Evening Planets:

Saturn is up in the SE as evening darkness falls. The planet is in a good position for evening observations. As the month progresses, Saturn gets a tad dimmer. Saturn will be in the Constellation of Aquarius for the rest of the year.

Jupiter rises in the East around 8 pm during the first week of October. The planet is setting himself up for a fine evening winter showing. The planet gains some more brightness as the month progresses. Jupiter’s brightness and location helps make the planet the dominating feature of the evening sky. In the last week of October, Jupiter rises around 6 pm.

Morning Planets:

Mercury may be viewed with great difficulty in the SE in the bright Dawn twilight during the first week of October. After the 7th of October; Mercury is lost in the bright glow of the oncoming Sunrise and is lost from view.

Venus is for all purposes is acting like the sole morning planet. The bright planet puts on a fine display in the East; rising about 3 hours before Sunrise. Despite losing a tad of brightness, Venus is slowly gaining altitude as the month progresses. On 23 October, Venus is at her best position (highest) for this morning showing. The planet will hold onto its fine altitude position for the rest of the month.

1 Oct Moon upper right of Jupiter, Late Evening

2 Oct Moon just below Star Cluster Pleiades (M45), Late Evening

7 Oct Moon below bright Star Pollux, Pre-Dawn

10 Oct Crescent Moon, bright star Regulus and Venus form a rough triangle, Dawn

14 Oct Partial Solar Eclipse

21-22 Oct Orionid Meteor Shower

28 Oct Penumbral Lunar Eclipse; Jupiter below Moon, Dusk

Partial Solar Eclipse:

On Saturday afternoon, 14 October, 2023, the Sun will be partially eclipsed by the Moon.

Here is the time table of events:

Start:                                     12:12 pm

Maximum Coverage        1:19 pm

Ends                                      2:26 pm

About 28% of the Sun’s South West side will be covered by the Moon. Eclipse Duration: 2 hrs. 14 mins.


Never look at the Sun with the unaided eye, binoculars, cameras, or telescope without proper, safe solar filters and proper, safe solar observing techniques. An unprotected view of the Sun, even for a moment can cause severe eye damage or blindness. Always use proper and safe solar viewing techniques to observe the Sun. Do not look at the Sun using “homemade filters.” The Sun’s ultraviolet and infra-red rays will burn the retinas of your eyes and can cause permanent eye damage and or blindness. Do not use “homemade filters” such as colored glass, smoked glass, sun glasses, compact disks or plastic films to look at the Sun. Using these items can cause eye damage or blindness. Always use recommended proper and safe solar filters and safe observing techniques. For more information on safe solar observing:


Orionids Meteor Shower:

October’s best meteor shower, the Orionids will happen on the night of 21 -22 October. The evening view of the meteors will be hampered by the 1st Quarter Moon. The 1st Quarter Moon sets around Midnight; leaving the early morning hours Moon free. The evening hours are predicted to produce about 10 meteors per hour. While the early morning hours may produce about 20 meteors per hour. The Orionids are known for fast moving meteors which on occasion will produce a smokey train behind the meteors. Also, the Orionids are known to occasionally produce multi colored meteors. This meteor shower is favorable for our viewing area.

Penumbral Lunar Eclipse:

On the evening of 28 October; a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse will be happening at Moonrise. The Moon will rise around 5:40 pm with the faint Penumbral Shadow covering most of the Moon. This faint Penumbral shadow is very difficult to see with the unaided eye. Binoculars can help to see this faint elusive shadow on the Southern side of the Moon. The Moon pulls out of the Penumbral shadow at 6:28 pm. Due to the faintness of the Penumbral shadow and the Moon very low position in the sky; this event is unfavorable for our viewing area.

Gary T. Nowak

Vermont Astronomical Society