Constellations, deep-sky objects, planets and events, Tonight's Sky, Highlights of the November Sky Evening Planets After the sky grows dark, look for magnificent Jupiter in the east. Watch it as it climbs higher into the late autumn night sky. Constellations and Deep-Sky Objects Some fish, a ram, and a triangle can all be found in the November night sky. Pisces, in ancient mythology, are twin fish tied together. They represent two Greek gods fleeing fire. Look for the circlets of stars high in the southern sky. Just to the east of Pisces lies Aries, the golden ram of the Greek gods. It is a dim constellation. Pisces and Aries are in the zodiac, the band of sky through which the Sun appears to travel. Triangulum, a simple geometric constellation, has been identified since ancient times. Look for it next to the Ram and the Fish. The lovely Triangulum Galaxy resides here. It belongs to the same cluster of galaxies that includes our own Milky Way. Also known as M33, the galaxy is about 3 million light-years distant. It can be seen in a dark sky with binoculars. Morning Planets Venus rises in the predawn hours to grace the eastern horizon. It will appear brighter than the nearby star Spica. By mid-month, majestic Saturn can be spotted above the eastern horizon just before dawn. During the last week of November, Saturn and Venus will cozy up to one another. With a clear view of the eastern horizon, you might also spot Mercury lying low in the east during the final days of the month. Tonight’s Sky-‐2012 1 Events November boasts the Leonid meteor shower. This shower is the result of Earth’s annual passage through the dust trails left by Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which returns to the inner solar system every 33 years. Look for meteors on the evening of November 17th and early morning of November 18th, when the peak occurs. Expect to see as many as 40 meteors per hour in dark skies. A total solar eclipse will darken areas of northern Australia and the southern Pacific Ocean on November 13th and 14th. Eastern Australia and New Zealand will see a partial eclipse. On November 28th, a penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from much of Earth. The Moon will darken slightly as it passes through the outer edges of Earth’s shadow.
This month will see Saturn and Venus come very close to one another in the night sky, the mid-month peak of the Leonid meteor shower, solar eclipse in Australia and more.
Credit: Space Telescope Science Institute, Office of Public Outreach