Although we have seen a lot of good things in the night sky this year, the last three months of this year will be marked by some very special events. If you have a telescope, it might be a good idea to take it out now.
For the rest of the year, there will be many interesting things to look at in the night sky, and if you are someone who likes to look at the stars, you may want to be aware of what’s coming up. Not only will we have two full moons in October, but we will also face several meteor showers and much more. I will now talk about some of the most important celestial events to come and explain how and when they can be observed.
October 2020 – full moon harvest
The full moon of the harvest will be on October 1st and it will be a great show. Of course, it will look like most full moons, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a look. It will be the first full moon after the autumn equinox, so it’s a pretty interesting test. Perhaps you should also consider that Mars will be visible in the night sky as long as this moon is present.
October 2020 – A draconian meteor shower
Well, from that point on, we should all rejoice in the draconian meteor shower. This shower happens every year, and although it has been active during this period, it will peak on the 7th. Just before the moon rises tonight, you might catch a few more shooting stars.
Earth Sky wrote this about this rain:
How many Draconians will you see? In general, Draconians are not heavy rains unless their mother comet is nearby. They usually produce only five meteors per hour.
This annual meteor shower occurs when the Earth crosses the orbit of comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. The debris left behind by this comet collides with the Earth’s upper atmosphere and burns as a draconian meteor shower. This comet has an orbital period of about 6.6 years. It is about six times farther from the sun at its farthest point than at its closest point. At Aphelion, its farthest point, it is further away than the planet Jupiter. At perihelion, its closest point to the sun, it is the distance of the Earth from the Sun.
In rare cases, when the peak of the rain coincides with the perihelion of the comet, it is known that this rain causes hundreds or even thousands of meteorites to fall in one hour.
October 13, 2020 – Opposition to Mars
On October 13, Mars will be in opposition, which means that it will approach our planet. For those who don’t know it, this means that it will be bigger and brighter than normal, therefore easier to see. With a telescope, it is an amazing sight, and even without seeing it, it is worth it.
Earth Sky wrote this about this celestial event:
On October 13, 2020, Mars will face the Earth for the first time since July 27, 2018. This is the moment when our planet Earth, in its smallest orbit around the Sun, passes more or less between the Sun and Mars. The opposition to Mars 2020 will take place on October 13, at approximately 23 hours UTC (19h EDT, 18h CDT, 17h MDT and 16h PDT).
The opposition is a special moment for any superior planet. At the time of opposition, during the course of the year, a superior planet approaches the Earth and, in turn, shines the brightest in the Earth’s sky. In addition, unlike the sun, each opposing planet rises in the east at sunset, reaches its highest point in the sky at midnight, and sets in the west at sunrise.
Thus, Mars, which is now in front of the Sun, shines all night long, from sunset to sunrise.
Resistance to Mars occurs approximately every two years. This makes sense because the Earth needs one year to orbit the Sun, and Mars needs about two years. Every two years or so we rotate Mars by flying between it and the Sun.
Not all Mars’ oppositions are equal, and the year 2020 brings the brightest appearance of Mars in our sky until the opposition of September 15, 2035. During this whole month – October 2020 – Mars even eclipses the planet King Jupiter, which is usually the fourth brightest object in the sky after the Sun, Moon and Venus. You can’t miss Mars now!
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