Solar system bodies this month

In this page, we describe the positions and motions of the planets, and any visible comets and asteroids for this month.
We hope that this information will help you locate these objects easily, and track their motion with time.

For reference, we describe the constellations (and the Indian names of nakshatras) in which the planets are, as well as when they cross from one constellation to the other. This is for your convenience. We also try to provide the Indian names of these objects, as an illustration of how many cultures have studied and systematically categorised the stars in the sky.

As we well know, these constellation boundaries and nakshatras are arbitrary and have no special significance whatsoever. Hence, as is obvious, the constellation in which a planet is, or is moving to, has no special meaning for us beyond being just a way to locate them easily in the night sky.

How to locate our solar system neighbours during October 2014

This month month begins with first quarter moon.  That is as the sun sets, we will have nearly half illuminated Moon near the meridian.

Mercury (Budha) is in Virgo, the Virgin (Kanya) and remains in this constellation all through the month. It is in inferior conjunction with the Sun on Oct 16.

Venus (Shukra) too is in Virgo, the Virgin (Kanya) and moves to Libra, the Scale (Tula) on 30th Oct. Venus is in superior conjunction with the Sun on Oct 25.

It may be noted that the Sun too is in is in Virgo and thus it would be difficult to locate both these inner planets.  However Mercury is to the east of the Sun and Venus to its left and both are moving in opposite direction.  By next moth we should be able to spot Venus above the western horizon after sunset and Mercury above the eastern horizon before sunrise.

Mars (Mangal) remains in Leo, the Lion this month. It passes within less than a degree from Regulus (Magha) on Oct 15.

Jupiter (Guru) continues to remains in Gemini, the Twins (Mithuna).

Saturn (Shani) to continues remains in Virgo, the Virgin (Kanya) this month too.

The Sun remain in Virgo, the Virgin (Kanya) most of this month and moves to Libra, the Scale on 31st Oct.

Meteor Showers — Draconids peak on 8th of October but would be badly affected by the moonlight. This shower is due to come 21P/Giacobini-Zinner.

Comets – Comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring is likely to be just about bright to be seen with a pair of binoculars.  On 20th of Oct it is just about  a minute of arc from Mars.  The map below gives position in the sky.


Phases of the Moon (timings in IST hh:mm) to help you plan your observing programme

               First quarter:  02-Oct 01:02
               Full moon:      08-Oct 16:20
               Last quarter:   16-Oct 00:47
               New moon:       24-Oct 03:26
               First quarter:  31-Oct 08:18
                    Diary of Astronomical Phenomena 2014
                        The time given below are in UT 
                              IST = UT+5h 30m 
This list of astronomical phenomena is generated using Occult V4.0.9 
by David Herald of International Occultation Timing Association.

 d  h                                  d  h
 1 19  FIRST QUARTER                  18  0  Jupiter 5.2N of Moon
 1 23  Pluto 2.8S of Moon             18  5  Moon at apogee
 4 14  Mercury stationary             18 23  Regulus 4.4N of Moon
 5 17  Neptune 4.4S of Moon           19  2  Venus 3.2N of Spica 
 6  9  Moon at perigee                22 21  Mercury 0.6N of Moon   
 7 20  Uranus at opposition           23  9  Spica 2.5S of Moon
 8  9  Uranus 1.2S of Moon            23 21  NEW MOON             Eclipse
 8 10  FULL MOON                      23 21  Venus 0.1N of Moon       
12 10  Aldebaran 1.4S of Moon         25  7  Mercury stationary
13 13  Moon furthest North (18.5)     25  7  Venus superior conjunction
15 19  LAST QUARTER                   25 16  Saturn 0.9S of Moon      
16  8  Mercury 0.4N of Spica          28  0  Moon furthest South (-18.6)
16 21  Mercury inferior conjunction   29  5  Pluto 2.9S of Moon
17 18  Mercury 2.4S of Venus          31  2  FIRST QUARTER

 d  h                                  d  h
 1 20  Mercury greatest elong W(19)   16 10  Neptune stationary
 2  0  Neptune 4.4S of Moon           18  8  Saturn at conjunction
 2 23  Moon at perigee                19 18  Spica 2.6S of Moon
 4 14  Mercury 4.2N of Spica          21 18  Mercury 1.9S of Moon
 4 17  Uranus 1.2S of Moon            22  5  Saturn 1.2S of Moon
 6 22  FULL MOON                      22 12  NEW MOON
 8 19  Aldebaran 1.5S of Moon         23  2  Venus 3.9S of Moon
 9 23  Moon furthest North (18.6)     24  8  Moon furthest South (-18.6)
10 23  Mars 3.7S of Pluto             24 17  Venus 4.5N of Antares 
13  1  Venus 1.5S of Saturn           25 12  Pluto 2.8S of Moon
14 14  Jupiter 5.0N of Moon           26  2  Mercury 1.6S of Saturn 
14 15  LAST QUARTER                   27 23  Moon at perigee
15  1  Moon at apogee                 29  6  Neptune 4.2S of Moon
15  7  Regulus 4.4N of Moon           29 10  FIRST QUARTER

 d  h                                  d  h
 1 23  Uranus 1.1S of Moon     Occn   20 21  Venus 3.2S of Pluto 
 4 10  Mercury 3.9N of Antares        21 18  Moon furthest South (-18.7)
 6  4  Aldebaran 1.4S of Moon         21 22  Solstice
 6 12  FULL MOON                      22  1  NEW MOON
 7  9  Moon furthest North (18.7)     22  6  Uranus stationary
 8  9  Mercury superior conjunction   22 22  Pluto 2.8S of Moon
 9  6  Jupiter stationary             24 17  Moon at perigee
12  0  Jupiter 4.9N of Moon           25  4  Mars 5.6S of Moon
12 15  Regulus 4.2N of Moon           25  6  Mercury 4.3S of Pluto 
12 22  Moon at apogee                 26 12  Neptune 4.0S of Moon
14 12  LAST QUARTER                   28 18  FIRST QUARTER
17  3  Spica 2.7S of Moon             29  4  Uranus 0.9S of Moon    
19 21  Saturn 1.5S of Moon