Jeffers Foundation



October, 2018

Talk about your Mr. October...! The ancients used the sky as their calendar. When Sirius appeared in the pre-dawn sky, the Egyptians knew it was time for the Nile's seasonal flood and they needed to get planting. Though our phones are now are source of all things schedule related, those benchmarks are still there, reminding us of our past dependance on the night sky. For example, The Great Square of Pegasus returns to the sky each October. Though its character is the legendary flying horse, I can't help but see a different pattern - a baseball diamond - reminding us it's World Series time. It's also a reminder of how our lives were once inexorably linked to the heavens above.

Morning Sky

Venus reaches Inferior Conjunction on October 26, passing between the Earth and the Sun and moving into the morning sky, though it will take a few weeks into November before it is clear of the Sun's glare.

Evening Sky

Though separated from the Sun by 30 degrees on October 1, Venus sets at the same time for most of the month. The ecliptic makes a shallow angle with the western horizon and keeps Mercury close to the horizon all month. Jupiter gets a visit from a skinny Crescent Moon on October 11 as it begins to exit the evening sky, plunging toward the Sun and setting just an hour after sunset by month's end. It passes within three degrees of Mercury on October 28, as Mercury climbs higher in the sky throughout the month. Saturn stays to the south all month, visited by the Moon on October 14. Mars starts the month in the southeast 22 degrees above the horizon an hour after sunset, gets a visit from the Moon on October 17 and 18, and sets at about 1 am all month.

Sun Declination


2nd, Last Quarter Moon - 4:45 am

5th, Moon perigee (227,666 miles) - 5:26 pm

8th, Draconids Meteor Shower peak - 12:59 pm

8th, New Moon Freezing (Ojibwe) - 10:47 pm

14th, Mercury 6.82 degrees north of Venus - 10:20 am

16th, First Quarter Moon - 1:02 pm

17th, Moon apogee (251,175 miles) - 2:15 pm

21st, Orionids Meteor Shower peak - 6:07 am

24th, Full Moon (Harvest Moon) - 11:45 am

29th, Mercury 3.27 degrees south of Jupiter - 10:39 pm

31st, Last Quarter Moon - 11:40 am

31st, Moon perigee (230,034 miles) - 3:23 pm

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