October 2012 Sky & Space Events

September 14, 2012 | By | Add a Comment
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These notes are intended to provide a casual sky watcher or someone already into amateur astronomy living in Eastern Australia with a summary of what is happening in the night sky in October 2012. The finder charts have been produced for an observer based in Brisbane (Queensland, Australia) but will be useful for observers elsewhere in Eastern Australia.

Instructions on how to obtain customised satellite viewing information for your location can be found here. If you find this page of interest, you may wish to follow this website automatically using Twitter and the sites RSS Feed.

Individual sky events (October 2012)

All times listed for the AEST time zone (U.T. plus 10 hours).  Add one hour to times listed if your state or territory follows daylight savings time.

October 1: Mercury and the star Spica close above Western horizon in evening twilight.

1 October 2012 Mars and minor planet 7 Iris. Finder chart produced using Sky Safari Pro Ipad app. Used with permission.

October 1: Mars 0.1 degree from minor planet 7 Iris

October 3: Venus and the star Regulus close. Morning twilight sky.

October 4: Jupiter stationary (Midnight)

October 4: Moon at apogee (furthest from Earth in its orbit at 405,160 km)

October 5: Gibbous Moon, the star Aldebaran and Jupiter make a temporary triangle in the  morning sky

October 6: Mercury, Saturn and the star Spica make a temporary triangle low above the Western horizon in the early evening twilight. Difficult and will require a clear horizon.

October 6: Gibbous Moon and Jupiter close in the morning sky. Moon occults Jupiter from Southern Australia.

October 6: Moon furthest North (21.1 degrees)

October 8: Mercury at aphelion

October 8: Last Quarter Moon (5.33pm)

October 12: Waning thin crescent Moon, the star Regulus and Venus make a temporary triangle in the morning predawn sky low above the Eastern horizon

October 13: Waning thin crescent Moon locate to the right of Venus. Morning predawn sky low above the Eastern horizon

Venus and Jupiter in the morning pre-dawn sky. Chart produced for 15 October 2012 at 4am. Finder chart produced using Sky Safari Pro Ipad app. Used with permission.

October 15: New Moon  (10.03 pm)

How far away can you see. The Andromeda galaxy is the furthest away object that the unaided eye can see at 2.2 million light years. Finder chart produced using Sky Safari Pro Ipad app. Used with permission.

October 16: Slim crescent Moon located to left of and above Saturn. Low above the Western horizon in the evening twilight. Very difficult.

October 17: Moon at perigee (Closest to Earth in its orbit at 360,672 km)

Mercury, Mars and crescent Moon finder chart prepared for 7 pm AEST on 17 October 2012. Finder chart produced using Sky Safari Pro Ipad app. Used with permission.

October 17: Moon located above and to the right of Mercury above Western horizon. Evening twilight and immediately afterwards.

Mercury, Mars and Moon finder chart for Thursday 18 October 2012 7.15 pm AEST / 8.15 pm AEDT. Finder chart produced using Sky Safari Pro Ipad app. Used with permission.

Mars, Moon and Antares (brightest star in ancient Greek constellation Scorpius ‘The Scorpion’) finder chart for Thursday 18 October 2012 7.15 pm AEST / 8.15 pm AEDT. Finder chart produced using Sky Safari Pro Ipad app. Used with permission.

October 18: Crescent Moon located below Mars. Early evening sky.

October 19: Mars, the star Antares and the crescent Moon make a temporary triangle in the early evening sky

October 19: Moon furthest South (-21.1 degrees)

Mercury, Mars and Moon finder chart for Saturday 20 October 2012 7.15 pm AEST / 8.15 pm AEDT. Finder chart produced using Sky Safari Pro Ipad app. Used with permission.

October 21: Mars and the star Antares 3.6 degrees apart

October 21: Minor planet Vesta stationary

October 22: First Quarter Moon (1.32 pm)

October 25: Saturn at conjunction 7pm

Mercury and Mars finder chart for 7.15 pm AEST on 27 October 2012. Finder chart produced using Sky Safari Pro Ipad app. Used with permission.

October 27: Mercury greatest elongation East (24 degrees from Sun) (1am)

October 28: Mercury at greatest latitude South

October 30: Full Moon (5.49 am)

October 31: Minor planet Ceres stationary

October 31: Venus at perihelion

For Further Information

Planet and Moon Rise/Set Times

Planet and Moon rise/set times for 2012 can be found here on this website.

Customised Astronomy & Satellite Viewing information

Information on how to obtain customised astronomy & satellite viewing information for your location can be found here on this website.

References

The information in this post has been prepared using the following references.

Occult 4 astronomy software by David Herald, http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/occult4.htm
Astronomy 2012, Quasar Publishing http://www.quasarastronomy.com.au/
Sky Safari Pro Ipad app, http://www.southernstars.com/products/skysafari/index.html
Stellarium astronomy software http://www.stellarium.org/

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About the Author (Author Profile)

This website is maintained by Paul Floyd. I am an amateur astronomer (and school teacher) with 25 years experience (as at 2015) in running a range of education and public astronomy outreach activities. As of January 2015, I have been providing astronomy information via the WWW for eighteen years.