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    Articles > October 2003
 
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  Sky Calendar -- October 2003
2 First Quarter Moon at 19:09 UT.
6 Moon near Mars at 16h UT (evening sky). Skywatchers throughout Russia, Asia and Australia will witness the beautiful sight of a brilliant Mars (mag. ­1.9) near the Moon. Skywatchers in New Zealand will see an even rarer and spectacular occultation of Mars a few minutes before moonset. Mars remains a most worthy telescopic target. However, it will fade from mag. ­2.1 at the beginning of the month to ­1.2 by its end. At the same time the apparent diameter of the red planet will shrink from 21" to just 15". So make the most of Mars viewing opportunities in the first weeks of October.
10 Full Moon at 7:27 UT. The full Moon of October, as the first full Moon after the Harvest Moon, is called the "Hunter's Moon" in old almanacs.
13 Moon near the Pleiades at 23h UT (morning sky).
14 Moon at apogee (furthest from Earth) at 2h UT (distance 405,692 km; angular size 29.5').
17 Moon near Saturn at 13h UT (morning sky).
18 Last Quarter Moon at 12:31 UT.
19 Moon near the Beehive cluster (M44) at 12h UT (morning sky). Binoculars provide a splendid view.
21 Orionid meteor shower peaks. Arises from the debris field of Halley's comet. Active from October 2 to November 7. Produces very fast (66 km/sec), generally faint meteors (20 per hour). Observe in the pre-dawn hours; radiant is near Orion's "club".
22 Moon near Jupiter at 2h UT (47° from Sun, morning sky). Jupiter (mag. ­1.8) rises 4 hours before the Sun.
25 Mercury at superior conjunction at 10h UT (not visible). The planet passes into the evening sky.
25 New Moon at 12:50 UT. Beginning of lunation 1000.
26 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 12h UT (distance 358,549 km; angular size 33.3').
26 Moon near Venus at 20h UT (18° from Sun, evening sky).
28 Moon near Antares at 2h UT (36° from Sun, evening sky).
All times Universal Time (UT). (USA Eastern Summer Time = UT ­ 4 hours)

Clear skies till next month!

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