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Weekly Stargazing Tips
5 years ago

Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii). Check out last week's tips if you missed a night.

November 19

The planet Saturn is pulling into view in the morning sky. It’s low in the east-southeast at first light, and looks like a fairly bright star to the lower left of Venus, the “morning star.” The two will slide past each other in a few days.

November 20

The Moon is at first quarter at 8:31 a.m. CST. Sunlight illuminates exactly half of the lunar hemisphere that faces Earth, so it looks as though someone sliced the lunar disk down the middle.

November 21

Two celestial tributes to the Industrial Revolution lie low in the southern evening sky: the constellations Fornax and Microscopium, the furnace and the microscope. Fornax appears low in the southeast, with Microscopium in the southwest.

November 22

The faint constellation Monoceros, the unicorn, rises in late evening below much-brighter Orion. It is to the lower left of Orion’s Belt, a short line of three bright stars that rises straight up from the horizon.

November 23

The constellation Pisces is high overhead this evening. It consists of two delicate streamers of stars that join to form a “V.” The point of the V is sometimes called the Heavenly Knot. Star lore says it ties two fish together by their tails.

November 24

The constellation Gemini clears the eastern horizon by about 9 p.m. and climbs high overhead during the night, highlighted by the bright stars that represent Gemini’s twins. Castor rises first, with brighter Pollux following almost directly below it.

November 25

The planets Venus and Saturn are moving past each other in the morning sky. Venus is the dazzling “morning star,” low in the eastern sky at first light. Fainter Saturn is close to its left or lower left tomorrow, but will stand above Venus on Tuesday.

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