The seasonal almanac is a calendar of nature and astronomical events.
Astronomical Events for October and November 2000
2 Mahatma (Mohandas Karamchand) Gandhi born this day in 1869.
3 Death of Miles Standish in 1656.
4 St. Francis of Assisi’s day; Sputnik becomes the first object launched into outer space, 1957.
5 FIRST QUARTER MOON, 6:59 A.M. EDT.
6 Binoculars show the double star Alpha Librae just north of brilliant Venus in southwest sky at dusk.
8 Great Chicago Fire this day and next, 1871.
9 Columbus Day (observed); Yom Kippur; Thanksgiving (in Canada); Native Americans Day (in South Dakota); Leif Eriksson Day (see story ).
10 15.68 inches of rain fell on Enid, Oklahoma this day in 1973; U.S. Naval Academy in Anapolis, Maryland, founded in 1845.
11 Pulaski Memorial Day observed in several states in honor of General Casimir Pulaski, native of Poland and American Revolutionary War hero; Eleanor Roosevelt born, 1884.
12 Columbus. Day (traditional) — Columbus Day was first made a holiday in1892.
13 FULL MOON, 4:53 A.M. EDT; Hunter’s moon; Friday the 13th — the only time it occurs this year.
14 Succoth; National Friendship Day; William Penn, founder of Pennsylvania, born in 1644; Dwight Eisenhower born this day in 1890; 24 inches of rain fell in 24 hours in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (1965).
15 Moon rises beside Saturn this evening; devastating Hurricane Hazel made landfall at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, this day in 1954; Roman poet Virgil, author of the epic The Aeneid, supposedly born this day in 70 B.C.
16 Lovely triangle of moon, Jupiter and star Aldebaran rises in evening tonight.
17 First Oktoberfest held this day in 1810 to celebrate the wedding day of King Ludwig I.
18 Day of St. Luke and start of St. Luke’s Little Summer (a kind of European relative of America’s Indian summer); Alaska Day; 48″ of early-season, lake-effect snow fell just south of Buffalo this day 70 years ago.
19 Day of St. Peter of Alcantara, patron saint of night watchmen.
20 LAST QUARTER MOON, 3:59 P.M. EDT; Jupiter four-and-a-half degrees (less than half the width of your fist at arm’s length) north of Aldebaran – second in a series of three conjunctions of the planet and star; observers far from city lights should look for a few Orionid meteors from the east and southeast in the late evening, before moonrise, tonight.
21 Peak of annual Orionid meteor shower (one of two showers that are debris from Halley’s Comet) a few hours before dawn – but views hindered by rather bright moon.
22 Sun enters astrological sign Scorpio.
23 Swallows depart from San Juan Capistrano, California.
24 Moon in east not far from lower left of Mars before dawn; United Nations Day (U.N. founded this day in 1945); day of St. Ursula, patron saint of teachers and young people.
25 This day in 1919, Bismarck, North Dakota, hit-10 °F, its earliest sub-zero reading.
27 NEW MOON, 3:58 A.M. EDT; first day of Ramadan, Muslim month of fasting; Teddy Roosevelt born in 1858.
28 Statue of Liberty dedicated, 1886; day of St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes.
29 End of Daylight Saving’s Time. Set clocks one hour earlier at 2 A.M.
30 Start watching the late-evening sky from now through early November for a few especially bright Taurid meteors.
31 Halloween (All Hallows Eve); Nevada Day; birthday of poet John Keats in 1795 (he died at the height of his career at the age of 25).
1 All Saints Day; Samhain (pronounced “savin”), Celtic feast of departing sun and beginning new year.
2 All Souls Day; Daniel Boone born 1734.
3 William Cullen Bryant (author of poem “Thanatopsis”) born 1794.
4 FIRST QUARTER MOON, 2:27 A.M. EST; Will Rogers Day in Oklahoma.
5 Guy Fawkes Day (occasion for fireworks and mischief in Britain, in commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the King James I and Parliament in 1605).
6 Dr. James Naismith, inventor of basketball in 1891, born this day in 1861.
7 Election Day in U.S.; mathematical halfway point of autumn; birthday in 1867 of Madame Marie Curie, discoverer of radium (and eventual victim of radiation poisoning).
8 Birthday in 1656 of Edmund Halley, first to prove that comets — including the comet named for him — return.
10 Martin Luther born, 1483; U.S. Marine Corps founded, 1775; 25 years ago today, a storm on Lake Superior sank the 729-foot ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald, killing 29.
11 FULL MOON (Frosty Moon or Beaver Moon), 4:15 P.M. EST; Veterans Day (set on the Armistice Day of World War I).
12 Tonight, the moon is passing between Jupiter and Aldebaran.
13 Great Leonid Meteor Storm in 1833 — the night the stars fell on Alabama.
14 This day in 1946, first cloud-seeding experiment with dry ice produced snow flurries in the Berkshires of Massachusetts.
16 Temperature hit -53° F in Lincoln, Montana, this day in 1959.
17 Well after midnight tonight (that is, about 2 to 5 A.M. of November 18) there is a fair chance of seeing dozens of Leonid meteors per hour despite bright moonlight.
19 Saturn at opposition to sun and the brightest it’s been in over 25 years.
20 One century ago multiple tornados killed 73 in Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
21 Nearly eight inches of rain fell in Los Angeles, up to 14 inches in the mountains in 1967.
22 Sun enters constellation Scorpius.
23 Thanksgiving Day (it is supposed to be held on the fourth — which is not always the last — Thursday in November. This year’s is almost the earliest possible).
24 Acadian Day in Louisiana.
25 NEW MOON, 6:11 P.M. EST; day of St. Catherine, patron saint of unmarried women; Great Appalachian Storm in 1950: over seven inches of rain at Slide Mountain, New York; 57 inches of snow at Pickens, West Virginia; and 108 mph wind gusts at Newark, New Jersey.
26 Sojourner Truth Day (the black female abolitionist died this day in 1883).
27 Jupiter at opposition to sun (visible all night long) and at its biggest and brightest of the year (see story ).
28 Forty years ago today, a storm on Lake Superior (one of the legendary “gales of November”) with 73 mph wind gusts produced waves 20 to 40 feet high.
29 Breathtaking sight of Venus just below the crescent moon at nightfall; Sun enters constellation Ophiuchus; birthday in 1832 of Louisa May Alcott, author of Little Women and The Inheritance.
30 St. Andrew’s Eve; birthday in 1835 of Mark Twain, birthday in 1874 of Winston Churchill.