Mark your calendars for two major sky events this October—the Orionid meteor shower with minimal interference from the Moon, and a partial solar eclipse! Moon and planet pairings in the night sky will also be aplenty this month.

Maximize your stargazing experience with a sky map and optical instruments like telescopes or binoculars. Easy-to-use observation stations like Stellina and Vespera come in handy–they are easily operated using smartphones and tablets! Al Sadeem Astronomy is the only distributor of this smart telescope here in the Middle East. You can place an order or inquiry here.

Check out the sky events for October 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All dates and times are in UAE Local Time (UTC+4).

October 5 – Conjunction of Moon and Saturn

The Waxing Gibbous Moon and Saturn will be first to display a spectacle in October with a conjunction, appearing in the evening sky on October 5 from 6:20 P.M. until the small hours of the following day.

The conjunction of the Moon and Saturn in the early morning hours of October 5, 2022, as rendered by Stellarium.

October 8 – Conjunction of Moon and Jupiter

On October 8, the Moon is moving closer to planet Jupiter in a conjunction after having its dance with Saturn three nights ago. The pair will be visible in the evening sky at 6:20 P.M. until close to dawn the next day.

The conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter in the early morning hours of October 8, 2022, as rendered by Stellarium.

October 8 and 10 – Mercury’s morning apparition and greatest western elongation

We get to have a glimpse of the Solar System’s tiniest planet twice this October, but only if we have the right equipment, the right sky conditions, and a good unobstructed horizon.

On October 8, Mercury will be at its greatest elongation, or its farthest distance from the Sun. Since Mercury is situated closest to the Sun, our star’s brightness drowns out the planet much of the time. Greatest elongations provide ample opportunity for us to see inner planets like Mercury and Venus. Planet Mercury will be shining brightly at mag -0.6, reaching a peak altitude of 17° above the horizon at 5 A.M. until sunrise.

Mercury will appear again at the same time on October 10 at its highest point in the sky. The planet is expected to appear in its gibbous phase on both days, and it will be tricky to observe, even with at least medium-sized (6” and above) telescopes.

Illustration of Mercury at greatest western elongation before sunrise of October 8, 2022, as rendered by Stellarium.

October 15 – Conjunction of Moon and Mars

Mars will grace the night sky on October 15 as a tiny glowing red ball of light, along with the Waning Gibbous Moon via a conjunction. Catch the pair late in the evening at 10:15 P.M. until twilight of the following day.

The conjunction of the Moon and Mars in the early morning hours of October 15, 2022, as rendered by Stellarium.

October 21-22 – Orionid Meteor Shower

Here’s a meteor shower that shouldn’t be missed. The Orionid meteor shower, which will peak on the late evening hours of October 21 until early morning hours of October 22, will not be spoiled by the Moon completely this year.

The Moon at its Waning Crescent phase will rise much later at night, so light from our natural satellite will not entirely glare out the meteor shower that produces an average 15 meteors per hour under perfectly clear, dark, and moonless sky.

Orionid meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Orion, hence its name. For UAE residents, be on the lookout for the Orionids beginning 11 P.M. onwards.

Meteors are actually debris in space left by rogue rocks in their paths as they journey through our system. Orionids’ parent comet is the Comet 1P/Halley, or Comet Halley, the famous short-period comet that shows up in the Earth’s sky 75 to 79 years.

The Orion constellation with the Orionids radiant (in blue asterisk), as rendered by Stellarium.

October 25 – Partial Solar Eclipse

Prepare for a rare astronomical event happening on October 25–a partial solar eclipse will be seen here in the United Arab Emirates from 2:45 P.M. until 4:50 P.M.!

A partial solar eclipse happens when the Moon passes in front of the Sun as seen from Earth. Around 37 to 41 percent of the Sun will be covered by the Moon.

Here’s a word of warning to everyone when viewing the solar eclipse: Do not–and by all means DO NOT–look at the Sun directly without any protection! Safely observe the Sun with solar glasses and/or filtered solar telescopes. If you don’t have either on hand, you can always improvise through image projection using cardboard or through any clear surface.

From Abu Dhabi, the percentage of the Sun’s disk covered by the Moon will proceed as follows (times are in UAE local time):

14:46  – 1%
14:56  – 6%
15:06  – 13%
15:16  – 20%
15:26  – 27%
15:36  – 33%
15:46  – 36%
15:56  – 37%
16:06  – 33%
16:16  – 27%
16:26  – 19%
16:36  – 11%
16:46  – 3%
Normally, the Moon passes a few degrees to the side of the Sun. The Moon’s orbit is tipped up by 5° relative to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun, as illustrated above. This means that the alignment between the Moon and Sun at New Moon usually isn’t exact. A solar eclipse only occurs at New Moon if the Moon is close to the Earth–Sun plane at the time at one of two points called the Moon’s nodes, in which they are aligned in a straight line. (Image Credit: Dominic Ford, in-the-sky.org).
Solar eclipses occur when the Earth moves through the Moon’s shadow. The dark gray cone behind the Moon indicates the region of space where the Moon appears to completely cover the Sun’s disk (known as the umbra). The light gray area around it shows where the Moon appears to partially cover the Sun’s disk (known as penumbra) (not drawn to scale) (Image Credit: Dominic Ford, in-the-sky.org).
The Partial Solar Eclipse captured on June 21, 2020 (Image Credit: Al Sadeem Observatory)

Sunrise and Sunset Times

October 1 06:14 ↑ 18:09 ↓
October 31 06:28 ↑ 17:43 ↓

Moon Calendar

October 3 First Quarter
October 9 Full Moon
October 17 Last Quarter
October 25 New Moon
  • Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events 2022. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sea and Sky: seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-2022.html
  • Calendar of Astronomical Events. (n.d.). Retrieved from In-The-Sky.org: https://in-the-sky.org/newscal.php?month=10&year=2022&maxdiff=4#datesel
  • Sunrise and sunset times in Abu Dhabi, October 2022. (n.d.). Retrieved from timeanddate.com: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/united-arab-emirates/abu-dhabi?month=10&year=2022