Welcome to the Almanac’s Sky Watch for October 2020. Mars is at its most visible and brightest. Jupiter and Saturn pair up at nightfall from October 21 to 23. And we’ll enjoy two Full Moons in October—including a Halloween Blue Moon! See Bob Berman’s highlights of the monthly night sky.
SKY WATCH OCTOBER 2020 by Bob Berman, as featured in The Old Farmer’s Almanac
THE MONTH OF MARS
During the month of October, the planet Mars will reach an atypically brilliant magnitude—2.6—outshining every star and planet, even Jupiter!
Nothing nearby compares. Mars won’t appear this big and bright again for 15 years.
JUPITER AND SATURN PAIRED AT NIGHT
Jupiter and Saturn are pulling closer together at nightfall. Look south (towards the constellation Sagittarius).
Both the Ringed Planet and the Giant Planet will travel westward across the sky—Saturn following Jupiter—until they set into the late evening.
Jupiter will catch up to Saturn on December 21, 2020 for the eagerly awaited conjunction—the closest Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in 397 years!
VENUS, URANUS, MERCURY
Venus, the “morning star,” will continue to shine at dawn through the rest of the year.
Uranus comes into opposition on Halloween, an easy green binocular target in eastern Pisces, far to the left of Mars. At magnitude 5.7, it can be faintly glimpsed with the naked eye in rural locations.
Mercury is not visible this month, being too close to the Sun’s glare.
A HALLOWEEN BLUE MOON
Finally, this October brings us TWO full Moons: the full Harvest Moon on Thursday, October 1 AND the full Hunter’s Moon on Saturday, October 31. That’s right—we’ll have a full Moon on Halloween night this year! And because it’s the second Moon in a month, it’s also popularily called a Bue Moon. This is the only two-full-moon month in 2020!
Taken from https://www.almanac.com/night-sky-october
Till next time this is Becky Litterer, Becky’s Greenhouse, Dougherty Iowa firstname.lastname@example.org 641-794-3337 cell phone 641-903-9365