The Daily Herald – St Martin’s Backyard Astronomy for October 22

The sun rises at 6:08 a.m.

The sun sets at 5:44 p.m.

Moon phase: 3rd quarter, waning gibbous

The moon sets at 8:35 am, Saturday

Moon rises at 7:55 p.m., Saturday

This weekend, look for the continued possibilities of the Orionid meteor shower. Always reliable in October, the Orionids only reached their peak on Thursday and Friday evenings, early in the morning, when up to 20 meteors per hour were visible. The Orionids mark the second meteor shower this month, although our tropical skies were awash in Sahara dust during the draconids that occurred on October 8, so I doubt anyone saw a trail in the sky at this time. moment.

The Orionid meteor shower takes its name from the constellation Orion the Huntsman, as meteors seem to emerge or radiate from its area of ​​the sky, but the show stretches across the sky – just keep looking with your eyes alerts and open hearts. These shooting stars often continue until November 2.

Also appearing this weekend is the plump third quarter moon, having descended from Hunter’s full moon on Wednesday night. Now is the perfect time to explore the details of the lunar surface with your binoculars or your backyard telescope. Zoom into the terminus line, or terminator, where the shadows are strong, allowing you to see the landform of the moon, mountains and valleys, craters and lava flows. On Saturday evening, the moon is near the horns of Taurus the Taurus and the Amas of the Pleiades.

You can locate two planets in the southern sky, Saturn and Jupiter by hand with the constellation Capricorn. These two stand out clearly in the evening sky by forming a rough triangle with the bright star Fomalhaut, known to astronomers as the loneliest star because it is usually found alone in a relatively empty and dark part of the sky. Fortunately Saturn and Jupiter are visiting Fomalhaut this month.

Another planet is dazzlingly bright but only stays above the horizon for about an hour after sunset. Look to the western horizon after dusk to find Venus. So bright, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a plane approaching our airport.

You can currently find the tiny planet Mercury in the eastern sky just before dawn. Mercury is often too small and too close to the sun for us to get a glimpse of this floating planet. Right now, however, Mercury is as far west as possible, allowing some distance from the sun – and if the horizon blocks all that sunlight, you can just see this little gem.

“And Mars? I hear you ask. Yes, the red planet is usually one of our points of interest, but alas, it is not visible from Earth these days. Mars is in transit behind the sun until the middle of next month.

Keep staring at the sky and sharing this amazing universe with someone you love!

Please follow the Night Sky articles designed for the observation of the Saint-Martin sky. If you go out later in the week, each star rises about four minutes earlier each day than what is written here, and the moon rises 50 minutes later. Night Sky is researched and compiled by Lisa Davis-Burnett. is a key resource for information and images. Questions or comments? E-mail This e-mail address is protected from spam. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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