Southern Sky News for November 2010

posted: 2577 days ago, on Sunday, 2010 Oct 31 at 00:03
tags: astronomy, almanack, Southern Sky News.

Special dates to diarize

November 01, after sunset, west: Mars below Antares (in the Scorpion)

November 07, after sunset, west: ultra-thin crescent Moon makes triangle with Mars and Antares

November 08, after sunset, west: thin crescent Moon above Mars and Antares

November 10, after sunset, west: Mercury (below), Mars (right) and Antares, in triangular formation

November 11, after sunset, west: Mercury (below), Mars (right) and Antares, in triangular formation

November 12, after sunset, west: Mercury (below), Mars (right) and Antares, in triangular formation

November 13, after sunset, west: Mercury (below), Mars (right) and Antares, in triangular formation

November 14, after sunset, west: Mercury (below), Mars (right) and Antares, in triangular formation

November 15, after sunset, west: Mercury (below), Mars (right) and Antares, in triangular formation

November 16, after sunset, north-ish: the bright "star" above the Moon is Jupiter

November 16, after sunset, west: Mars (right), Antares (left) with Mercury (centre) almost in a straight line

November 17, after sunset, north-ish: the bright "star" above the Moon is Jupiter

November 17, after sunset, west: Mars (right), Antares (left) with Mercury (centre) almost in a straight line

November 21, after sunset, north-east: large, bright Moon next to the Pleiades (Seven Sisters)

For most of last month, Venus was brilliant in the dusk sky as the Evening Star. In November, however, Venus is absent from the evening sky, and our Evening Star this month is Jupiter, high overhead as the evening begins. As the brightest star-like object in the evening sky, it will be the first "star" to become visible after the Sun sets.

Also in the early evening sky, at least for the first half of the month, will be reddish Mars, which spends some time near Antares, the major star of the Scorpion. Near month's end, Mars and Mercury hook up forming a wide pair of stars very low in the west soon after sunset.

Around midnight Jupiter will be heading west as it sets. If you stand facing east, you'll see the brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, accompanied by the most famous constellation of them all: Orion. To the south, you may just be able to make out the Southern Cross as it begins its climb up into the sky.

In the early-morning sky you won't be able to see Jupiter anymore, but you'll witness the return of Venus, now dressed as the brilliant Morning Star, dominating the eastern pre-dawn horizon. Saturn will be well-placed for observing before day-break. Towards the south-east, Crux will be visible, while Achernar shines brightly to the south-west. Notice that the long arm of Crux points directly towards this star. High above Achernar you'll see the second brightest star in the night sky, Canopus.

The Moon is in New Moon phase on November 6, while Full Moon is on the 21st. The best time for some serious deep sky observing is at the beginning of the month until about the 10th, and then again from around the 27th onward.


Constellations

The Focus Constellations for the first two weeks of November are Pisces (the Fish) and Sculptor (the Sculptor's Workshop); during the last two weeks, we'll focus on Phoenix, Fornax (the Chemical Furnace) and Cetus (the Whale).


Movements of the planets for October 2010

Mercury starts the month in Libra, crossing into Scorpius on the 9th and then on to Ophiuchus on the 15th until the 19th, when it is in Scorpius for a day. From the 20th it is in Ophiuchus before crossing into Sagittarius on the 28th. Venus is in Virgo the entire month. Mars is in Scorpius until the 9th when it moves into Ophiuchus. Jupiter is in Aquarius, Saturn in Virgo, Uranus in Pisces, and Neptune in Capricornus this month.


Happy star-gazing!


For more details

Southern Sky Almanack (2010).

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