadow transit on Jupiter (8:42 UT) First of 16 in the next 30
days

19
- First Quarter

- Zodiacal Lights visible in N latitude in East before morning twilight for
next two week

21
- Neptune 1.3 deg N of Moon, possible occultation (3:00 UT) Check the
webpages for the International
Occultation and Timing Association for possible occultation for your
area.

- Double shadow transit on Jupiter (21:39 UT)

- Orionid meteor
peak

24
- Mercury in inferior conjunction

25
- Double shadow transit on Jupiter (10:36 UT)

26
- Full Moon (largest in 2007) Moon at perigee (356733) Large tides

28
- Moon 1.0 deg N of Pleiades (M45)

- Venus at greatest elongation

- Roll the clocks back an hour, check your area news listings for
details

- Double shadow transit on Jupiter (23:34)

30
- Double shadow transit on Jupiter (18:02)

- Moon, Mars, Castor and Pollux in a nice group this evening

31
- Neptune stationary

- Halloween (31) All Saints' Day (Nov 1) All Souls' Day (Nov 2) Our fourth
(last)cross-quarter
day (Nov 5-8) (more
information..)

Occultation information can be found at the IOTA
website!

Historical and Current Events...Did you know?
Culled from Wikipedia and others, by Mark Tillotson (Thank you
Mark!)

October

1
1847 Maria Mitchell, (8/1/1818-6/28/1889) the first woman astronomer in the
United States, discovered a comet which was referred to as "Miss Mitchell's
Comet".

1958 NASA was created by an Act of Congress to replace NACA.

2
1608 Johannes Lippershey, (c.1570-c.1619) demonstrated a new invention, the
first optical (refracting) telescope.

4
1957 Launch of Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth.
This marked the beginning of the 'Space Race.'

5
1882 b- Robert Goddard, (d. 8/10/1945) American rocket scientist, "Father of
Modern Rocketry". Launched 1st rocket 3/26/1926. NASA's Goddard Space Flight
Center was established in his memory.

10
1846 Neptune's moon, Triton, is discovered by William Lassell while he was
observing the newly discovered planet Neptune. He was attempting to confirm his
observation of the previous week, that Neptune had a ring. Instead he discovered
that Neptune had a satellite.

View
entire historical calendar!

Monthly Messier*Sliding
into October we complete our tour of the wonders in Sagittarius. Sixteen Messier
objects are found within the constellation of Sagittarius, we will seek the six
that remain to be seen on our tour. We will also search for three others just
north of Sagittarius in the Milky Way.
Our October tour includes two nebulae and the clusters that power them, four
open clusters, a star cloud, and lastly two globular clusters. All of these
objects are possible in binoculars, most are easy in even small binoculars.
Several of these are also possible naked eye objects.

M24 - This "object" is
actually a section of the Milky Way in Sagittarius. It is easily seen with the
naked eye as a fuzzy, oval patch about four times the size of the full moon. The
best views are through binoculars or rich field telescopes. M25 - Just east of M24 in
Sagittarius we find this open cluster. Visible to the naked eye, M25 lies in the
same binocular field as M24. In binoculars it appears as a partially resolved
star cluster buried in faint nebulosity. A view through a telescope shows the
nebulosity is in fact many faint stars that are not resolved in small
instruments. M18 - This
is a small open cluster just north of M24 in Sagittarius. In binoculars M18 is
easy to see as a small fuzzy patch of light in the same field of view as M24.
Telescopes reveal this cluster for what it is, a small, sparse collection of
fairly bright stars. M17 - Just north of M18 and in
the same binocular field as M24 and M18 lies the Omega nebula. Possible to see
with the naked eye and easy with binoculars, this nebula appears as a small
faint patch of fuzz. A telescope will show the unique V shape nebulosity that
gives the cluster its name. The shape reminds me of a swan with two bright stars
that power the cluster embedded in the head and neck of the swan. M16 - Continuing north of M17
we find another nebula in Serpens. To the naked eye and binoculars, this small
patch of haze is very similar in appearance to M17 which is in the same
binocular field of view. Through a telescope the M16 looks like a sparse open
cluster of stars surrounded by faint wisps of smoke. M26 - Continuing to head north
through the Milky Way we find this open cluster in the constellation Scutum.
This is a difficult object to find in binoculars, but possible as a faint patch
of fuzz. Telescopes partially resolve this cluster and show several stars buried
in a faint glow from the unresolved stars. M11 - Just north of M26 in
Scutum lies the Wild Duck Cluster. Possible to see with the naked eye,
binoculars show a small faint patch surrounding a bright star. Telescopes
resolve many of the stars in this very rich cluster. M55 - Dipping back into
Sagittarius we find two more globular clusters waiting for us. The first is one
of the brightest and largest globulars in the catalogue. Possible to see naked
eye, it is an easy binocular object appearing as a bright fuzzy ball of light.
Telescopes show a round patch of light bright in the center and fading toward
the edges. Large apertures are needed to resolve this globular. M75 - The last object of the
month, and the last object to be visited in Sagittarius. In binoculars, M75 is
not too hard to see, look for a small fuzzy star. A telescope will show a small
fuzz ball with a bright center.

From the Astronomical
Connection and the Moncton Center in Canada

Astronomical Highlights for 2007
Earth's major motions for 2007

Perihelion

Jan 3 20h(UT)

First Cross Quarter Day

Feb 2-6

Equinox

Mar 21 00:07(UT)

Second Cross Quarter Day

May 4-7

Solstice

June 21 18:06(UT)

Aphelion

July 4 00h (UT)

Third Cross Quarter Day

Aug 5-8

Equinox

Sept 23 19:51(UT)

Fourth Cross Quarter Day

Nov 5-8

Solstice

Dec 22 06:08(UT)

Planet Positions for 2007

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Venus
Sgr
Aqr
Psc
Ari
Tau
Gem
Leo
Sex
Cnc
Leo
Leo
Vir

Mars
Oph
Sgr
Cap
Cap
Aqr
Psc
Ari
Tau
Tau
Gem
Gem
Gem

Jupiter
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph
Oph

Saturn
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo
Leo

Uranus
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu
Aqu

Neptune
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap
Cap

Eclipses for 2007

March 19 - partial solar eclipse (see map, times, and
animation!): The first
solar eclipse of 2007 occurs at the Moon's ascending node in Pisces and is
visible from eastern Asia and parts of northern Alaska

September 11 - partial solar eclipse (see map, times, and
animation): The last
eclipse of 2007 is a partial solar eclipse at the Moon's descending node in
southern Leo. Its visibility is confined to parts of South America, Antarctica
and the South Atlantic

March 3-4 - total lunar eclipse (see
map): The beginning of the umbral phase visible in the Arctic region,
Africa, Europe, Asia except for extreme eastern region, most of Indonesia,
western Australia, Queen Maud Land of Antarctica, extreme eastern South America,
Greenland, the Indian Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean, and the eastern North
Atlantic Ocean; the end visible in Africa, Europe, western Asia, Queen Maud Land
of Antarctica and Antarctic Peninsula, South America, eastern North America,
Greenland, the Arctic region, the Atlantic Ocean, the western Indian Ocean, and
the extreme eastern South Pacific Ocean.

August 28 - total lunar eclipse (see
map): The beginning of the umbral phase visible in North America, South
America except extreme east, Antarctica except for Enderby Land, New Zealand,
eastern Australia, extreme northeastern Asia, the Pacific Ocean, and the western
Atlantic Ocean; the end visible in New Zealand, Australia, most of Antarctica
except Queen Maud Land, Indonesia, eastern Asia, western North America, the
Pacific Ocean, and the southeastern Indian Ocean.

Eclipse information from:
NASA Eclipse
Homepage, Eclipses Online (HM
Nautical Almanac Office, UK in coordination with the U.S. Naval
Observatory)
Meteor Showers
for 2007

As luck would have it, all the major meteor showers reach their peaks
in 2007 with the Moon out of the sky. Any of these showers can produce dozens of
shooting stars each dark hour leading up to dawn.

Mark your calendar to look
for...
Perseids on August 13th
Orionids on October 21st
Leonids on November 18th
Geminids on the night of December 13-14 (Meteor enthusiasts are keenly
awaiting the Geminids in 2007 because their progenitor, the defunct comet
Phaethon, precedes them in a flyby of Earth on December 10th.)

Comets for October

Gary Kronk's comet and
meteor pagesSkyhound
Comet pages
Help us out by leaving a donation in the ol' PayPal hat or write us a
favorable review in iTunes of Podcast Pickle or iPodder!

Music Scottish Guitar
Quartet -"Romance within you"

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