Both Ceres and Vesta can be found near Jupiter, among the stars of the constellations Taurus and Gemini. People should look to the eastern sky in the late evening this month. You can't miss Jupiter. These two objects shine at a magnitude of 7 and 8, making them challenging but rewarding objects to find in a telescope. NASA's Dawn spacecraft completed its orbit of Vesta in August after over a year of investigation. Now Dawn is on its way to Ceres and will arrive in February 2015. A third asteroid, Pallas, is also visible through telescopes in the southeastern sky this month.
Two meteor showers grace the October skies, too. The Orionids will peak on the 21st. Viewers will see more just before midnight, after the moon sets. The Taurid meteor shower, radiating from the constellation Taurus the bull, doesn't peak until November 10 but is active beginning October 20.
People can tell the difference between the two showers, even though the constellations appear near each other. Taurids are slow, and bright fireballs might be visible. The Orionids are fast and mostly faint.