By Mario Carr
On Thanksgiving, we can also give thanks for seeing a Lunar and a Partial Solar Eclipse this month.
Solar Eclipses happens during the day when the Moon crosses the face of the Sun throwing a shadow on Earth. For many ancient cultures it was a little frightening experience since they thought the Sun was disappearing from the sky. This month’s Partial Solar Eclipse begins 5:39 p.m. on Oct. 23. It’s called a Partial Solar Eclipse because the Moon’s shadow covers 44 per cent of the Sun at 6:21 p.m.
Lunar Eclipses occur at night when Earth’s shadow covers the Moon turning it deep red. Set your alarm clocks for 4:15 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 8 when the Earth’s shadow starts to cross the face of the Moon. At 6:55 a.m., the shadow completely covers the Moon. If you have a telescope, you can also see Uranus close by.
Here are October stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.
Mercury vanishes from the evening sky early in the month and reappears in the dawn sky the last week of Oct. Mars is low in the southwest evening sky setting mid-evening. Jupiter rises in the northeast after midnight. Saturn vanishes into the evening twilight at the end of the month.
Oct. 4 – Public Stargazing Night, Hamilton Bayfront Park, Harbour Front Dr. at Bay St N., 7:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Oct. 10 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Free admission with door prizes and everyone is welcome. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods will be collected. After the club’s annual general meeting observing director Mathew Mannering will have an extended The Sky this Month presentation.
Oct. 17 – The Moon is close to Jupiter in the dawn sky.
Oct. 20 – Sunlight reflecting off dust solar system dust called Zodiacal Light can be seen in the eastern dawn sky from a dark location for the next two weeks.
Oct. 21 – Orionid meteor shower peaks.
Oct. 22 – Moon close to Mercury low in the dawn sky.
Oct. 27 – Moon above Mars low in the evening sky.
For more information, please see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website at www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323. The club offers a basic astronomy course for members.
Mario Carr is the club’s director of publicity and can be reached at email@example.com.