What’s in the Sky - October 2021
New Moon 6th
First Quarter 13th
Full Moon 21st
Last Quarter 29th
Summertime (Daylight Savings Time) begins in Australia on Sunday 3rd at 2am (clocks go forward one hour).
Mercury is low in the western sky after sunset in the constellation Virgo. After the 2nd the planet becomes lost in the glare of the Sun as it moves towards inferior conjunction (when Mercury or Venus pass between the Sun and Earth) on the 10th.
Venus is high in the western sky after sunset. The brilliantly shining planet is in the constellation Libra for the first week of the month before moving between Scorpius and Ophiuchus until the 22nd when it settles in Ophiuchus for the rest of the month.
Jupiter & Saturn are high overhead after sunset in the constellation Capricornus.
Mercury makes a reappearance in the morning sky on the 20th though it will be close to the horizon and difficult to see in the morning twilight. The best chance to see Mercury is on the 25th when it’s at its greatest angular distance from the Sun.
Worth a Look:
9th &10th: On the 9th the waxing crescent Moon is below and slightly to the right (west) of the brilliantly shining planet, Venus which is at the head of the constellation Scorpius, the scorpion. On the 10th, the waxing crescent Moon is above and slightly to the right (west) of Venus. A great opportunity for wide-field photographers to capture Venus, the Moon and Scorpius.
14th: The waxing gibbous Moon is slightly above and to the right (east) of the ringed planet, Saturn.
15th: The waxing gibbous Moon is slightly above and to the right (east) of the largest planet in our Solar System, Jupiter.
You can download a star map for October here.
Dawes G., Northfield P., Wallace K. (2020). Astronomy 2021 Australia, Quasar Publishing.
Lomb, N. (2020). 2021 Australasian sky guide. Ultimo, NSW: Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Media.