Brookwood is a vacation rental home located away from the hustle and bustle and bright lights of the city! Here you can take a deep breath, stand outside, listen to a bubbling creek, and look up at a starry night! On the clearest nights, you can see the hazy band of the Milky Way, and you can track the progress of the constellations through our night sky! September and October are full of astronomical events to fill you with your daily dose of awe and wonder. Check them out below!
Upcoming Astronomical Events:
- September 10 – Full Moon
September’s full moon is known by many names. The Tunica-Biloxi Nation calls it, Tahch’aruwina Tehekuma, meaning Little Sister of the Hot Moon. The Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) nation calls it, Waatebagaa-giizis, meaning Leaves Turning Moon. The Oneida nation calls it, Yey^thokwas, meaning Someone Harvests Moon.
No matter what you choose to call it, it will be full and bright and beautiful on the night of September 10th. Brookwood will be illuminated in its light and we encourage you to bask in its reflected rays!
- September 16 – Neptune at Opposition
Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun and is classified as an ice giant! It is dark, cold, and whipped by supersonic winds! It appears blue in the sky but is not generally visible to the naked eye.
On the night of the 16th, the ice giant will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be illuminated by our sun! It will be brighter and more visible than any other time of the year. It is more than 30 times as far from the Sun as the Earth, so it will only appear as a tiny blue dot unless you have a very powerful telescope. However, what a magnificent little blue dot it will be!
- September 23 – September Equinox
The first day of fall! Our sun will shine directly on our equator and we will have nearly equal amounts of day and night!
- September 25 – New Moon
During a new moon, the moon is on the same side of Earth as the sun, so it will not be visible in the night sky. This means it’s a perfect night for stargazing! Grab a blanket or a chair and LOOK UP! With no light from the moon, the constellations will be at their most visible!
- September 26 – Jupiter at Opposition
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and is the largest planet in our solar system. It is more than twice as massive as all the other planets combined! It is striped and swirled with windy clouds of ammonia and water. It is classified as a gas giant.
On September 26, the gas giant will be at its closest to Earth and its face illuminated by our sun. It will be brighter and more visible than at any other time this year and you’ll be able to see it all night.
If you have a medium-sized telescope, you should be able to see some detail in the swirly bands of clouds. With our binoculars here, you will be able to see Jupiter’s four largest moons – Europa, Ganymede, Io, and Callisto!
- October 7 – Draconids Meteor Shower
Dust grains left behind from the comet 21P Giacobini-Zinner, which was first discovered in 1900, will cause a minor meteor shower on the night of October 7. It will be difficult to see any but the brightest meteors due to the first quarter moon, but if you watch the sky in the early evening you might catch a few!
Keep your eye on Draco, a dragon constellation in the northern sky! The meteors will radiate from this constellation, but they can also appear anywhere in the sky.
- October 8 – Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation
Mercury is the planet closest to our sun and is also the smallest planet in our solar system. It is classified as a terrestrial planet and travels through space at nearly 29 miles per second! It is the fastest moving planet in our solar system and orbits the Sun every 88 days.
On October 8th, Mercury will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. If you’re an early riser, you might catch sight of Mercury in the eastern sky just before sunrise!
- October 9 – Full Moon
October’s full moon is also known by many names. Just to name a few, the Cherokee nation calls it duninvdi, meaning Harvest Month, the Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe) nation calls it Binaakwe-giizis, meaning Falling Leaves Moon, and in the Mahican dialect it is known as the Paʔpeepmãat Neepãʔuk, the Hunting Moon.
Be sure to take a moment and bask in its bright reflected light on the night of October 9. You’ll have a front-row seat to a spectacular view here at Brookwood.
- October 21-22 – Orionids Meteor Shower
The Orionids Meteor shower will be slightly larger than the Draconids, with up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak. Halley’s comet, first discovered by Edmond Halley in 1682, is the source of this meteor shower. Dust grains left behind in its wake will be visible in the night sky as shooting stars!
The moon will be a thin crescent, which should provide high visibility in the night sky for the meteors. The best time to see the meteors will be after midnight and they will radiate from the constellation, Orion, the hunter.
- October 25 – New Moon
The moon will be on the same side of Earth as the sun, so it will not be visible in the night sky. This means it’s a perfect night for stargazing! Grab a blanket or a chair and LOOK UP! With no light from the moon, the constellations will be at their most visible! Maybe you can even catch a glimpse of our galaxy, the Milky Way. The best time to see the Milky Way is when it’s darkest, after astronomical twilight at dusk and before astronomical twilight at dawn.
Looking for a space to host your next family gathering? Considering an artist retreat or yoga retreat? Need a peaceful and regenerative space to reconnect? Looking for a vacation rental in the Blue Ridge Mountains?
Consider booking a getaway at Brookwood House. We are a vacation rental nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Roanoke, Virginia. Backing up to a bubbling creek, a waterfall, and a ridge of beautiful forest, you couldn’t ask for a more peaceful space to reconnect. The house sleeps up to 13 guests and has a washer, dryer, dishwasher, modern kitchen appliances, a veranda, a large pool, and even a screened-in sleeping deck. Stay at Brookwood and remember what matters!
Book a getaway with us on
Signup for our newsletter to get deals and steals!
Additional Links / Information:
Native American Moon Names
NASA’s Neptune Page
NASA’s Jupiter Page
NASA’s Mercury Page