Dates and times shown are NZDT (UT + 13 hours). Rise and Set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ. Data is adapted from that shown by GUIDE 9.

THE SUN and PLANETS in OCTOBER 2019, Rise & Set,  Mag. & Cons.
            OCTOBER 1 NZDT           OCTOBER 31  NZDT  
      Mag  Cons    Rise    Set     Mag  Cons    Rise    Set
SUN  -26.7  Vir   6.54am  7.28pm  -26.7  Vir   6.07am  8.02pm
Merc  -0.2  Vir   7.35am  9.07pm    0.4  Lib   6.53am  9.52pm
Venus -3.9  Vir   7.30am  8.31pm   -3.8  Lib   7.06am  9.47pm
Mars   1.8  Vir   6.36am  6.35pm   .1.8  Vir   5.21am  6.16pm
Jup   -2.0  Oph  10.20am  1.22am   -1.9  Oph   8.41am 11.47pm
Sat    0.5  Sgr  12.12pm  3.13am    0.6  Sgr  10.20am  1.20am
Uran   5.7  Ari   9.36pm  8.13am    5.7  Ari   7.32pm  6.12am
Nep    7.8  Aqr   5.28pm  6.20am    7.8  Aqr   3.26pm  4.20am
Pluto 14.5  Sgr  12.41pm  3.41am   14.5  Sgr  10.44am  1.44am

            OCTOBER 1  NZDT          OCTOBER 31  NZDT
Twilights    morning     evening        morning     evening
Civil:    start 6.29am, end  7.54pm   start 5.40am, end 8.30pm
Nautical: start 5.56am, end  8.26pm   start 5.04am, end 9.06pm
Astro:    start 5.22am, end  9.00pm   start 4.26am, end 9.45pm

  First quarter: Oct  6 at  5.47am (Oct  5, 16:47 UT).
  Full Moon:     Oct 14 at 10.08am (Oct 13, 21:08 UT)
  Last quarter   Oct 22 at  1.39am (Oct 21, 12:39 UT)
  New Moon:      Oct 28 at  4.39pm (03:39 UT)



MERCURY and VENUS are evening objects, by the 31st they set about 5 minutes apart. Mercury is at its greatest elongation, 25° east of the Sun on the 20th. Subsequently its easterly motion slows allowing Venus to catch up with it. The two planets are 2.6° apart on the 31st. Mercury will be to the left of the brighter planet and slightly higher. The two will be rather low, about 9° above the horizon at 8.50 pm.

On the 30th, the crescent moon, only 6% lit, will be about 9° to the upper right of the planets.

JUPITER is also an evening planet. On the 31st it sets 2 hours after Venus. Earlier that evening the moon is about 5° below Jupiter. The moon is also a few degrees from Jupiter on the evenings of October 3 and 4.

SATURN is an evening object setting after midnight. This month's lunar occultation on the 6th is visible from parts of southern Africa and the south-eastern Atlantic Ocean.

PLUTO, like Saturn, is in Sagittarius, the two planets are 5.5° apart at the end of the month.

MARS is a nominal morning object but, even by the end of the month, rises only 45 minutes before the Sun.

URANUS is at opposition on the 28th, so becomes observable all night.

NEPTUNE is in Aquarius well placed for viewing in the evening.


                OCTOBER 1 NZDT       OCTOBER 30 NZDT  
                Mag Cons  transit    Mag  Cons  transit
(1)  Ceres      9.1  Oph   5.33pm    9.2   Oph   4.19pm
(4)  Vesta      7.2  Tau   4.30am    6.7   Tau   2.14am
(9)  Metis      9.3  Cet   3.10am    8.7   Psc  12.46am
(15) Eunomia    9.1  Aqr   9.31pm    9.5   Aqr   7.49pm
(29) Amphitrite 9.0  Psc   2.00am    9.2   Psc  11.34pm


CERES overtakes Jupiter in Ophiuchus about October 24. For a few nights the two are just under 3° apart with Ceres to the left of Jupiter in the early evening sky.

VESTA brightens in Taurus and is best seen as a morning object, although it will rise a little before 9pm by the 30th.

METIS is at opposition on the 26th with a magnitude 8.6 making it the second brightest asteroid. It crosses from Cetus to Pisces on the 26th.

EUNOMIA is an evening object in Aquarius.

AMPHITRITE in Pisces, is at opposition on October 12 at magnitude 8.7.


Brian Loader



Go to top