Bruce McClure has served as lead writer for EarthSky's popular Tonight pages since 2004. He's a sundial aficionado, whose love for the heavens has taken him to Lake Titicaca in Bolivia and sailing in the North Atlantic, where he earned his celestial navigation certificate through the School of Ocean Sailing and Navigation. He also writes and hosts public astronomy programs and planetarium programs in and around his home in upstate New York.
The legacy of the Harvest and Hunter’s Moons are the grand procession of moonlit nights in the season of waning daylight. In 2019, watch for the full, or nearly full moon, around October 11, 12, 13 and maybe even 14.
Should we ever adopt the International Fixed Calendar, we’d have 13 months in a year, with each month containing a Friday the 13th. Friggatriskaidekaphobia – aka fear of Friday the 13th – would be rampant! Or not. Read more about this calendar system here.
October’s Draconid meteor shower – sometimes called the Giacobinids – is expected to peak at nightfall or early evening on October 8, 2019, though under a moon-drenched sky. Try watching the evenings of October 7 and 9, too.
East quadrature is a hallmark in the ever-shifting 3-D relationship between Earth and another planet. It means, as seen from Earth, the planet is 90 degrees east of the sun. Saturn will reach that point on October 7, 2019.
Tonight – October 5, 2019 – the moon will be at or near its first quarter phase, coupling up with Saturn on the sky’s dome. What’s more, the lit side of the moon will be pointing at the blazing planet Jupiter.
Only 2 of the 5 bright planets are easy to see in October 2019, but 2 others might be possible. Jupiter and Saturn are easy from nightfall to late night. Mercury and Venus appear briefly in the afterglow of sunset. Mars lurks – unseen – in the glare of dawn.