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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

 

The Sky This Week - Thursday November 17 to Thursday November 24

The Last Quarter Moon is Saturday November 19. Venus is easily visible in the western evening twilight with Mercury beside it. Venus continues to climb the Scorpion during the week, Mercury begins to sink towards the horizon. Jupiter dominates the evening sky once Venus has set. Mars is visible in the morning sky and is close to the star Regulus. Leonid meteor shower morning Saturday 19.

Morning sky looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 5:00 am local daylight saving time on Saturday November 19 showing Mars near Regulus and the Moon, with the Leonid Meteor shower radiant indicated with a cross. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. Click to embiggen.

The Last Quarter Moon is Saturday November 19.


Mars is low in the north-eastern morning sky, in the constellation of Leo. Mars is close to bright star Regulus but draws away over the week.

On the morning of November 19 the Leonid Meteor shower peaks, with the best time being between 3-4 am. Unfortunately, the Leonids radiant is just below the last quarter Moon, so very few meteors will be visible. You can use the Meteor Flux Estimator to get a prediction for your location. Use the 13 Leonids option and don't forget to set the year to 2011.


In the morning Jupiter low is above the north-western horizon.

Saturn enters the morning twilight at the end of the week, but will be difficult to see unless you have a clear, level eastern horizon. On Wednesday morning, November 23 the Moon, Spica and Saturn form a triangle just above the horizon at around 5:00 am local daylight saving time.


Evening sky on Saturday November 19 looking west as seen from Adelaide at 8:45 pm local daylight saving time in South Australia showing Venus and Mercury in the constellation of the Scorpion. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time (click to embiggen)

Bright white Venus and Mercury are now readily visible in the evening western twilight sky from around half an hour after sunset for somewhat over an hour.

Mercury is visible besides Venus at the beginning of the week, and the two of them climb the constellation of the Scorpion at the beginning of the week. As the week wears on, Venus continues to climb, but Mercury begins to head towards the horizon.


Jupiter was at opposition, when it is biggest and brightest as seen from Earth, on Saturday the 29th of October. However, Jupiter will be a great binocular and telescope object for many weeks to come. Jupiter is visible all night long now.

Evening sky on Saturday November 19 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 10:00 pm local daylight saving time in South Australia showing Jupiter and the Moon. Similar views will be seen elsewhere at the equivalent local time. INSET: Jupiter and its Moons as seen at this time (click to embiggen)

In the evening Jupiter is readily visible in the north-eastern sky, from about 7 pm local time on.

Now is a good time to begin telescopic observation of this massive world, or follow its moons in binoculars. For good telescopic observation Jupiter is best from 10 pm - 1 am.

There are some good Jupiter Moon events, but these are mostly in the early hours of the morning.

Although Jupiter is the most prominent now, there are lots of interesting things in the sky to view with a telescope. If you don't have a telescope, now is a good time to visit one of your local astronomical societies open nights or the local planetariums.

The location of the variable star Mira as seen at 10:00 pm local daylight saving time Saturday November 19 looking north-east from Adelaide, similar views will be seen at equivalent local times elsewhere. The circle marks the position of Mira. Click to embiggen,

The variable star Mira is now bright enough to see easily with the unaided eye just above and to the right of Jupiter. Over the month of November it will slowly fade. .

Printable PDF maps of the Eastern sky at 10 pm ADST, Western sky at 10 pm ADST. For further details and more information on what's up in the sky, see Southern Skywatch.


Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

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