October 2022 Stargazing Guide

Posted on Thursday, October 6th, 2022

Orbax appears infront of a moving celestial background.

[Orbax]: Greetings junior scientists, scientists and citizens of this great big weird, wild, wonderful world in which we live. As always I'm your humble science communicator the great Orbax coming to you from the Department of Physics here at the University of Guelph and I'd like to welcome you junior scientists to our October 2022 Star Gazing Guide!

Screen fades to black and then Orbax reappears on a dark starry background.

[Orbax]: October, a month for eight tentacles,

An clip of an octopus appears on the right of the screen beside Orbax.

[Orbax]: but for stargazers like us our nights of observable wonder are getting longer and longer.

The background changes to an image of a sunrise over a lake.

[Orbax]: As a matter of fact sunrise creeps up on us by half an hour this month. The sun won't be peaking its solar flares into the Halloween Sky until 8 A.M

The background changes to an image of a sunset with silhouettes of wind turbines. Then the background changes to an image of three children covered in sheets dressed as ghosts, with one holding a Jack 'o Lantern.

[Orbax]: while the sunset is almost an hour earlier by October 31st dropping to a spooky 6 13 p.m.

The background changes to an image a starry forest sky.

[Orbax]: This means we'll have a whopping 14 hours of beautiful darkness with only the Moon, the planets and the stars to light up our skies and our minds.

As Orbas mentions planets and constellations, images of them appear on the left part of the screen beside him.

[Orbax]:  This month we look for planets, some big bright constellations and if we're lucky we might even get to see a few meteors. So let's make sure we're dressed warm and take some time to look up.

The screen fades to black. Orbax reappears on dark night sky background with planets moving behind him.

[Orbax]: This month is veritable cornucopia of planets, a veritable planet-copia or a veritable cornu...

Screen quickly flashes a test pattern. Then Orbax reappears. When he mentions a planet, they appear on either side of the screen as he gestures. The video in the background illustrates some of the major starts and the movement of the planets he is describing.

[Orbax]:  anyways... Mercury and Venus are morning planets this month. Mercury rises early with the best viewing around 6 a.m on October 8th in the East. Venus follows soon after rising about 40 minutes or so before sunrise at the beginning of the month, but as the month goes on it rises later and later so it becomes harder and harder to see because of the sunrise.

Background shifts to a blue-purple starry sky with a bright orb, planets appear on either side of Orbax in the foreground, as he mentions them. 

[Orbax]:  Our gas giants Saturn in the south in Jupiter in the Southeast remain huge in the evening sky this month.

A diagram appears in the background illustrating Jupiter in opposition. 

[Orbax]:  We remember that Jupiter was just in opposition in September so it will remain very bright this month and actually you'll be able to see it appear right beside the full moon in October.

Backgound shifts to an image of Mars.

[Orbax]: Mars is rising in the Northeast earlier and earlier in the evening until Halloween

Background changes to video of a Mars Rover.

[Orbax]:  when we should be able to see the planet of robots rising around 9pm.

Background changes to a starry night sky.

[Orbax]:  Let's take a moment to look at the stars our October skies are jammed packed with constellations so this is how we're going to study them this month. I want you to take a look towards the southern horizon.

Background shifts to a night sky diagram with planets and constellations indicated as they are named.

[Orbax]: If the light pollution is low you should be able to see Piscis Austrinus, the southern fish. Piscis Austrinus is a faint constellation but its brightest star Fomalhaut is actually one of the brightest stars in the sky. Now directly above that is the constellation Aquarius, the water bearer. Aquarius is one of the 12 zodiac constellations and contains the Helix nebula which you might recognize from some of the recent James Webb Space Telescope images.

Background changes to images of the Helix Nebula and then back to the diagram of the planets and constellations.

[Orbax]:  Above Aquarius is the constellation Pegasus which sweeps over to the east. Notably Pegasus can be spotted by an asterism the great square of Pegasus which represents the winged horse's body while adjacent stars comprise the horse's legs and head. Finally we end our journey upwards in the southern sky with a faint constellation almost directly overhead known as Lacerta the Lizard. It's a small constellation whose brightest stars form a w shape not unlike when we studied Cassiopeia. Try to see if you can spot each of these constellations this month junior scientists and try to see how they move over the course of October.

Backgroud changes to an image of a full moon. 

[Orbax]: The full moon this month takes place on October 9th and it's known as the Hunter's Moon by settlers who would have been preparing for the winter season. As a matter of fact the Hunter's moon is just the first full moon that takes place after the Harvest Moon so it can take place in either October or November.

The background changes to match each of the descriptions; Falling leaves, Bird Migration, Animals.

[Orbax]:  Around the Great Lakes region the Anishinaabe call this moon Binaakwe-giizis, the Falling Leaves Moon.  The Cree Nation referred to the start of bird migration by calling the October moon Pimuhumowipesim, the Migrating Moon. The Mi'kmaw of Eastern Canada called the October full moon Wikewiku's, the Animal Fattening Moon as many animals start to get ready for their winter hibernation.

The background changes to a diagram showing the First Quarter, Full Moon, Third Quarter and New Moon.

[Orbax]: Now the New Moon this month takes place on October 25th which not only means that we'll have some very dark skies for Halloween but it also means you might have an opportunity to see some METEORS!

Background changes to a night scene with meteors in the sky over a lake.

[Orbax]: This month we have two meteor showers to look for. The Draconids meteor shower peaks on October 7th this month

Background shifts to space debris.

[Orbax]: as we pass through the debris of Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner.

Background shifts to a night sky with constellations indicated as they are mentioned.

[Orbax]: This is a fairly minor meteor shower emanating from the constellation Draco the Dragon. But as the month goes on when we get closer to that new moon we actually pass through the tail of Halley's Comet which lights up the sky in the annual Orionids meteor shower. This shower appearing to emanate from Orion the hunter in the East Peaks on October 21st and we should be able to see over 20 meteors an hour after midnight.

Background changes to an image of the Earth with the sun rising.

[Orbax]: What a journey we've been through junior scientists. Today's video marks one full year of a stargazing together. I can't thank you enough for joining me on this journey and sharing these videos with your friends your family and your classmates. I wish you clear skies my friends so we can take some time to look up. See you next month and don't forget to have a science-tastic day!

Image of Dr. Glynis Perrett appears on screen with Royal City Science logo. 

[Orbax]: Special thanks to Royal City Science's own planetary geochemist Dr Glynis Perrett for her help preparing our Star Gazing Guide

Logo of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada appears on screen.

[Orbax]:  and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

Credits roll. 

Find related news by keyword

News Archive