Eye on the Sky for October

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What's happening in the night over Rotorua this month?
What's happening in the night over Rotorua this month?

With the equinox behind us, the days will be lengthening rapidly as we roll into the long dog days of summer.

But, the equinoctial winds will be with us for a few weeks yet.

This month sees a black moon on the 1st. This is defined as the second new moon in a season, or the second new moon in a month.

They are about as common as their full moon counterpart, the blue moon.

The next black moon will occur on August 30, 2019.

New moon is on the 1st. First quarter is on the 9th. Full moon is on the 16th and last quarter on the 22nd.

The second new moon of the month is on the 30th.

This month's moon is called the egg moon, fish moon, seed moon, pink moon or waking moon.

As for the planets, the magnificent orb of Jupiter has all but disappeared into the glare of the setting sun.

Venus is a conspicuous evening object, rising higher each night until it is setting around 11pm by month's end.

You can track the changing phases of Venus throughout the year through a small telescope or by projecting the image of Venus on to a white piece of cardboard through binoculars.

Mars and Saturn both set between midnight and 2am.

The Magellanic clouds are well placed throughout the month for observing.

In the south look for two faint smudges of light.

Look out for the Orionid meteor shower this month.

It peaks around the 20th and expect to see up to 20 meteors per hour.

This shower is associated with the trail of debris left from Haley's comet.

For more information please contact the Rotorua Astronomical Society. You can find them on Facebook.

- Brian Hurren

- Rotorua Daily Post

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