Sky guide

October 2022 sky guide: 5 astronomical events you can't miss

Multiple meteor showers, a visit from Mercury, and more.

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As the days get shorter this time of year, you might find yourself gazing up at the night sky more often.

Thankfully, there will be lots to see in the sky this October.

Multiple meteor showers, an iconic full Moon, and an appearance from an elusive planetary neighbor will grace Earth’s dark dome.

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Here are 5 skywatching events to mark on your calendar:

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5. Mercury at greatest western elongation

Starting October 8, you’ll have one of the best opportunities to see Mercury all year — if you’re willing to wake up early for it.

NASA

NASA

The planet will appear in the twilight hours, just before sunrise.

And while its greatest western elongation is on October 8, you’ll be able to spot Mercury in the sky all month as it gradually gets brighter.

4. Draconid Meteor shower

This year, the Draconids peak between October 8 and 10, and will be most visible in the early evening.

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While they won’t be the boldest or brightest meteors to streak across the sky, the Draconids offer a steady show to kick off a busy season of meteorite showers.

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3. Hunter’s Moon

This is the name given to the first full Moon after the autumnal equinox, which will rise in the sky on October 9.

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The Hunter’s Moon overlaps with the Draconid Meteor Shower this year, so moonlight might wash out the sky if you’re trying to see shooting stars.

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2. Orionid Meteor Shower

The most spectacular meteor shower of the month peaks on the evening of October 21 to 22, dropping up to 20 meteors per hour.

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The Orionids will peak just a few days before the New Moon, promising a clearer view than the Draconids.

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Partial solar eclipse

On October 25, the Moon will partially obscure the Sun over most of Europe, Western Asia, and Northern Africa.

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VCG/Visual China Group/Getty Images

The next solar eclipse visible in North America won’t be until October 2023.

But there is a lunar eclipse in early November to look forward to.