With October we already leave behind the summer months definitively. However, the weather is still good enough to get out of the city and enjoy a day in nature and, especially, watching the night sky. That is why we have prepared this simple guide , so that you can enjoy the different shows that the month of October has prepared for us.
We start the month with the Observe the Moon International Night , an event coordinated by NASA in which groups from all over the world meet in hundreds of cities to celebrate the Moon , observe it and publicize everything what we know about her. It is usually celebrated in September or October with a growing moon. This year the date chosen was October 1 , just 2 days before the Moon reaches its first quarter crescent and more than a week before the full moon.
If you want to participate , you can find the observations organized near you on the NASA website dedicated to the event or simply find a quiet place from which to observe our satellite. If you have binoculars or a telescope, we recommend that you pay particular attention to the transition zone between lunar day and night, the line known as the terminator , since the shadows cast by the craters create very interesting images on it.
October will therefore begin with a crescent moon, which will reach full moon on October 9 and return to new moon by the end of the month, on October 25 . However, this month the Moon has something more interesting to show us and that is that on the day of the new moon there will be an eclipse . partial Sun that will be visible, although little, from Spain. The eclipse will take place over our country shortly before noon, although it will only be visible in the northeastern half of the peninsula .
In cities like Oviedo or Valencia, the occultation of the Sun by the Moon will barely reach 0.25%. In Bilbao or Zaragoza this concealment will be around 1.5% and in Girona it will exceed 4% . This eclipse will be especially visible from Russia, with maximum occultation being reached in the Western Siberian region . Also in the north and east of Europe and in the Middle East this eclipse can be enjoyed in conditions.
However, the total occultation of the Sun will not occur during this eclipse, since the shadow of the center of the Moon it will not happen on Earth . This partial solar eclipse will be the last visible from Spain until the one that will take place in March 2025 . It will not be until August 2026 that we will be able to enjoy a total eclipse , after more than 120 years without one of these eclipses being visible from the peninsula.
Although during the month of October we will not have any planets in opposition (that is, forming a straight line with the Earth and the Sun and therefore being at the minimum possible distance from the Earth), we will still be able to enjoy several planets in the sky. At the beginning of the month we will still be able to observe Neptune with our telescope and Jupiter next in the sky, while at the end of the month Uranus will be almost as big as in November , when its opposition takes place.
As far as constellations are concerned, October is a month of transition between the summer sky and the winter sky. In this way, at the beginning of the night we can still enjoy constellations such as the Lyre, the Eagle and the Swan , which will soon set behind the horizon and later constellations such as Taurus , with its recognizable Aldebaran and its Pleiades, as well as Orion . In the early morning sky we can simultaneously observe Saturn, Jupiter and Mars on the horizon, showing us with their disposition the path of the ecliptic through the firmament.
In addition to all this, which we can appreciate only with our eyes, or with binoculars, October has something reserved for those who have a somewhat more powerful telescope and that is that on two occasions we will be able to observe a double shadow on the planet Jupiter . That is to say, both on October 19 between approximately 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and on October 26 between approximately 10:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. we will be able to observe the shadow that two of Jupiter’s satellites will cast on the surface of the gas giant.
Both on the 19th and the 26th these shadows will be formed by Europa and Ganymede . Europa is only slightly smaller than our own Moon, while Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system, even larger than Mercury.
At the end of the month we will have the international time change , at dawn on October 30 (Sunday). This day at 3:00 in the morning it will be 2:00 again . This will mean that on October 30 we will be able to sleep one more hour and that this day will last 25 hours, instead of the 24 hours of the vast majority of days and the 23 hours of the day corresponding to the change in summer time, It happens at the end of March every year.
- NASA International Observe the Moon Night