Lunar eclipse, shooting stars, planets: What can you see in the sky in October 2023? –

The month of October 2023 should delight aspiring astronomers. Eclipses, shooting stars, conjunctions… There are many phenomena that can be seen with the naked eye.

Autumn has begun, but temperatures are unusually mild for early October. Even though this late heat isn’t really good news for the environment, nights with summer temperatures remain favorable for sky watching.

These are the astronomical phenomena visible to the naked eye in October 2023. To take it to the next level, consult our guide to the best telescopes.

The phases of the moon

How can you get tired of the moon? Every month she introduces us to different phases. The moon itself does not change, but our view of the star varies depending on its trajectory around our planet.

  • THE Friday, October 6th, this is the last quarter phase. We can admire a crescent moon. We can only see the western part of the moon.
  • THE Saturday, October 14th corresponds to the new moon. This phase of the moon is not spectacular as the moon when in conjunction with the sun is therefore not visible.
  • THE Sunday, October 22nd, the crescent is back. This time it’s the first quarter phase.
  • Finally, this Saturday, October 28th, the full moon shines in the sky. The moon is then in opposition to the sun.
Full moon.  // Source: CanvaFull moon. // Source: Canva

Planets visible to the naked eye

Reddish Mars will be largely absent from the sky in October 2023. It doesn’t matter: we console ourselves by observing Mercury (which is quickly disappearing), Venus, Jupiter and Saturn with the naked eye.

The following table shows the visibility times of the planets and the constellations in which they can be found.

mercury Venus Jupiter Saturn
From the 1st to the 8th 7:30 a.m. – 7:50 a.m
4:40 a.m. – 7:50 a.m
9:10 p.m. – 7:50 a.m
7:30 p.m. – 3:40 a.m
From 9 to 15 invisible 04:40 – 08:00
8:40 p.m. – 8:00 a.m
7:10 p.m. – 3:10 a.m
From 16 to 22 invisible 4:40 a.m. – 8:10 a.m
8:10 p.m. – 8:10 a.m
7:00 p.m. – 2:40 a.m
From the 23rd to the 29th invisible 4:50 a.m. – 8:20 a.m
7:40 p.m. – 8:20 a.m
6:50 p.m. – 2:10 a.m
From 30 to 31 invisible 4:00 a.m. – 7:30 a.m
6:10 p.m. – 7:10 a.m
5:40 p.m. – 12:40 p.m

Other astronomical phenomena

October 2023 is rich in astronomical phenomena. So that you don’t miss anything, everything is noted here:

  • THE Monday, October 2ndthe moon passes just above Jupiter around 5 a.m.
  • At the end of the night, that Friday, October 6ththe moon reaches its highest point.
  • THE Sunday, October 8ththis is the maximum of the Draconid shooting star swarm.
  • THE Tuesday, October 10thThere is a conjunction between the Moon and Venus.
  • THE Saturday, October 14th, a part of the American continent has a chance to witness a solar eclipse. Did you make the trip? If yes, precautions are needed to watch the eclipse.
  • THE Sunday, October 22ndAnother swarm of shooting stars is at the peak of its activity: the Orionids.
  • THE Tuesday, October 24thVenus is at its maximum elongation.
  • THE Saturday, October 28thA partial lunar eclipse is expected in France. It is minimal: only 10% of the lunar disk is bitten by the Earth’s shadow. But it will be clearly visible to the naked eye, so don’t be discouraged!
  • The month ends with a conjunction between the Moon and Jupiter Sunday, October 29th. Please note that winter time also changes on this day: at 3 a.m. it is 2 a.m.

Now all that remains is to wish you beautiful sky observations in October 2023. And make a wish while watching the shooting stars!

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