October Skies To Showcase A Cool Hunter’s Moon And Wild Ring Of Fire Eclipse
October is chock full of amazing celestial events, including a cool Hunter's Moon and a wild "ring of fire" eclipse. The Moon, planets, and stars will also dance with one another across the October night skies.
Sky watchers do not have to wait to see a show in the cooler night sky, as the Moon will rise a couple of hours after sunset, appearing very close to the Pleiades star cluster. Viewers will need to look in the east around 10pm and follow them along as they travel across the night sky together tonight, October 2, 2023. Be sure to awaken early tomorrow as well, as the Moon will appear a couple of finger widths apart from the Pleiades. Onlookers can gaze in the southwest and see Jupiter and red giant star Aldebaran flanking the Moon and Pleiades.
Not too long after, on October 10, Venus will appear in the east just before sunrise, accompanied by a slender crescent Moon. The bright heart of Leo the lion, the bluish-white star Regulus, will also shine brightly smack dab in between the pair.
Perhaps the highlight of October is the annular eclipse of the Sun, which will appear as a narrow ring of light often referred to as the "ring of fire." The partial eclipse path will begin in Southern Canada and then cross the Western US before moving across Central and South America. For those outside of the annular eclipse path, they will be able to see only a partial eclipse. The amount of the Sun that the Moon will cover will depend on the person's location. The partial eclipse will occur on October 14, 2023.
Closing out the month of October and just ahead of Halloween will be the Hunter's Moon. This October full Moon derived its name from people in the Northern Hemisphere spending the month preparing for winter by hunting, slaughtering, and preserving meals. Those in Europe and Africa will also be privy to a partial eclipse, as the Moon will drift into the Earth's outer shadow, with a small portion of the Moon entering the Earth's inner shadow and technically turning red.