The Witches Digest for Tuesday, October 17th
(Part 1, Astronomy)
Your Daily Sun & Moon Data for Tuesday, October 17th
Sun Direction: ↑ 106.47° ESE
Sun Altitude: 5.96°
Sun Distance: 92.632 million mi
Next Solstice: Dec 21, 2017 10:27 am (Winter)
Sunrise Today: 7:04 am↑ 101° East
Sunset Today: 6:14 pm↑ 259° West
Length of Daylight: 11 hours, 10 minutes
Moon Direction: ↑ 112.86° ESE
Moon Altitude: 31.92°
Moon Distance: 239664 mi
Next New Moon: Oct 19, 20172:12 pm
Next Full Moon: Nov 4, 201712:22 am
Next Moonset: Today5:28 pm
Moon Illumination: 5.5%
Current Moon Phase: Waning Crescent
The Lunar Calendar
Moon Phase Tonight: Waning Crescent
New Moon: Oct 19, 2017 at 2:12 pm
Third Quarter: Oct 12, 2017 at 7:25 am
Overview for Tuesday, October 17th
The Moon continues its transit of Virgo until 1:36 PM EDT, after which it transits Libra. This morning, a Mars-Uranus quincunx may temporarily drain our energy or lead to restlessness and impatience.
Mercury enters Scorpio today and then moves into conjunction with Jupiter in the sign. Mercury will transit Scorpio until November 5th, and during this cycle, our thoughts and communications are probing and intense. While Mercury in Libra urged us to find balance and to arrive at fair solutions, Mercury in Scorpio instinctively knows that life just isn’t fair. Mercury in Scorpio seeks truths in all that is hidden and undercover. This is a time to probe, investigate, observe, and focus. Looking for motivations–the more deeply buried the better–satisfies an intellectual need now. We throw away superficial manners of communicating in favor of deep conversations. Scorpio is exceptionally sharp, profound, and analytical. Thinking tends to be one-track minded and perhaps obsessive.
Mercury is applying to its conjunction with Jupiter, exact tomorrow morning, and we are inclined to think in big terms. Communications are grand, enthusiastic, and perhaps exaggerated. We are optimistic, which can help us attract positive circumstances. This is a time of long-range planning and thinking on a grand scale. Details and mundane affairs do not interest us as much as the big picture does. We should watch for overstating and promising more than we are capable of doing, but we might also enjoy good humor and positive vibes. It’s a good time to stretch our thinking to include new possibilities. Verbal expression flows easily. This is an excellent time to come to agreements and resolutions.
A void of course Moon occurs from 7:28 AM EDT, with the Moon’s last aspect before changing signs (a conjunction to Mars), until the Moon enters Libra at 1:36 PM EDT.
Your Astronomy for Tuesday, October 17th
The Moon is in Virgo until 1:34 PM, after which the Moon is in Libra.
The Moon is void from 7:26 AM to 1:34 PM.
The Moon is waning and in its Waning Crescent phase.
The Last Quarter Moon occurred on the 12th, and the New Moon will occur on the 19th.
Mercury enters Scorpio today (Mercury transits Scorpio from October 17-November 5).
Moon in Virgo
We instinctively gravitate towards practical activities under the influence of a Virgo Moon. In order to set things right, we might easily find ourselves re-organizing and rethinking plans. Emotional satisfaction comes from solving problems, making order out of confusion, and helping others. Health matters might come into focus. We notice the smaller parts that make up the whole, and instead of letting nagging details bother us, we might work on ironing them out so that we can feel more confident moving ahead.
The Moon in Virgo generally favors the following activities: Mental pursuits, work activities, services, and routines. Activities that would benefit from tending to details.
The Sky This Week for October 17 to 22
A meteor shower, a well-known fall constellation, and more will appear in the sky this week.
By Richard Talcott
Tuesday, October 17
The predawn sky sparkles with activity this morning as a waning crescent Moon joins brilliant Venus and ruddy Mars. The Moon appears 5 percent lit and lies just 2° to Mars’ left. Venus appears 6° below the other two. The best views come 45 minutes to an hour before sunrise, when the trio stands out against the morning twilight. Most binoculars will capture all three in a single field of view.
Wednesday, October 18
Venus appears 0.2° north of the 4th-magnitude star Eta (η) Virginis this morning. At magnitude –3.9, the planet shines more than a thousand times brighter than the star.
Mars passes 0.5° north of the 4th-magnitude star Beta (β) Virginis this morning. At magnitude 1.8, the Red Planet appears about five times brighter than the star.
Thursday, October 19
Uranus reaches opposition and peak visibility tonight. Opposition officially arrives at 2 p.m. EDT, when the outer planet lies opposite the Sun in our sky. This means it rises at sunset, climbs highest in the south around 1 a.m. local daylight time, and sets at sunrise. (From 40° north latitude, Uranus peaks at an altitude of 60°, the highest it has appeared at opposition since February 1963.) The magnitude 5.7 planet lies in southeastern Pisces, 1.8° west-northwest of magnitude 4.3 Omicron (ο) Piscium. Although Uranus shines brightly enough to glimpse with the naked eye under a dark sky, use binoculars to locate it initially. A telescope reveals the planet’s blue-green disk, which spans 3.7″.
New Moon occurs at 3:12 p.m. EDT. At its new phase, the Moon crosses the sky with the Sun and so remains hidden in our star’s glare.
Friday, October 20
With the Moon now gone from the predawn sky, the rest of this week offers an excellent opportunity to view the zodiacal light. From the Northern Hemisphere, early autumn is the best time of year to observe this elusive glow before sunrise. It appears slightly fainter than the Milky Way, so you’ll need a clear moonless sky and an observing site located far from the city. Look for the cone-shaped glow, which points nearly straight up from the eastern horizon, shortly before morning twilight begins (around 5:45 a.m. local daylight time at mid-northern latitudes). The Moon remains out of the morning sky until November 3, when its bright light will return and overwhelm the much fainter zodiacal light.
Saturday, October 21
If you’re out enjoying the predawn darkness, you’ll likely see a number of bright streaks peppering the sky. These are Orionid meteors, which belong to an annual shower that peaks before dawn. Observers under a dark sky could see up to 20 meteors per hour shortly before twilight begins, when the constellation Orion the Hunter climbs highest in the south. (The meteors appear to radiate from a point in northern Orion.) With the Moon absent from the morning sky, viewing conditions could hardly be better this year.
Sunday, October 22
Look high in the east after darkness falls this week, and you should see autumn’s most conspicuous star group. The Great Square of Pegasus stands out in the evening sky at this time of year, though it appears balanced on one corner and looks more diamond-shaped. These four almost equally bright stars form the body of Pegasus the Winged Horse. The fainter stars that form the rest of this constellation’s shape trail off to the square’s west.
Venus appears 1.3° southwest of the 3rd-magnitude star Gamma (γ) Virginis this morning.
Flying right along…..