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October Star Events from Gene


October has three events worth noting. A total Lunar eclipse, meteor shower and a partial solar eclipse. The Scheeff East Point Nature Preserve parking lot is a great place to view the night sky from.

The total lunar eclipse will be on October 8th. The eclipse starts at 5:18 am. The shadow of the earth will begin to cover the moon. The moon will be about 25 degrees high in the south west. At 6:27 am the moon will be totally shadowed by the earth and that is when the moon will be its reddest color but only 8 degrees about the horizon which will make it appear even redder. The State Park shore or any West shore view will be the best to watch the red moon set as the sun rises in the East.

The Orionide Meteor shower is at its peak Oct 20 – 21. Before and after those dates are also good nights. It is expected to be a shower with about 20 meteors per hour. Looking Southeast after midnight would be the best but there will be fragments from Comet Halley throughout the night.

The Oct 23rd partial solar eclipse will begin at 5:41pm and safe viewing precautions need to be taken. One should not look directly at the sun during a partial solar eclipse. As the sun sets, the eclipse continues. Weather permitting, I will be at the State Park with specially designed solar telescopes. The sun will look like a piece of it was bitten off. Ancient Mythology viewed it as a dragon trying to eat the sun. The sun will set around 6:37 pm.

Gene Zajac