The name for October is derived from the Latin “Octo” meaning “eight” which came after September (derived from Latin for seven) the seventh month of the Roman calendar until 46 BC. In 46 BC the beginning of the year was changed to from March to January.
First Quarter Moon: October 1
Closest to Earth: October 6 (225,232 miles super-size Moon)
Full Moon: October: 8 (lunar eclipse)
Last Quarter Moon: October 15
New Moon: October 23 (partial solar eclipse)
Farthest from Earth: October 25 (251,591 miles mini-size moon)
First Quarter Moon: October 30
Early evening: Mars, look low in southwest (Mars will appear in about the same position all month).
Morning before sunrise: Jupiter, look east
Mercury, Venus and Saturn are close to or behind the sun to be seen.
October 1: Sunrise 6:55am MDT, Sunset 6:43pm MDT
October 23: Partial solar eclipse (see special events)
October 23: The Sun enters the astrological sign Scorpio.
October 30: Sunrise 7:26am MDT, Sunset 6:01pm MDT
October 31: Sun enters the astronomical constellation Libra.
October 26: Europe returns to standard time from “Daylight Displacement Time”.
October 31: Cross-quarter day (Halloween). Cross-quarter days occur half way between the seasons. They mark the time when we start to feel the effects of the upcoming season. Although winter does not officially start until December 21 (winter solstice), by Halloween we begin to feel the effects of old man winter.
October 8: The Draconids or Giacobinids are very unfavorable with a full Moon
October 21: The Orionids are favorable (several per hour). Look east in the very early morning hours.
October 8: (Wednesday early morning) Lunar Eclipse
- Partial eclipse begins: 3:15am MDT
- Total eclipse begins: 4:25am MDT
- Mid-eclipse: 4:55am MDT
- Total eclipse ends: 5:24am MDT
- Partial eclipse ends: 6:34am MDT (sunrise 7:02am MDT)
October 12: Early morning before sunrise look south, the Moon will be next to the Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus, the bull.
October 13: Early morning before sunrise look south, the Moon above the constellation Orion and the star Betelgeuse.
October 15-16: Early morning before sunrise look southeast, the Moon in between Pollux and Castor (Gemini twins) upper left and Procyon lower right.
October 17: The Sherlin Lecture Series in Astronomy and Space Science presents “Zooming in on the Stars”, by Dr. Harold A. McAlister Director of the Mount Wilson Observatory. The lecture starts at 7:00pm at the Community College of Aurora, CentreTech Campus Fine Arts Building – Room F100 16000 E. CentreTech Parkway, Aurora, CO 80011. Observatory will be open following the lecture – weather permitting
October 18: Early morning before sunrise look east, the Moon is upper right of Jupiter
October 19: Early morning before sunrise look east, the Moon is upper right of Regulus and below Jupiter
October 23: Partial Solar Eclipse. The Moon will cover 45% of the sun here in Denver. (DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN WITHOUT PROPER EYE PROTECTION). Go here or here for information on how to view a solar eclipse safely. From NASA: Unsafe filters include all color film, black-and-white film that contains no silver, photographic negatives with images on them (x-rays and snapshots), smoked glass, sunglasses (single or multiple pairs), photographic neutral density filters and polarizing filters. Most of these transmit high levels of invisible infrared radiation which can cause a thermal retinal burn. The fact that the Sun appears dim, or that you feel no discomfort when looking at the Sun through the filter, is no guarantee that your eyes are safe. Solar filters designed to thread into eyepieces that are often provided with inexpensive telescopes are also unsafe. These glass filters can crack unexpectedly from overheating when the telescope is pointed at the Sun, and retinal damage can occur faster than the observer can move the eye from the eyepiece.
- Solar eclipse begins: 3:18pm MDT
- Greatest eclipse: 4:35pm MDT
- Solar eclipse ends 5:44pm MDT
October 24, 1601 – Tycho Brahe, the astronomer who made the first accurate measurements of star positions, dies.
October 3, 1942 – The first man-made object to reach space, a Nazi V-2 rocket.
Wishing you clear skies