Highlights: Venus, Mars and Saturn may still be seen in October’s evening sky. Uranus reaches opposition, on the opposite side of the sky to the Sun.
Welcome to Skymania’s guide to the night sky in October, 2016. You will find a map of the whole visible sky, which can be adjusted for any time and date, plus information on the position of the planets, phases of the Moon, and notable astronomical events to watch out for. (To open the sky map in a separate window, click here.) For the night sky in the northern hemisphere, click here.
The sky in October 2016
Summary: Giant planet Jupiter reappears at the end of the month in the pre-dawn sky after lying on the far side of the Sun. Venus, Saturn and Mars are high in early evening skies from the southern hemisphere. Uranus reaches opposition this month, on the 15th, and may easily be found with binoculars throughout the night. (We’ve advice on choosing binoculars or a telescope here.)
The Moon always makes a great target for a small telescope, which come into view as its phases change. We’ve a guide to where to find 50 of the best lunar features, plus a checklist to download so you can tick them off as you spot them! Don’t have a telescope? Here’s our guide to choosing one.
Phases of the Moon
First Quarter: Oct 9
Full Moon: Oct 16
Last Quarter: Oct 22
New Moon: Oct 30
Image courtesy U.S.N.O.
Fifty fantastic features – our amazing Moon
Here’s our guide to observing some of the finest sights on the Moon with small telescopes. Click here for pages of charts that will help you find interesting features to seek out yourself, including craters, lava flows, mountain ranges and deep chasms!
If you want to check out the sky as seen from the northern hemisphere, click here.