APPARENT PATHS OF THE PLANETS
This month, some southern regions of Earth will be able to witness the Moon passing in front of Venus. Mercury starts the month in retrograde or "westward" motion in our sky, while three gas giants continue moving retrograde for the entire month.
Note: in the 1.6.x and 1.4.1 links in this column below, planets east ("left") of the Sun are visible in your sky after sunset, while planets west ("right") of the Sun are visible before sunrise.
Run these links as often as you like, and keep an eye on CELESTIA's clock at top right. And remember: you can use the J, K and L keys respectively to reverse, slow down and speed up time in CELESTIA.
MERCURY: 2010 Oct
VENUS: 2010 Oct
MARS: 2010 Oct
JUPITER, URANUS & NEPTUNE: 2010 Oct
SATURN: 2010 Oct
The following will help you enjoy this page's many links that run events directly in CELESTIA. If you're new to the program, these tips will also help you learn to use it.
You'll find more information about many of CELESTIA's controls on our Learning Center page.
APPARENT PATH OF THE SUN: 2010 Oct
Here are the Sun's positions along the Ecliptic at 00:00 UTC on the days shown.
The slightly curved lines above and below the Ecliptic show the extent of the Zodiac, which you may download from our Bonuses page and add to any version of CELESTIA. Note that the curve in the Zodiac lines is the result of CELESTIA's rendering in perspective.
W A R N I N G ! It is never safe to look directly at the real Sun with the naked eye! Moreover, looking at it through a telescope or binoculars—even for an instant—can cause permanent blindness! NEVER DO IT! Consult the professionals at your local planetarium or observatory to learn how you can safely "observe" the Sun and any SOLAR eclipse!
Of course, you can safely view CELESTIA's depiction of the Sun's apparent path in the sky in October. Here are the links: (1.6.x) (1.4.1). Note that versions 1.6.x and 1.4.1 differ in the way their "follow" and "lock" features work. If you "follow" Earth and then "lock" the Sun to it, versions 1.6.x and 1.4.1 respectively maintain the "attitudes" of the Ecliptic and the the Celestial Equator. This means that the Ecliptic remains "level" when you run the first link, but begins to tilt when you run the second! Differences like this will be discussed on our Help page.
HALF OF EARTH IN SUNLIGHT & DARKNESS
During your voyages in CELESTIA, would you like to be able to position yourself directly over the center of the half of Earth in sunlight or the half in darkness at any time this month? On our Tips page, you'll find that it's quite easy to do so! If you're any kind of sky watcher at all, you probably know just how helpful this can be!
PHASES OF THE MOON: 2010 Oct
In UTC per CELESTIA 1.6.x (& 1.4.1):
Last Qtr: Oct 1, 3:52 (3:53). New: Oct 7, 18:45 (18:46).
1st Qtr: Oct 14, 21:28 (21:29). Full: Oct 23, 1:37 (1:38).
Last Qtr: Oct 30, 12:46 (12:47).
NOTE: New, 1st Quarter, Full and Last Quarter Moons respectively are defined to occur when the Geocentric Ecliptic Longitudes of the Moon and the Sun differ by 0°, 90°, 180° and 270°.
To watch a short video demonstrating the Phases of the Moon, click here.
The above diagram is produced with our "Moon Phases Calendar" script. The numbers of the days of the month were added with an image-editing program.
To watch a short video of our Moon Phases Calendar in action, click here.
LUNAR APOGEE & PERIGEE: 2010 Oct
Per CELESTIA 1.6.x (and 1.4.1):
Perigee: Oct 6, 13:41 (13:42) UTC; 359,471 km.
Apogee: Oct 18, 18:30 (18:31) UTC; 405,426 km.
Determined by our "Earth-Moon Distance" and "Moon's Apparent Path" scripts. Note that distances given are the distances between Earth's and the Moon's centers.
LUNAR ANALEMMA: 2010 Oct
Here is the lunar analemma, generated by the Moon's positions relative to the mean lunar orbit and the Ecliptic at 0:00 UTC every day of October. Notice that the Moon's position relative to its mean orbit is virtually the same on October 4 and October 31.
This phenomenon can be observed using our "Moon's Apparent Path" script. The analemma's change of shape month after month begins to give us an idea of just how irregular the lunar orbit is.
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Various astronomical "shadow events" occur throughout the Solar System! This month's more interesting ones are featured here.
Here we highlight the most awe-inspiring eclipses taking place in our Solar System. We also set them up so that all you need to do is click on their links. Don't forget that you can generate lists of Earth's, Jupiter's, Saturn's, Uranus's, Neptune's and even Pluto's eclipses, using CELESTIA's own built-in "Eclipse Finder." You'll find it in the program's menu under "Navigation".
All events listed below are displayed as if viewed from Earth, their magnifications shown in parentheses at the lower right of CELESTIA's window. Events involving more than one moon are often cyclical, so usually only the first example is given, and then the period of the cycle.
Simultaneous solar eclipses occur on Jupiter in October, three due to Europa's and Ganymede's resonant orbits. Their double simultaneous eclipse on Halloween (Oct 31) is especially impressive and, on other occasions, two or more Galileans visible near Jupiter give sky-watchers a treat, even those with only modest telescopes. Below are highlights of the 33 solar eclipses which Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto are responsible for this month. Jupiter's shadow stretches eastward (to the left) this month, as it has done since its opposition with the Sun in late September. Examples of some Galileans moving into or emerging from the Jovian shadow are included.
While CELESTIA 1.6.x shows the shadows of Titan, Rhea, Iapetus, Dione and Tethys, version 1.4.1 displays only the shadows of Titan, Rhea & Iapetus. So, 1.6.x and 1.4.1 respectively show 32 and 5 solar eclipses on Saturn in October, 1.6.x revealing a few simultaneous solar eclipses. The highlights are as follows:
URANUS, NEPTUNE & Dwarf Planet PLUTO
Neither Uranus nor Neptune will experience eclipses for decades. Dwarf planet Pluto will experience no eclipses by Charon for about a century!
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