Astronomical Highlights for the week.

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Highlights

  • The Orionid meteor shower peaked this weekend, best viewing was expected the morning of Sunday, Oct 21. between 4am after the gibbous moon sets and 6:30 am local time before twilight brightens the sky. 10-20 meteors per hour are expected. However we should still have above average meteors early in the week. 
  • The Orionids appear to radiate from the constellation Orion the Hunter, from a spot near his raised elbow.
  • Orionids are created by comet 1P/Halley, better known as Halley’s Comet, as it passed Earth???s orbit after diving past the sun. Halley???s Comet also leaves a similar trail on its way in, powering the Eta Aquariids in early May.
  • Wed Oct 24 12:45:11: full moon
  • Wed Oct 31 12:40:18: last quarter moon

 

Near Earth Objects (NEO)

lunar distance (LD) is the mean distance to the moon ~239k miles. Anything within 1 LD is newsworthy. For more information see NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies

This week

object

close approach date

uncertainty

LD

million
miles

2018 TT5

2018-10-24 20:30Z

< 1 sec

15.8

<4

2018 UE

2018-10-25 20:59Z

~1 hour

17.2

4+

475534

2018-10-29 11:59Z

< 1 sec

7.5

<2

2018 UC

2018-10-30 17:40Z

<1 hour

5.4

~1.55

Closest

within

object

close approach date

uncertainty

lunar distances

million
miles

~14 days

2018 UC

2018-10-30 17:40Z

<1 hour

5.4

~1.55

~1 year

2015 EG

2019-03-04 20:52Z

1+ hour

1.2

~0.55

~100 years

2010 RF12

2095-09-06 00:03Z

<2 hours

0.1

~15,290.55 miles

Planet visibility

body (phase)

rise

transit (alt)

set

constellation

Mercury (84%)

09:17:42

14:12:26 (30??)

19:06:24

Libra

Venus (1%)

08:21:55

13:12:14 (30??)

18:03:04

Virgo

Moon (94%)

17:48:44

23:11:01 (44??)

05:09:29

Pisces

Mars

15:30:17

20:26:21 (31??)

01:23:49

Capricornus

Saturn

12:48:19

17:27:04 (27??)

22:09:26

Sagittarius

Jupiter

09:50:29

14:46:10 (31??)

19:41:47

Libra

Sample rise/set times for 10/22/18

Satellite Passes

This information is best used to identify passes worth sharing or skipping. Those nearest overhead are closest, brightest, and longest. Check dates and times for each pass before your share.

International Space Station (ISS)

  • below trees pass begins Thu 2018-10-25 06:31:59 EDT from the S (174°) reaches 17°, lasts 4 minutes
  • fair pass begins Sat 2018-10-27 06:23:25 EDT from the SSW (210°) reaches 42°, lasts 6 minutes
  • fair pass begins Sun 2018-10-28 07:07:52 EDT from the WSW (257°) reaches 41°, lasts 6 minutes
  • poor pass exits Earth’s shadow 11° above the horizon Tue 2018-10-30 07:01:06 EDT from the WNW (283°) reaches 23°, lasts 5 minutes

Atmospheric drag and other factors can and does cause orbits to change. See the European Space Agency supported Heavens Above for the latest pass predictions. Satellite pass gradings are based on altitude reached and duration of the pass. Higher altitude passes are closer to the observer and generally brighter as a result. Satellites other than ISS are much more difficult to spot.

Moon Phases

date

phase

Wed 2018-10-24 12:45:11

full

Wed 2018-10-31 12:40:18

last quarter

Wed 2018-11-07 11:02:03

new

Thu 2018-11-15 09:54:11

first quarter

Sun

Sunrise/set

Date

Rise

Solar noon (alt)

Set

sunlight

Mon 2018-10-22

07:32

12:58 (38.32??)

18:23

10 hrs 51 min

Tue 2018-10-23

07:33

12:58 (37.97??)

18:22

10 hrs 48 min

Wed 2018-10-24

07:35

12:58 (37.62??)

18:21

10 hrs 46 min

Thu 2018-10-25

07:36

12:58 (37.28??)

18:19

10 hrs 43 min

Fri 2018-10-26

07:37

12:58 (36.93??)

18:18

10 hrs 41 min

Sat 2018-10-27

07:38

12:58 (36.60??)

18:17

10 hrs 38 min

Sun 2018-10-28

07:39

12:57 (36.26??)

18:15

10 hrs 36 min

Mon 2018-10-29

07:40

12:57 (35.93??)

18:14

10 hrs 33 min

Tue 2018-10-30

07:41

12:57 (35.60??)

18:13

10 hrs 31 min

Wed 2018-10-31

07:42

12:57 (35.28??)

18:12

10 hrs 29 min

  • lost 0:22:00 (hh:mm:ss) of daylight over this period
  • daylight (HH:MM): 10:39
  • mean: sunrise 07:38 sunset 18:18
  • max: sun angle 38.32??

Twilight

date

rise

set

Mon 2018-10-22

05:59

19:55

Tue 2018-10-23

06:00

19:54

Wed 2018-10-24

06:01

19:53

Thu 2018-10-25

06:02

19:52

Fri 2018-10-26

06:03

19:50

Sat 2018-10-27

06:04

19:49

Sun 2018-10-28

06:05

19:48

Mon 2018-10-29

06:06

19:47

Tue 2018-10-30

06:07

19:46

Wed 2018-10-31

06:08

19:45

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