CAYA Sprouts New Moon Stargazing Guide - October 2017

by Shell Selvans

Blessed New Moon! In the coming week or two, I welcome you to go outside with your family at 8:00PM or so and enjoy the earlier-and-earlier darkening sky.

You will still be able to find the Summer Triangle, no longer overhead but instead down toward the western horizon. Cassiopeia instead is almost directly overhead. If you follow the way the tail of Cygnus the swan (the bright star Deneb of the Summer Triangle) is pointing along the Milky Way, you will move through Cassiopeia to another bright star, Capella.

Capella is one of the three brightest stars in the northern sky (Vega and Arcturus are the others), and has been known for millennia as a goat star - the name means little (female) goat in Latin. She is part of the constellation Auriga, the charioteer. Capella is also associated with ancient constellations of a goat-herd (with several stars making up the herd), or a shepherd, and throughout the years Auriga has sometimes been shown carrying a goat. Capella was the brightest star in our night sky ~200,000 years ago, so it's fun to wonder what our ancestors may have thought of it then!

The following star chart can help you find Capella and Auriga: 

October 2017 Star Chart

Make sure to line the direction printed on the edge of it up with the direction you're facing. After 9:00PM, the stars will have rotated a bit from where they're shown. Also, you might want to find your own chart if you are on our Mother Earth somewhere other than the contiguous 48 states of the U.S., or a similar latitude.

Blessed be your stargazing!

If you enjoyed this and would like to connect more deeply with the stars, our magical community and the children of the world, please join CAYA Sprouts in our monthly “Children of Promise” New Moon working!