Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the sky with the naked eye this coming month. With October just kicking off, NASA shared its monthly report of upcoming astronomy events to keep an eye out for. So, if you’re a skywatcher and you enjoy getting glimpses of some of our solar system’s various planets, here are a couple of interesting things October skywatchers should keep an eye out for.
First and foremost, those looking to do a little skywatching this October will find two of our solar system’s biggest planets appearing this month. Both Jupiter and Saturn will be visible in the sky throughout the month, and you’ll be able to see them all with the naked eye. It’s a nice bit of planet watching for those who enjoy getting glimpses of our solar system’s planets without telescopes.
NASA says that Jupiter and Saturn will be easily viewable by the naked eye, so those skywatching in October will want to look for Jupiter off to the east, while Saturn will be visible in the south-southeast part of the sky. Between the two giant planets, skywatchers will also be able to spot the bright star Fomalhaut, with the three forming a triangle on their own.
Skywatchers can look forward to other targets in October including Mars reversing its course. The Red Planet has been working its way east across the sky for the past several months, as it usually does. However, it will halt this apparent motion at the end of October, instead appearing to reverse it. From there, it’ll spend three months moving west each night.
The Orionid meteor shower is also active through October and into November. It’s expected to peak on the night of October 20, so October skywatchers can get a glimpse of this moderate shower if their skies are clear and dark. The moon is expected to be at 20 percent full on the peak night, so NASA says it may be tough to spot this shower.
October is looking like a good month for skywatchers, though, especially if you’re interested in seeing Jupiter and Saturn without a telescope. And, perhaps, with a bit of luck, you’ll catch the retrograde motion of the Red Planet – a planet to which scientists at NASA are working hard to send humans.
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