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    Articles > October 2020
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night sky almanac: a stargazer's guide to 2021
Night Sky Almanac: A Stargazer's Guide to 2021

A monthly guide to the night sky in 2021 for both hemispheres. Includes sky maps, Moon phase charts, planet information, and meteor showers.
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All sky watchers need a planisphere to quickly show the location of stars and constellations for any date and time. Note: Planispheres are designed for specific latitudes so be sure to select one for your latitude.

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A very large 16-inch diameter information-rich planisphere (plastic) for use anywhere between latitude 30° & 60° North. Also available in a Southern Hemisphere edition.
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The Night Sky Planisphere

A very popular 8-inch diameter, two-sided planisphere (plastic) designed to depict the night sky with less distortion than regular planispheres. Available for several latitudes, and in a smaller 5-inch edition.
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  Sky Calendar -- October 2020
1 Mercury at greatest elongation east (26° from Sun, evening sky) at 16h UT. Mag. 0.1.
1 Full Moon at 21:06 UT.
3 Venus 0.1° S of Regulus (morning sky) at 0h UT. Mags. −4.1 & 1.4.
3 Moon near Mars (morning sky) at 5h UT. Mag. −2.5. Occultation visible from southern South America.
Mars (Wikipedia)
Occultation of Mars (IOTA)
3 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 17h UT (distance 406,321 km; angular size 29.4').
6 Moon near the Pleiades at 6h UT (morning sky).
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
6 Mars nearest to Earth at 14h UT (62.1 million km).
7 Moon near Aldebaran at 0h UT (morning sky).
10 Last Quarter Moon at 0:40 UT.
10 Moon near Castor (morning sky) at 9h UT.
10 Moon near Pollux (morning sky) at 14h UT.
11 Moon near Beehive cluster M44 (71° from Sun, morning sky) at 15h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
13 Moon near Regulus (morning sky) at 6h UT.
Regulus (Wikipedia)
13 Mars at opposition at 23h UT. Mag. −2.6. The brightest the red planet will appear till 2035.
14 Moon near Venus (morning sky) at 4h UT. Mag. −4.0.
Venus (Wikipedia)
16 New Moon at 19:31 UT. Start of lunation 1210.
16 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 23:57 UT (distance 356,912 km; angular size 33.5').
19 Moon near Antares (evening sky) at 23h UT.
Antares (Wikipedia)
20 Orionid meteor shower peaks at 23h UT. Arises from the debris field of Comet Halley. Active from October 2 to November 7. Produces very fast (67 km/sec), generally faint meteors (20 per hour). Radiant located near Orion's club asterism. Best observed after midnight on nights of Oct 20-21.
Meteor Shower Calendar (IMO)
22 Moon near Jupiter (evening sky) at 18h UT. Mag. −2.2.
Jupiter (Wikipedia)
23 Moon near Saturn (evening sky) at 5h UT. Mag. 0.6.
Saturn (Wikipedia)
23 First Quarter Moon at 13:23 UT.
25 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 18h UT. Mercury passes into the morning sky.
29 Moon near Mars (morning sky) at 19h UT. Mag. −2.2.
30 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 19h UT (distance 406,394 km; angular size 29.4').
31 Full Moon at 14:50 UT.
31 Uranus at opposition at 16h UT. Mag. 5.7.
Uranus (Wikipedia)
All times Universal Time (UT).
  • US Eastern Daylight Time = UT − 4 hours.
  • US Pacific Daylight Time = UT − 7 hours.
  • Australian Eastern Standard Time = UT + 10 hours
  • Singapore Standard Time = UT + 8 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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