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October Skies

October promises to be a spectacular and busy month for star-gazers, with a lunar eclipse, two meteor showers, and Mars making its closest approach of the year to Earth. Carolyn Sumners at the Burke Baker Planetarium says October is great for watching celestial events like meteor showers and eclipses because night by night it’s the […]

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October promises to be a spectacular and busy month for star-gazers, with a lunar eclipse, two meteor showers, and Mars making its closest approach of the year to Earth.

Carolyn Sumners at the Burke Baker Planetarium says October is great for watching celestial events like meteor showers and eclipses because night by night it’s the clearest month of the year in Houston.

The last lunar eclipse of the year will happen on Monday the 17th of this month, but Sumners says you’ll have to get up early and look quickly to see it.

There are also two meteor showers this month — the Draconids shower this Saturday night, and the Orionids shower the night of the 21st. Sumners says the Orionids shower is an important item of celestial history.

Sumners says Mars is getting brighter every night because it’s getting closer to Earth. By Halloween weekend Mars will be at its closest point to Earth — a mere 43.1 million miles away.

Even with significant reductions from industry, construction, shipping and fuel, Garrett says it’s unlikely the region will reach attainment unless individuals do their part as well. She says in an area with more than four million people, things like lighter cars, fewer trips and less vehicle idle time will make a difference.

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