Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth - Ptolemy
Scary Images in Space
Over the past 4 years of writing the BATS column for The Post I have linked to quite a few spooky images especially for Halloween. Just in case you missed any, or are a new reader this year, here are what I consider the best:
- Pumpkin Moon! Some clever editing created this composite of a total lunar eclipse to leave us just one step from Jack O'Lantern Moon!
- No self-respecting witch would be complete without her broom to fly around on, would she?
- The Ghost Head Nebula
- Dark Scary Figure
- Alien Head Aurora
- Spooky Aurorae
- The Skull Nebula
- Ghoulish Creatures
- The Screaming Skull. That's a hundred thousand light year-sized cloud of hot gas around a black hole over 320 million light years away from our Solar System.
- don't be too scared though, rest assured there's always someone watching over you!
October 2011 Diary Dates
Try to watch out for meteors this month as there are two opportunities. Regular skywatchers are hopeful for the Draconids (normally a minor shower) being a lot more substantial this year due to the parent comet's position. Later in the month watch out for remnants of Halley's Comet (AKA the Orionid meteor shower) which could reach 20 an hour. Comet Garradd passes through Hercules during October so should be easy to detect if you know your constellations. Two other comets are in view: Comet Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova (AKA Comet 45P) and Comet Elenin are both in Leo - Comet Elenin will pass through the Sickle asterism (the head of the lion) during October.
- 03: Venus 3° north of Spica (alpha Virginis)
- 07: Moon 6° north of Neptune
- 08: The Draconids meteor shower peak
- 08: 2nd annual International Observe the Moon Night
- 10: Moon 6° north of Uranus
- 12: Apogee Full Moon (Hunter's Moon)
- 13: Moon 5° north of Jupiter
- 15: Moon between the Pleiades and the Hyades star clusters in Taurus
- 21/22: The Orionids meteor shower peak
- 21: Moon 6° south of Mars
- 26: Perigee New Moon
- 27: 30 mins after sunset Mercury 2° below bright Venus (use binoculars)
- 28: New crescent moon will be to Venus' left with Mercury below
- 30: BST ends (this means change all the clocks back an hour, sorry)
- 31: Hallowe'en
- 31: Saturn 5° north of Spica
Chat about your celestial observances at the H2G2 Astronomy Society. Comment on anything in this edition of Babe Among the Stars by starting a new conversation below.