ROSS’S ALMANAC for October 2012

Compiled by Kirk Ross

Rolling through the great Midwest recently, it wasn’t difficult to see the effects of an intense, extended drought and realize that while we had a dry spell earlier this year, we’ve been spared from the withering just west of the mountains. There was damaged corn in the fields unharvested and waiting for the spring plows, and the tips of far too many trees were already browned and ready for fall.

We may have escaped some of the severe effects, but not all. The forest floor around here already is scattered with the early adopters of autumn foliage. The trees here took a beating in the warm weather season. Many had just leafed out when late June’s wave of 100-degree days washed over us for a week or two. They may be in a hurry to take their rest. So if you see some fall color, stop and take it in. Dormancy is right around the corner.

Oct. 1 – Sunrise: 7:12 a.m.; Sunset: 6:59 p.m.
Oct. 31 – Sunrise: 7:38 a.m.; Sunset: 6:21 p.m.
Last Quarter – Oct. 8 New Moon – Oct. 15
First Quarter – Oct. 21 Full Moon – Oct. 29

The full moon in October is the Harvest Moon, Blood Moon and Travel Moon.

Planets & Stars
At nightfall, Mars lies low in the southwest. On Oct. 20, Mars appears near the star Antares, which is reddish like Mars and whose name means “not Mars.” Jupiter is in the constellation Taurus the Bull, east of an orange-ish star, Aldebaran, which marks the eye of the bull. Venus dominates the eastern pre-dawn sky, and on the morning of Oct. 3 appears very, very close to the bright star Regulus in Leo the Lion. Mercury and Saturn spend the month buried in twilight glow.
—Amy Sayle, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center

Significant Dates
October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Seafood Month, National Pizza Month and Cookie Month.
• Oct. 4 is National Golf Day
• Do Something Nice Day is Oct. 5
• University Day is Oct. 12
• International Skeptics Day is Oct. 13, if you can believe it
• Oct. 17 is Wear Something Gaudy Day
• National Nut Day is Oct. 21
• Punk for a Day is Oct. 25
• National Candy Corn Day is Oct. 30
• Halloween is, well, you know