star watching, night sky, astronomy, Ryan Hutton

Star Watching October Stars 2017

Star Watching 2017, October Stars, Sky Watching 2017, Star Watching, Night Sky, Astronomy, Current Night Sky, Sky Watching October, Night Stars Astronomy, Astronomy Night Sky, Stargazing, Shooting Stars, Planets.

October 2017

There is plenty of star watching in October with 2 meteor showers and the occultation of the Moon and Neptune. Sirius is currently the brightest star in the night sky in October. You can observe Sirius below Orion’s belt. October 5, 2017 Full Harvest Moon.

On Tuesday, October 3rd the waxing gibbous Moon has a close encounter with Neptune. If you are up really early in eastern North America you can see the Moon beside Neptune at 4:30 AM EDT.

In the Southern Hemisphere you can watch the occultation (when something is hidden by another object) of the Moon and the beautiful blue Neptune. Some of the best locations to see this include the southeastern tip of Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica as well as southwestern Polynesia.

This year’s Harvest Moon occurs on Oct. 5, 2017 as it is the closest Full Moon to the Autumn Equinox. The Moon will rise in the constellation Aquarius at 6:51 p.m. EDT and will later be visible at its fullest in the constellation Pisces. You will be able to observe Luna at 100 percent full at 2:40 p.m. EDT or 18:40 GMT. The Full Moon makes a close encounter when it meets up with mysterious Neptune.

On October 7 you can see the waning gibbous moon rising near midnight in the eastern sky as it enters the constellation Taurus, the Bull. That Moon’s path will bring it close to fixed star Aldebaran. Aldebaran is the eye of the mythical bull located in the star cluster known as the Palisades and can be identified by its bright orange color. The Palisades are also known as the Seven Sisters.

Venus and Mars

Venus and Mars will meet up from October 4th through the 6th. They will be extremely close on the 5th. They can be better viewed with binoculars low to the east about 1 hour before sunrise. Venus is extremely bright now at 250 times brighter than Mars. 

Mars is now a morning star climbing up higher and higher each day on the horizon.

The Moon will hover just to the left of Mars on the 17th and below Venus on the 18th.

Venus is beginning to get lower in the sky as it is finishing its stay as a morning star.

Jupiter now sets not long after the moon rises.

Saturn can be observed west of the moon in the constellation Ophiuchus.

You can locate Saturn in the non-zodiacal constellation ⛎ Ophiuchus-The Serpent Holder. When you spot the yellowish glow, you’ll know you have it.

This would be an epic time to look at Saturn through a telescope because the rings of Saturn are tilted towards the earth as far as they can right now. I imagine this would be a captivating and spectacular sight to see. 


If you're blessed with good vision you'll be able to see Uranus with the naked eyes throughout all of 2017. Uranus will be seen rising just before the Moon at around 7 p.m. EDT. Just look for Uranus identifiable by its blue-green glow in the constellation Pisces. Uranus will be in opposition from the 18th to the 19th; the Green Planet can be viewed with binoculars in easternmost quadrant of the constellation Pisces.


Neptune can be seen with binoculars or a telescope with a magnitude of +7.8. Neptune is in the constellation Aquarius during 2017 and is identifiable by its Blue glow.

Celestial Events October 2017

There are 2 meteor showers in October. The Draconid Meteor shower will peak on October 7, 2017 with only a handful of shooting stars per hour but will also be visible on October 8 in the Northern Hemisphere.

Look to the constellation Draco the Dragon where it was said the Dragon was spitting stars in the evening hours. Many meteor showers are best viewed after midnight but not so with this one. Unfortunately you may not see so many shooting stars this evening form the Draconid’s as there is still a lot of light from the bright waning gibbous moon.

However the second Meteor shower of October holds more promise of a wonderful view. The Orionid meteor shower can be observed from October 21st to the 22nd in the night sky. Viewing should be pretty good weather permitting as there will be very little light from the Moon. The Moon is only a wafer thin crescent in the sky so you may see a maximum of about 10 to 15 meteor’s per hour.

Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights

The Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights will be visible through all of Canada as well as the Eastern half of the USA for the first week of October according to the Space Weather Prediction Agency. The crisp evenings will make for better viewing of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights as well.

Harvest Moon Neil Young

Moon 2017
Full Moon October 5, 2017 🌕

New Moon October 19, 2017 🌙

Celestial Events 2018

The Perseid meteor shower back in August was not so great for observing due to the light cast from the Full Moon. However next August in 2018 the Perseid meteor shower will really be a stunning sight to see as it occurs at a New Moon with no light.

Moon Names and Spirit Animals

Moon Names

North American First Nations and Native people in North America have different names and meanings for the full moons. Because of this reason, often the First Nations calendar does not match up with the typical 12 month calendar. 

The names of the moons were given to each to indicate changes of nature, the seasons as well as the cycle of life. This is why the First Nations people of North America have 13 moons in a calendar year.

The Ojibwe called October's Full Moon the Mskawji Giizis or the Freezing Moon as this is when the first frost occurs in North America. Mskawji Giizis is the eleventh moon of Creation of the 13 lunar moon calendar.

The Freezing Moon is a time when animals in the forest begin to prepare for the long cold winter months. This is to remind us to prepare ourselves for our own spiritual path by observing nature and Mother Earth.

To the Ojibwe, the Freezing Moon is also a time when the Star Nation is closest to us. To the Anishinabe of northwestern Ontario, the night sky was a land of spirits. Anishinabe" translates to "the people" in the Algonquin language. Stories of Sky people and Sky stories of the Anishinabe were passed down from generation to generation. Sightings of Sky people and UFO’s have been recorded in aboriginal teachings for hundreds of years, especially in remote northern areas. Northwestern Ontario has had numerous UFO related activity and reports over the last two hundred years. The Thunder Bay area continues to be active today.

Many Moons ago, spiritual leaders and indigenous astronomers had a keen sense of the stars and the planets that they used to help advice everyday activities of their people.

To the Cree, the Harvest Moon was called Pimahamowipisim or the Migrating Moon as many bird species start migrating south for the winter in October. Indigenous people of Western North America have different names as well. The Tlingit of the Pacific Northwest call the October Full Moon the Big Moon.

The Haida people called the Full Moon the Ice Moon.

turtle, spirit animals

The Moon and Turtles

Turtles are sacred spirit animals to the First Nations people. Observe the pattern on a turtle’s shell and you will notice the scales add up to of numbers that correspond with the lunar calendar cycle. The circle of scales that are on the edge of the shell add up to 28 which is the number of days that make up the lunar cycle. There are 28 days from each full moon to full moon and the middle of the shell has a pattern of 13 bigger scales. This is said to be the 13 moons of a lunar cycle.

Night Sky Photo by Ryan Hutton

Current Moon Phase

First Quarter Moon
First Quarter Moon

The moon is currently in Aries
The moon is 5 days old

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Meteor Showers 


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