Astronomical Outlook for the week

Weather
Draconids

Highlights

  • Meteor activity is light right now and will probably remain that way (but read on), with possible sightings coming from Orion (the Orionids peak the night of Oct 21) and the Draconids which peaks Monday, October 8th.
  • The Draconids are highly variable and most produce just a few visible meteors most years. Much higher rates occurred in 1985, 1998 and 2011 however. Parent Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner passed closest to the sun on September 10 which raises the possibility of elevated rates this year. Predicted peak is just before 8pm EDT.
  • A 2-day old sliver of moon will be visible just 4 degrees away from bright Jupiter after sunset on Thursday
  • Mon Oct 08 23:46:50: new moon
  • Tue Oct 16 14:01:39: first quarter moon

 

The Draconid meteor shower peaks tonight, most years we only see a few but it has produced hundreds per hour in the past. 

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 EB

2018-10-07 01:24Z

< 1 sec

15.4

~4

2018 SG3

2018-10-08 01:29Z

< 1 sec

6.7

~2

2018 SM2

2018-10-10 01:12Z

~1 hour

11.3

~3

2018 SL3

2018-10-15 14:34Z

~1 hour

9.0

2+

2014 US7

2018-10-17 16:05Z

~4 hours

3.1

<1

2013 UG1

2018-10-18 02:45Z

< 1 sec

10.4

~2.55

2016 GC221

2018-10-18 14:42Z

~7 hours

8.7

~2

Closest

within

object

close approach date

uncertainty

lunar distances

million
miles

~14 days

2014 US7

2018-10-17 16:05Z

~4 hours

3.1

<1

~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 (93%)

08:22:22

13:47:58 (38??)

19:12:29

Virgo

Venus (10%)

09:45:36

14:27:26 (28??)

19:09:16

Libra

Moon (0%)

06:27:06

12:46:01 (49??)

18:55:30

Virgo

Mars

16:08:57

20:54:17 (28??)

01:41:20

Capricornus

Saturn

13:39:39

18:18:25 (27??)

23:00:53

Sagittarius

Jupiter

10:31:14

15:29:41 (32??)

20:28:04

Libra

Sample rise/set times for 10/08/18

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 Sat 2018-10-06 19:47:49 EDT from the NNW (332°) reaches 19°, enters Earth’s shadow 16° above the horizon 3 minutes later
  • poor pass begins Mon 2018-10-08 19:40:12 EDT from the NW (323°) reaches 30°, enters Earth’s shadow 21° above the horizon 4 minutes later
  • outstanding pass begins Wed 2018-10-10 19:32:39 EDT from the NW (312°) reaches 61°, enters Earth’s shadow 19° above the horizon 5 minutes later
  • good pass begins Fri 2018-10-12 19:25:18 EDT from the WNW (298°) reaches 52°, lasts 6 minutes
  • poor pass begins Sun 2018-10-14 19:18:24 EDT from the W (278°) reaches 21°, 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

Mon 2018-10-08 23:46:50

new

Tue 2018-10-16 14:01:39

first quarter

Wed 2018-10-24 12:45:11

full

Wed 2018-10-31 12:40:18

last quarter

Sun

Sunrise/set

Date

Rise

Solar noon (alt)

Set

sunlight

Mon 2018-10-08

07:17

13:01 (43.47??)

18:44

11 hrs 27 min

Tue 2018-10-09

07:18

13:01 (43.09??)

18:43

11 hrs 24 min

Wed 2018-10-10

07:19

13:01 (42.71??)

18:41

11 hrs 21 min

Thu 2018-10-11

07:20

13:00 (42.34??)

18:40

11 hrs 19 min

Fri 2018-10-12

07:21

13:00 (41.96??)

18:38

11 hrs 16 min

Sat 2018-10-13

07:23

13:00 (41.59??)

18:37

11 hrs 14 min

Sun 2018-10-14

07:24

13:00 (41.22??)

18:35

11 hrs 11 min

Mon 2018-10-15

07:25

12:59 (40.85??)

18:34

11 hrs 8 min

Tue 2018-10-16

07:26

12:59 (40.48??)

18:32

11 hrs 6 min

Wed 2018-10-17

07:27

12:59 (40.11??)

18:31

11 hrs 3 min

  • lost 0:23:24 (hh:mm:ss) of daylight over this period
  • daylight (HH:MM): 11:14
  • mean: sunrise 07:22 sunset 18:38
  • max: sun angle 43.47??

Twilight

date

rise

set

Mon 2018-10-08

05:45

20:16

Tue 2018-10-09

05:46

20:14

Wed 2018-10-10

05:47

20:13

Thu 2018-10-11

05:48

20:11

Fri 2018-10-12

05:49

20:10

Sat 2018-10-13

05:50

20:08

Sun 2018-10-14

05:51

20:07

Mon 2018-10-15

05:52

20:05

Tue 2018-10-16

05:53

20:04

Wed 2018-10-17

05:54

20:02

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