View the red planet and other celestial happenings.
When all other entertainment options fail, look to the skies—the night skies, that is. October has several celestial events to enjoy. First up is the opposition of Mars, when the red planet’s orbit makes its closest pass to Earth. The event, which happens every 26 months, occurs on Oct. 13, says Brad Hoehne, director of the John Glenn Astronomy Park in the Hocking Hills. The planet will become the second brightest in the sky (after Jupiter) in late September. Look east after sunset to spot its reddish-orange glow.Columbus Fall Fun How to make the best of an autumn unlike any before.
Shortly after, on Oct. 20, the Orionid meteor shower will peak—and a crescent moon will make for ideal viewing conditions. But October’s most spectacular sight, says Hoehne, is far less time-sensitive. “What October is really nice for is, it’s the end of the season where you can view the summer Milky Way,” he explains. “Right after the sun sets, if you’re in a nice, dark place, the Milky Way is still arching high overhead. You’re seeing the rich star fields of the constellations of Cygnus and Equuleus and Scutum. The Milky Way is particularly lovely in that area.” He recommends the nights of Oct. 15 and 16, when the moon is new (read: super-dark skies), for optimal viewing.