David Aguilar (617) 495-7462
Christine Pulliam (617) 495-7463

Current Night Sky: October 2014 What's New

The Sky at a Glance

There is a total lunar eclipse on October 8, at least parts of which will be visible throughout the United States. See our "What's New" section for details.

There will also be a partial solar eclipse on October 23, most of which will be visible in portions of North America. Again, see our "What's New" page for more details.

The Moon & Planets

sky chart
On the morning of the 18th, the waning crescent Moon passes 7° to the lower right of Jupiter, and the two form a nice triangle with the star Regulus (click image to enlarge*).

sky chart
In the evening sky on the 25th, a waxing crescent passes about 3° to the upper left of Saturn (click image to enlarge*).

sky chart
On the 28th, a crescent Moon passes 8° above Mars (click image to enlarge*).

Evening Planets (after sunset)

  • Mercury, W
  • Saturn, SW
  • Mars, SW
  • Neptune, S
  • Uranus, SE

Morning Planets (before sunrise)

  • Uranus, SW
  • Venus, E
  • Jupiter, E

Comet C/2012 K1 PanSTARRS, which has been in our vicinity for over a year, has now brightened to magnitude 7.5; it may reach 6.5 by the end of October. After mid-month it will be well-placed for Southern Hemisphere observers before eventually fading away. But there is an even more interesting visitor: Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring passes just 82,000 miles from Mars on October 19. (The closest recorded approach of any comet to Earth is 1.4 million miles!) Comet Siding Spring may be visible from Earth at 9th magnitude.


The Orionid meteor shower peaks on the 21st, and may reach a peak rate of 20 meteors per hour. Conditions should be favorable, as the waning crescent Moon will not interfere.

Phases of the Moon
First Quarter Moon October 1 3:33 pm EDT
Full Moon October 8 6:51 am EDT
Last Quarter Moon October 15 3:12 pm EDT
New Moon October 23 5:57 pm EDT
First Quarter Moon October 30 10:48 pm EDT
Two Eclipses

Section Photo