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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The Sky This Week - Thursday November 19 to Thursday November 26

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday November 25. Jupiter is is easily seen as the brightest object in the evening sky, and the waxing Moon is near Jupiter on Tuesday November 24. In the morning, Mars is easily seen above the eastern horizon. Saturn is close to the dawn horizon. The variable star Mira is still bright and the Variable star Algol fades.

Morning sky looking north-east showing Mars and Saturn at 4:00 am local daylight saving time (3:00 am non-daylight saving) on Friday November 20. Click to embiggen.

The First Quarter Moon is Wednesday November 25.

In the morning, Mars is readily visible in the eastern sky. Red Mars is in the constellation of Cancer.

Saturn is low in the morning sky this week, but is now readily visible before twilight sets in.

Bright white Venus is invisible the twilight glow and will not reappear until February.

Western horizon showing Jupiter at 11:00 pm local daylight saving time (10:00 pm non-daylight saving) on Tuesday November 24, click to embiggen.

Jupiter is easily seen as the brightest object in the evening sky. The waxing Moon is near Jupiter on Tuesday November 24. Jupiter is big enough to be appreciated in even the smallest telescope. If you don't have a telescope to view Jupiter, why not go to one of your local Astronomical Societies or Planetariums open nights? Jupiter's Moons are readily visible in binoculars or a small telescope.

Mercury is currently not visible.

Left, the eastern horizon at around 10:00 am AEDST showing the location of Mira, Right the Northern horizon at 10:00 pm AEDST on November 25 showing the location of Algol.

Mira (omicron ceti), a star in the constellation of Cetus the whale, is a long period pulsating red giant and changes brightness from below naked eye visibility to a peak of round magnitude 2 (roughly as bright as beta Crucis in the Southern Cross) in around 330 days. Mira peaked in brightness in November around November 10, and will now fade slowly over the coming weeks. It may be seen above the eastern horizon around 10 pm local daylight saving time above a loop of stars just above Taurus (see above, Mira is not shown as the plotting software only shows the minimum).

Algol is another classic variable star, but is usually hard to see from the southern hemisphere. This week we have a chance to see Algol dim and brighten under reasonable circumstances. On November 25th 26th at at 00:30 am Algol will be at its dimmest, start watching from about 9:30-10 pm, and over the next few hours you can watch it dim dramatically.

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.


Very informative blog. I enjoyed the blog very much and I am waiting for your next blog. I love to listen about stars and planets. I used to do star gazing with binocs. I think you are the right person whom I can ask for this suggestion. Whether I should use large aperture (over 70mm) binoculars for star gazing.
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