October stargazing: Mars retrograde and the Orionid meteor shower • Earth.com

October stargazing: Mars retrograde and the Orionid meteor shower


Today’s Video of the Day from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory describes what you can get a glimpse of this month in the October sky. 

“Giant planets Jupiter and Saturn are visible throughout the night in October. Early in the evening, you’ll find them to the southeast, moving slowly westward with the stars over the course of the night. They form a triangle with bright star Fomalhaut,” says NASA.

“When observing this trio, note how the planets shine with a steady light, while the star twinkles. This can be an easy way to know if what you’re looking at is a planet or a star.”

Over the next few months, Mars will appear to change direction. This is called retrograde, and occurs when the apparent motion of a planet is in the opposite direction of other bodies within its system,

The Orionid meteor shower is active in October and November, and will peak on the night of October 20. At its peak, this shower usually produces 10 to 20 meteors per hour.

Video Credit: NASA JPL

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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