As the moon rises at 7 PM on 27 September residents of the Sunshine Coast will be able to view the last total lunar eclipse until January 2018. The SCC Observatory will be open from 6:30 at the Sechelt Airport (weather permitting) to view this event. The penumbral eclipse begins at 5:11 PM, the umbral eclipse at 6:07 PM, with mid-totality occurring at 7:47 PM. The umbral eclipse ends at 9:27 PM and the penumbral eclipse at 10:22 PM.
The Draconid meteor shower peaks on October 8 and the Orionid shower on October 21. Several other minor showers occur in October: The South Taurids (peak 10 October) Delta Aurigids (peak 11 Oct), Epsilon Geminids (peak 18 Oct), and Leo Minorids (peak 24 Oct).
October is an interesting month for viewing planets. In October the waxing moon will pass by a number of planets: On October 8 the waning moon will pass near Venus in the morning sky, near Mars and Jupiter on October 9, and close to Mercury on October 11. On October 16 it will pass within 6 degrees of Saturn near the south-western horizon in the early evening. On the morning of October 15 Mercury will reach its greatest angle away from the Sun. In the coming mornings Venus, Mars and Jupiter will be forming a trio in the sky. On the morning on October 17 Marsa and Jupiter will only be a half a degree apart in the sky. On the 23rd the three planets form a close trio. On the 25th Jupiter and Venus close to within one degree of one another. And the three form another tight triangle in the sky on the 28th.
At 7:30 PM, 9 October 2015, at the Sunshine Coast Art Centre, 5714 Medusa St., Sechelt, the SCC presents Dr. Patrick Cote of the National Research Council, Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Centre, Victoria, BC. His topic will be: “Skies Wide Open: Canadian Plans for Wide-Field Astronomical Facilities in the Coming Decade.” Cote will discuss wide-field telescopes now being developed including the Mauna Kea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE), a proposed 10m telescope, and CASTOR, is a proposed wide-field space telescope that would rival NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope in image quality, but cover a field of view roughly two hundred times larger.
Check out the Sunshine Coast Centre website for more information on astronomy: www.coastastronomy.ca