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    Articles > October 2004
 
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Celestial Delights

Both an introduction to Astronomy and a calendar of upcoming celestial events to 2010, this layperson's guide forecasts and explains numerous celestial phenomena in lucid writing and easy-to-grasp diagrams. Specially written for urban skywatchers, Celestial Delights deepens our appreciation of what we see when we look up into the night sky, and inspires us to do so more often.
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  Sky Calendar -- October 2004
2 Moon near the Pleiades at 20h UT (morning sky).
3 Venus very near Regulus at 16h UT (morning sky).
5 Mercury at superior conjunction at 18h UT (not visible). The elusive planet passes into the evening sky.
5 Moon at apogee (furthest from Earth) at 22h UT (distance 404,326 km; angular size 29.6').
6 Last Quarter Moon at 10:12 UT.
7 Moon near Saturn at 12h UT (morning sky).
8 Moon near Beehive cluster at 10h UT (morning sky).
10 Moon near Venus at 22h UT (morning sky).
12 Moon near Jupiter at 21h UT (morning sky).
14 Partial Eclipse of the Sun at 2:47 UT visible from parts of Asia (Japan, Korea, Manchuria), Siberia, and western Alaska (near sunset on the 13th).
14 New Moon at 2:48 UT. Beginning of lunation 1012.
17 Moon near Antares at 14h UT (evening sky).
18 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 0h UT (distance 367,758 km; angular size 32.5').
20 First Quarter Moon at 21:59 UT.
21 Orionid meteor shower peaks. Arises from the debris field of Comet Halley. 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 of 20-21 October; radiant is located near Orion's "club" asterism.
28 Total Eclipse of the Moon begins at 2:23 UT and ends at 3:45 UT (mid-eclipse at 3:04 UT). Partial eclipse begins and ends at 1:14 and 4:54 UT, respectively. For skywatchers in North and South America the event begins early Wednesday evening, October 27th. Totality will also be visible from Europe, Iceland, and the western two-thirds of Africa. The Moon will appear red-orange in color (the Earth's shadow) during totality.
28 Full Moon at 3:07 UT. The full Moon of October, as the first full Moon after the Harvest Moon, is called the "Hunter's Moon".
30 Moon near the Pleiades at 3h UT (morning sky).
All times Universal Time (UT). (USA Eastern Daylight Time = UT ­ 4 hours)

Clear skies till next month!

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