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3 spectacular sights in the night sky this month

From a Blue Moon to meteors, here is a look ahead at the best times to look up

NASA photo capturing an Orionid meteor shower.
NASA photo capturing an Orionid meteor shower. (NASA/Jimmy Westlake)

Get ready this month to see some rare sights in the nighttime sky.

As the nights cool and the humidity dips look up and you will have the chance to see meteors, Mars at it’s brightest in years and a scary Halloween Blue Full Moon.

Autumn skies typically have less haze offering better viewing conditions for astronomical events.

On Oct. 13, Mars will be in opposition -- on the opposite side Earth from the Sun -- and will appear brighter than any other planet in the sky.

During opposition, Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth.
During opposition, Mars and the sun are on directly opposite sides of Earth. (NASA)

The Red Planet will be positioned opposite from the sun from our Earthly perspective making it the brightest since 2018.

Look for the glowing orange spot in the eastern sky around sunset before it swings westward through the night.

Later in the month, plan on spending some nights in the dark between Oct. 20-21 when one of the best meteor showers of the season is set to peak Tuesday night.

You can expect to see around 20 meteors per hour peaking around midnight on the 21st.

Finally, Halloween will be extra scary as a full moon shines overhead for a second time this month. A double full moon in one month is called a Blue Moon.

photo

It has been 19 years since the last Halloween full moon. While the Blue Moon won’t actually change colors, trick-or-treaters may get a little extra scare out of the rare event.


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