Current Night Sky: October 2014

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 23rd, 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
sky chart
Evening Planets (after sunset): 
  • Mercury, W
  • Saturn, SW
  • Mars, SW
  • Neptune, S
  • Uranus, SE
Morning Planets (before sunrise): 
  • Uranus, W
  • Jupiter, SE
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

Text, graphics, and animations by John Sheff. Graphics courtesy of Starry Night(©) Pro Plus 7 / Imaginova(©) Corp. Starry Night images are used with permission from Imaginova Corp. Starry Night is a registered trademark of Imaginova Corp. Star charts generated by Starry Night Pro Plus 7 © Imaginova Corp. All rights reserved.