Magazine article Natural History

The Sky in November

Magazine article Natural History

The Sky in November

Article excerpt

Mercury descends from its excellent morning viewing position of late October. It gradually drops lower into the bright morning twilight, hovering less than 10 from Venus through November 7. Also close by is the first-- magnitude star Spica, a blue gem. During the first five days of November, Venus, Mercury, and Spica form a trio. Mercury is visible 20 to the lower left of Venus on the 11 th, increasing to 40 by the 17th. Mercury slowly brightens during this interval, reaching

magnitude -0.9. In the third week of November, the planet drops deep into the morning twilight and is lost in the glare of the Sun.

Venus rises almost due east about one and a half hours before sunup on the 1st. Spica is close to Venus the first week of November;

Mercury lingers nearby through midmonth. On the 3rd, Venus passes 3.5deg north of Spica. A thin crescent Moon is visible above Venus and to the lower left of Spica on the morning of the 13th. Venus sinks deeper into the dawn twilight throughout the month.

Mars, in Capricornus throughout November, can be found in the southwestern sky at dusk, setting just before 10:30 PM. local standard time (LST). It starts the month at magnitude +0.1 and dims to +0.4 by the end.

Jupiter glimmers above the eastern horizon by 9:00 PM. LST at the beginning of November and by 7:00 P.tvt. LST at month's end, reaching its highest point in the sky during the predawn hours. Late on the night of November 5-6, the Moon passes 1.50 north of Jupiter. …

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