Space Science at UTK

Cool Things in the Sky

Cool Things

For the month of Octobert 2017

It is difficult to find the words to describe the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017. Time to start thinking about 2024.


Mercury moves into the evening sky late this month.

Venus and Mars pass each other in the very early pre-sunrise sky on the 5th for a very close conjunction.. Venus is headed down toward the sun and Mars moves a bit toward the south for the rest of the month. A very thin waning crescent moon joins Mars on the early morning of the 17th.

Jupiter is rapidly diving toward and will be in conjunction with the sun on the 26th

Saturn is low in the southwest early evening and sets near midnight.

From midnight to dawn on the morning of Sunday the 22nd the Orionid Meteors will light up the night sky. The Orionids are dust and debris from Comet Halley. The moon will be a waxing crescent and set about 11:30 PM on the 21st so it will not interfere with this shower. Best observing starts after midnight of the 21st. Lie down in as dark a location as you can, feet pointed south and enjoy the show.

The moon phases for this month are full on the 5th, Happy “Harvest Moon”, last quarter on the 12th, new on the 20th and first quarter on the 27th.