THE SOLAR SYSTEM IN OCTOBER 2021
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 9.1.
THE SUN and PLANETS in OCTOBER 2021, Rise & Set Mag. & Cons. OCT 1 NZDT OCT 31 NZDT Mag Cons Rise Set Mag Cons Rise Set SUN -26.7 Vir 6.53am 7.28pm -26.7 Lib 6.06am 8.02pm Merc 1.6 Vir 7.15am 8.56pm -0.8 Vir 5.35am 6.34pm Venus -4.3 Lib 8.37am 11.24pm -4.6 Oph 8.25am 12.12am Mars 1.7 Vir 7.03am 7.37pm 1.7 Vir 5.49am 7.20pm Jup -2.7 Cap 3.22pm 5.20am -2.5 Cap 1.23pm 3.22am Sat 0.5 Cap 2.01pm 4.34am 0.6 Cap 12.04pm 2.37am Uran 5.7 Ari 10.17pm 8.33am 5.6 Ari 8.14pm 6.32am Nep 7.8 Aqr 5.49pm 6.29am 7.8 Aqr 3.47pm 4.29am Pluto 14.5 Sgr 12.54pm 3.57am 14.6 Sgr 10.56am 2.00am OCT 1 NZDT OCT 31 NZDT TWILIGHTS morning evening morning evening Civil: start 6.28am, end 7.54pm start 5.40am, end 8.30pm Nautical: start 5.55am, end 8.27pm start 5.03am, end 9.07pm Astro: start 5.21am, end 9.01pm start 4.25am, end 9.46pm OCTOBER PHASES OF THE MOON, times NZDT & UT New Moon: Oct 7 at 12.05am (Oct 6, 11:05 UT) First quarter: Oct 13 at 4.25pm (03:25 UT) Full Moon: Oct 21 at 3.57am (Oct 20, 14:57 UT) Last quarter Oct 29 at 9.05pm (Oct 28, 20:05 UT)
THE PLANETS in OCTOBER 2021
VENUS is a brilliant object in the evening sky. It is at its greatest angular distance from the Sun at the end of October when it will set over 4 hours after the Sun, shortly after midnight (NZDT). So it is readily visible all evening. In mid October Venus passes the first magnitude star, Antares, the two being about 1.5° at their closest.
MERCURY and MARS are both going to be more or less unobservable during October. Both are at conjunction with the Sun, Mars on the 8th and Mercury 36 hours later. Following conjunction they both move into the morning sky rising in twilight shortly before the Sun.
JUPITER and SATURN are both easily visible in the evening sky. They rise early afternoon and set well after midnight, with Jupiter being about 80 minutes behind Saturn. Both planets are stationary during October, Saturn on the 11th and Jupiter a week later.
The moon will be a little over 3° above Saturn on the 14th and a similar distance from Jupiter on the 15th.
URANUS, NEPTUNE and PLUTO are all becoming evening objects. Uranus will rise early in the evening during October, barely a quarter hour after the Sun sets by the end of the month. By that date, Neptune will be up by mid afternoon while PLUTO rises near midday all month.
POSSIBLE BINOCULAR ASTEROIDS in OCTOBER OCT 1 NZDT OCT 30 NZDT Mag Cons transit Mag Cons transit (1) Ceres 8.3 Tau 5.24am 7.7 Tau 3.19am (2) Pallas 8.9 Aqr 11.35pm 9.5 Aqr 9.28pm (4) Vesta 7.9 Vir 3.00pm 7.8 Lib 2.02pm (7) Iris 9.4 Gem 7.47am 9.1 Gem 6.33am
CERES, in Taurus is stationary on October 8 after which date it starts heading back towards Aldebaran. By the 31st the two are less than half a degree apart. The asteroid is a late evening object, rising at 12.17am on the 1st and 10.15 pm on the 31st.
PALLAS, in Aquarius, rises at 5.14pm on the 1st and at 2.48pm on the 31st.
VESTA is an early evening object crossing from Virgo to Libra on the 3rd. It sets at 9.37pm on the 1st and 9.00pm on the 31st, an hour after the Sun
IRIS is crossing Gemini in October. It rises at 3.10am on the 1st and 1.43am on the 31st, so is very much a morning sky object.