In November, when the weather is clear, it’s worth taking a look at the dark morning sky. The 9th of the month brings a special event – but binoculars are required.
The view of the morning sky is especially gorgeous in November. Venus is a stunning morning star. As the brightest planet in Earth’s sky, it outshines Jupiter. While Venus rises in the east, Jupiter is still present in the western sky. All the winter constellations have already appeared in the East.
Sirius, the main star of Canis Major, shines clearly in the southeast. It is the brightest fixed star in the night sky. Orion in the south attracts attention with its red-shouldered star Betelgeuse and the blue-white-footed star Rigel.
Skycatcher Orion is the guiding star of the winter sky. With Pollux in Gemini, Capella in Furman, Aldebaran in Taurus, and Procyon in Canis, the winter hexagram is complete.
Venus will be occulted from the Moon between 10:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on November 9, an event that can be viewed with binoculars if the sky is clear. Specific times depend on location.
Pegasus Square is located high to the south
In the Western Hemisphere you can still see the Summer Triangle with Vega, Deneb and Atyr in the evening sky. At the top south you can see Pegasus Square, also known as Autumn Square.
The stars of Cassiopeia pass across the meridian sharply above our heads. Depending on its arrangement, this celestial figure is also called Celestial W.
Like the Big Dipper, the celestial W is circumpolar, meaning it never sets at our latitudes. Aries and Pisces complete the autumn image collection.
In the early darkness, a bright spot is the first to light up in the eastern sky. It is not a star, but Jupiter, and it is surrounded by a dense cloud cover. You can only see it because it is lit by the sun. On the 25th, the almost full moon joins Jupiter.
Jupiter sets in the west in the morning
On November 3, Jupiter will be exactly opposite the Sun. In this opposite situation, the sun rises in the east while the sun sets below the horizon in the west. At midnight, the weather will be high in the south. In the morning sky, it sets in the west when the sun appears in the east in the morning.
Jupiter is currently in the constellation Aries. It takes twelve years to travel around the sun. Its diameter is eleven times the diameter of Earth, and it is the largest planet in our solar system. The Earth can fit about 1,300 times as wide as a giant globe.
Jupiter rotates faster than other planets on its axis: a full revolution takes less than ten hours, while one Earth revolution takes about 24 hours.
In a telescope, you can see that Jupiter has become oblate as a result of its rapid rotation. You can see an oval planetary disk covered in cloud bands and lines.
Jupiter’s light travels 33 minutes to reach Earth
It is exciting to follow the interaction between the giant planet’s four large and bright moons through binoculars. Every night a different composition appears. Jupiter reaches its closest distance to Earth at opposition.
On November 1, it was 596 million kilometers. Therefore, it is approximately four times farther from us than the Sun. Light from Jupiter or a radio signal travels to Earth in 33 minutes.
Saturn is still in the constellation Aquarius, represented in the evening sky. The ringed planet marks its demise before midnight. At the end of November, Saturn sets at 11 p.m. The moon passes the planet Saturn in its monthly orbit on the 20th in the afternoon.
By the time it gets dark enough to see Saturn in the evening, the waxing crescent has already moved slightly away from Saturn. However, Mars and Mercury remain invisible in November.
Uranus can only be seen with binoculars
Uranus, like Jupiter, opposes the Sun in the middle of the month. But to see it, you need binoculars. Therefore, it was not known before the invention of the telescope. It was discovered only in March 1781 by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel using a self-made reflecting telescope in the constellation Gemini.
Uranus is currently in the constellation Aries. It is 19 times farther from the sun than Earth. The green planet spends about a human lifetime – 84 years – revolving around the sun.
The distance between Uranus and Earth is 2787 million kilometers. The light from Uranus covers this distance in two hours and 35 minutes.
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