Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Upcoming astronomical events



October

  • October 9: New Moon. This phase occurs at 03:47 UTC.
  • October 21-22: Rain of Orionian stars. The Orionids produce up to 20 meteors per hour at their peak. It is produced by the dust grains left by Halley's comet, which is known and observed since antiquity. It can be observed from October 2 to November 7. This year reaches its peak on the night of October 21-22. The nearly full moon will block some of the weaker meteors this year, but the Orionids tend to be quite bright so it could still be a good show. Meteors will radiate from the Orion constellation, but they can appear anywhere in the sky.
  • 23 de octubre: Urano en oposición. El planeta azul verdoso estará en su punto más cercano a la Tierra y su cara estará completamente iluminada por el Sol. Será más brillante que en cualquier otra época del año y visible durante toda la noche. Este es el mejor momento para ver a Urano. Debido a su distancia, Urano solo aparecerá como un pequeño punto azul verdoso en todos los telescopios, excepto en los más potentes.
  • 24 de octubre: Luna llena. Esta fase ocurre a las 16:46 UTC. Esta luna llena era conocida por las primeras tribus nativas americanas como la Luna de Full Hunters o “luna del cazador”, porque su luz se aprovecha tradicionalmente para la caza.


November

  • November 5 and 6: Rain of Taurids. The Taurids are a small meteor shower of long duration that produce only 5-10 meteors per hour. It is born from two separate flows. The first is produced by the dust grains left by Asteroid 2004 TG10. The second sequence is produced by debris left by Comet 2P Encke. The Tauride rain takes place from September 7 to December 10. This year reaches its peak on the night of November 5. The thin crescent moon will leave the skies dark for good observation, especially just after midnight. The meteors will radiate from the constellation of Taurus, but they can appear in any part of the sky.
  • November 6: The planet Mercury reaches the highest eastern elongation of 23.3 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to see Mercury, since it will be at its highest point on the horizon in the night sky.
  • November 7: New Moon. This phase occurs at 16:02 UTC.
  • November 17 and 18: Leonid meteor shower. The Leonids are a shower of average stars, producing up to 15 meteors per hour at their peak. This rain is unique since it has a cyclonic peak every 33 years, in which hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen. The last of these peaks occurred in 2001. The Leonids are produced by the dust grains left by Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865. The rain can be observed from November 6 to 30 and the best day will be from 17 to November 18th. The sky will be quite dark for what could be a good show at dawn. The meteors will radiate from the constellation of Leo, but they can appear in any part of the sky.
  • November 23: Full moon. This phase occurs at 05:40 UTC. This full moon was known by the first Native American tribes as Full Beaver Moon or "beaver moon", as it is the time of year to place beaver traps before the swamps and rivers freeze.



December

  • December 7: New Moon. This phase occurs at 07:20 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe weak objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
  • December 13 and 14: Rain of Geminid meteorites. The Geminids are the queens of meteor showers. It is considered by many to be the best shower of stars, producing up to 120 multicolored meteors per hour at its peak. It is produced by remains left by an asteroid known as 3200 Phaethon, which was discovered in 1982. This rain occurs annually from December 7 to 17. Its moment of apogee this year will be on the night of December 13 to 14. The Moon will not be a problem. Meteors will radiate from the constellation of Gemini, but they can appear anywhere in the sky.
  • December 15: The planet Mercury reaches the highest western elongation of 21.3 degrees from the Sun. This is the best time to see Mercury, since it will be at its highest point on the horizon in the morning sky.
  • December 21: December solstice. The December solstice occurs at 22:23 UTC. The South Pole of the Earth will be inclined towards the Sun, which will have reached its southernmost position in the sky and will be directly above the Tropic of Capricorn at 23.44 degrees south latitude. This is the first day of winter (winter solstice) in the northern hemisphere and the first day of summer (summer solstice) in the southern hemisphere.
  • December 22: Full moon. This phase occurs at 17:49 UTC. This full moon was known by the first Native American tribes as the Cold Full Moon because this is the time of year when the cold winter air settles and the nights become long and dark.
  • December 21 and 22: Rain of Ursid stars. The Ursidas are a small meteor shower that produces between 5 and 10 meteors per hour. It is produced by dust grains left by Comet Tuttle, which was discovered for the first time in 1790. The rain takes place from December 17 to 25, with its peak this year on the night of December 21-22. This year, the glow of the full moon will hide all the brightest meteors. The meteors will radiate from the constellation Ursa Minor, but they can appear anywhere in the sky.



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