What's in the night sky of the week of 10 to 16 October 2022.


Chris Bramley Hello and welcome to Star Diary, the podcast from the makers of BBC Sky at Night Magazine. You can subscribe to the print edition of the magazine by visiting skyatnightmagazine.com or digital edition by visiting on iTunes or Google Play.

Ezzy Pearson Greetings listeners and welcome to Star Diary, a weekly guide to the best things to see in the northern hemisphere as night sky. In this episode, we'll be covering the coming week from the 10th to 16th of October. I'm Ezzy Pearson, the magazine's feature editor, and I'm joined on the podcast today by reviews editor Paul Mooney. Hi, Paul.

Paul Money Hello there. As a we're looking forward to some more events.

Ezzy Oh, always. So what have we got to look forward to this week, Paul?

Paul Well, it is another week of moon events, so as they say, buckle up. It's one of those things, though, that we're now past full Moon, which was, of course, last night. And so we're now looking at the Moon gradually moving into the morning skies. So these are going to be late night events, but it's also moving through some interesting areas, sky. So that actually helps to keep the interest up. We start off really, late evening on 11th. So we see the planet Uranus. Now you will need binoculars for Uranus, but the moon makes a bit of a triangle with Mu Ceti and Uranus. So if you have a star chart, you can work out where to look. You can see the moon easily and you better work out Mu Seti and then Uranus from it as well. Uranus in binoculars doesn't really look greenish to me. In a small telescope I notice it looks slightly greenish sort of thing is one of the few greenish things you see in the night sky because you can't have green stars. They technically don't exist, but you know, but so it is interesting. But the bigger the telescope, the more pronounced I think the greenish you actually is. So that's actually on the 11th when we get to the 12th, we're going to 12th to 14th because Uranus is in Aries. And the thing about it is it is slowly creeping towards the next constellation, which is Taurus and the moon, of course beat it to it because it whips past the sky so quick all around us in 28 days or so. And so the moon on the 12 is actually quite close to the Pleiades star cluster. You know, Messier 45, the seven sisters. You've got to bear in mind, the moonlight does tend to diminish the number of stars you can actually see, but the brightest ones still show quite well. So there we are. So that's on the 12th. So we're looking at the waning moon now. And of course, we had it waxing towards full last week. Well, we're waning now towards New over the next couple of weeks. And so on the 12th, it lies to the lower right of the Pleiades. Messier 45 So that makes an interesting view. But then the moonlight will wash out the fainter stars of the Pleiades, you know, the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters or Messier 45 whole range and names and numbers for these objects aren't there? Then on the 13th. The moon itself will lie roughly north of Aldebaran and the Hyades cluster. Oh, I think Taurus is funny because it's like two big clusters, the main features are two big clusters, so a big bright one and slight dimmer but still naked eye. V-shape hyades star cluster. So they're on the 13th. The moon lies roughly above Aldebaran, which is the red eye of the bull staring out at us as such. And then on the 14th, the moon is in the horns of Taurus itself, and it lies above, slightly above right of the planet Mars. And if you've been following over those days, 12 to 14th, keep an eye on Mars because it is slowly drifting past Zeta Tauri. Now, if it wasn't for the fact that the moon's there, I'd probably say, Oh, try to photograph the Mars next to the Crab Nebula. Messier 1, the first one that started off Messier on his actual list. But unfortunately, the moonlight will wash it out, so you'll hardly see the nebula, which is a great shame. But unless you've got these specialised filters nowadays, they can filter out a lot of moonlight, in photographs. So you might want to have another go. You need a wide field or a rich field telescope for it, but it worth having a go as Mars passes above Zeta Tauri and between them is Messier 1 the crab nebula.

Ezzy I do think sometimes it is good to sort of seeing what you can see when when the Moon's about because you know people always give the Moon or at least deep sky astronomers and astrophotographers give the Moon a bad rap because it washes everything out. But sometimes you know.

Paul Sorry, we can't help it

Ezzy Just to have a look and see what you can say, especially as it sounds like there's a lot of very other interesting stuff going on around in that part of the sky as well. So, you know. Give it a try.

Paul And the Moon is interesting. I'll give credit to it. It is interesting. I mean, you know, it's got a lot of details on it. So I do occasionally look at I just like I like looking at galaxies and nebulae and such myself. But yes, that Crab Nebula, I mean, it's quite something. Most telescopes would show it just as lovely. It's only when you get larger aperture that you start to see subtleties in the features themselves.

Ezzy I will confess I've never really understood why it's called the Crab Nebula. Because it looks nothing like crab.

Paul Well Lord Rosse had a 72-inch telescope. Yeah, a 72 inch. We could only dream of he sees the details.The details that we now photograph. Yeah. You know and that's the key. Photography brings out the shape a lot better. I think it's a bit of an odd shell for a crab. Yeah.

Ezzy If you're looking with the naked eye through a 72 inch telescope, then maybe it looks like a crab. Unfortunately, most people who have 72 inch telescopes don't tend to be looking through the eyepiece these days.

Paul So I don't know of anybody who actually has something that big and visually uses it. He's all for photographic. Now, this is always a quick week because of course we've been dealing with the moon, so we're virtually at the end now. And unfortunately, October 15th for this week, the Moon itself, again, it will wash it out, but it doesn't completely wash out this cluster, which is the Messier 35 cluster. And it's it's worth having a look because he's not too far away the Moon from it. But as you just mentioned, it's worth just seeing what you can see because there are some quite brightish members in that cluster. Messier 35 I don't think you see the companion little cluster next to which is a lot fainter, but you should see Messier 30 and find some of the brighter actual members with it. And this is in Gemini. So now the Moon's moved out from Taurus into Gemini as such, and so they won't be too far from the cluster itself. And, you know, it's, it's they often have different names as such as well. And I'm trying to work out the name on this because as usual, my chart is a bit too small. Shoe book cluster is you cluster. I mean, can you see as you go on, write in and tell us whether you can see a shoe buckle in Messier 35? You know, a lot of these clusters are slowly get in popular, so-called popular names because somebody coins a name and thinks, well, I think he looks like this. And if he's repeated enough, it's like a lot of things. If he's repeated enough, people start to believe it. So it's nice to have all these clusters eventually having names though, know our common names rather than just the number. I am not a number. Well this one is. It's messier. 35, certainly the shoe book cluster.

Ezzy It certainly makes them a lot more pleasant to write about when you've got a name as opposed to, you know, like three, four, five, six, dash hyphen B seven. It certainly sounds like there's a lot of really good things to see in this week's night sky this week as there are most weeks. So on the late night on the 11th of October, Uranus will be in a triangle with Mu Ceti and the Moon. Then on 12th to 14th of October, the Moon is going to be passing through Taurus. So there's lots of opportunities to see it near to things like the Pleiades M45, the Hyades, Mars, and perhaps even the Crab Nebula, though a bit of a challenging one, that one on the end. And then finally, at the end of the week, on the 15th, the waning moon will be passing by M35 in Gemini. So hopefully one of those will peak our listeners interests. And if you want to keep up to date with even more things to see in the night sky, please do be sure to subscribe to the Sky at Night Magazine's Star Diary podcast. And we hope to see you all here next week and I will see you in Nepal next week. So thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us.

Paul My pleasure. And see you next week.

Ezzy If you want to find out even more spectacular sites that will be gracing the night sky throughout the month, be sure to pick up a copy of BBC Sky at Night Magazine. Well, we have a 16 page Pull Sky guide with a full overview of everything worth looking up for. Whether you like to look at the moon, the planets, or the deep sky, whether you use binoculars, telescopes or neither. Our sky guide has got you covered with the detailed stock charts to help you track your way across the night sky. From all of us here at BBC Sky and Night Magazine. Goodbye.


Chris Bramley Thank you for listening to this episode of Star Diary, our podcast from the makers of BBC Sky at Night Magazine. For more of our podcasts, visit our website at skyatnightmagazine.com Or head to aCast, iTunes or Spotify.


Elizabeth Pearson
Ezzy PearsonScience journalist

Ezzy Pearson is the Features Editor of BBC Sky at Night Magazine. Her first book about the history of robotic planetary landers is out now from The History Press.