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This Week's Sky at a Glance
5 years ago
Some night sky sights for November 9 – 17
by Alan M. MacRobert

Friday, November 9

  • For telescope users, Jupiter's moon Europa disappears into eclipse by Jupiter's shadow tonight around 1:11 a.m. EST; 10:11 p.m. PST. Even a small scope will show it fading out, just off the planet's western edge.

    Saturday, November 10

  • Jupiter's moon Ganymede reappears out of eclipse from the planet's shadow around 10:35 p.m. EST, only to disappear behind the Jupiter's western limb 20 minutes later.

    Dawn view
    Watch the thinning crescent Moon pass Venus and Spica in the dawn. (This scene is plotted for the middle of North America. European skywatchers: move each Moon a quarter of the way toward the one for the previous date. The visibility of faint objects in bright twilight is exaggerated here.)
  • Venus and the waning crescent Moon shine together low in the east early Sunday morning, from pre-dawn to sunrise, as shown here. Can you follow them right through sunrise into the day? Binoculars help!

    Sunday, November 11

  • On Monday morning before sunrise, look below bright Venus in the east for the thin waning Moon with Saturn to its left, as shown here. Binoculars will help. Saturn is just beginning its year-long 2012–13 apparition.

    Monday, November 12

  • Fomalhaut, the "Autumn Star," culminates (reaches its highest point due south) not long after dark now. The western side of the Great Square of Pegasus, high above, points almost down to it. The other side of the Great Square points down roughly to Beta Ceti (Diphda or Deneb Kaitos), not quite so far.

    Tuesday, November 13

  • Orion is up in the east by about 9 p.m. now, depending on where you live in your time zone. Orion's three-star Belt is nearly vertical. Orange Betelgeuse is to the Belt's left and white Rigel is to its right. Earlier in the evening, keep watch for Betelgeuse rising far below Jupiter.
  • A total eclipse of the Sun crosses parts of Australia and the South Pacific; details.
5 years ago

Wednesday, November 14

  • Vega is the brightest star in the west in early evening. The brightest far left of it, in the southwest, is Altair. Altair's 3rd-magnitude companion Gamma Aquilae (Tarazed), a finger's width at arm's length from it, is now to Altair's right.

    Evening view
    Back in the evening sky, the waxing Moon passes Mars.
    Thursday, November 15
  • The thin waxing crescent Moon shines to the right of distant little Mars in evening twilight, as shown here.

    Friday, November 16

  • Spot the crescent Moon in the west as twilight fades, and use it to guide your way down to little Mars, as shown here.
  • The Leonid meteor shower, normally weak but occasionally surprising, should be at its best in the hours before dawn Saturday morning. Under a dark sky you may see about a dozen to 20 Leonids per hour. There is no Moon.

    Saturday, November 17

  • With a small telescope, watch Jupiter's moon Ganymede slowly disappear into eclipse by Jupiter's shadow around 11:30 p.m. EST; 8:30 p.m. PST. Ganymede is just off Jupiter's western side.

    At roughly the same time, Jupiter's Great Red Spot (actually pale orange-tan) appears nearest to the center of the planet's disk. For many more such Jupiter events all this month, see the November Sky & Telescope, pages 53-54.

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