October is a brilliant month for stargazing with darker nights as we edge deeper into autumn. The clocks go back too in the early hours of 26th October as British Summer Time comes to an end for 2014.
The Night Sky
This image below shows what the night sky looks like on 23rd October 2014 at midnight from Glasgow, UK. There aren’t any planets visible overhead at this time (without the use of a telescope to be able to spot the gas giant, Uranus), though Jupiter will start to rise in the East a little later in the early hours of the morning.
At this time of year, the asterism, the Summer Triangle is starting to set in the West around midnight, whilst one of the most recognised and stunning of the constellations, Orion is rising in the East. Look out too for Taurus the bull and the Seven Sisters.
To help with direction finding, find the Plough and use it to trace through the sky to Polaris, the North Star. The Plough remains in the sky throughout the year in the Northern hemisphere which makes it such a useful asterism when it comes to find your way around the night sky.
The sky will look similar at the same time through the month, from much of the UK – the only significant change being that of the Moon’s position (you can click on the image to make it bigger).
Sunrise and Sunset times, Glasgow
1st October 2014 – Sunrise 07:20 Sunset 18:53
8th October 2014 – Sunrise 07:34 Sunset 18:35
15th October 2014 – Sunrise 07:48 Sunset 18:17
23rd October 2014 – Sunrise 08:04 Sunset 17:57
- 31st October 2014 – Sunrise 07:21 Sunset 16:39
All the times listed above are local to Glasgow. Daylight Saving Time ends with the clocks going back one hour on Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 02:00.
First Quarter – 1st October 2014, 20:33
Full Moon – 8th October 2014, 11:51
Third Quarter – 15th October 2014, 20:12
New Moon – 23rd October 2014, 22:57
- First Quarter – 31st October 2014, 02:49
Times listed above are local to Glasgow.
Are you just getting into astronomy or a seasoned pro? Check out these fantastic books about astronomy which are accessible for all levels and highly recommended.
This October, get out and look up often to enjoy the spectacular skies!