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Sky Report -November 2011

Venus & Mercury (early November), Jupiter in South, Moon & Venus (late November)

Sky Sights all through November 2011: The Summer Triangle of bright stars can be seen low in the West in the early evening. The very bright white-blue star Vega appears in the lower right corner of the Triangle. The bright golden star Capella can be seen in the Northeast. To the right of Capella is the Seven Sisters or Pleiades star cluster, resembling a tiny dipper. In mid evening (9-10 p.m.), the bright star group Orion appears low the East. Orion's trademark is his belt of three stars in a row, matched in brightness and equally spaced. The bright planet Jupiter appears in the Southeast in mid evening, shining in eastern Aries. The star group Cassiopeia, resembling a flattened letter 'M', appears high in the North. The planets Mars and Saturn are most easily seen in the 5:30 a.m. sky with Mars well up in the South and Saturn much lower in the Southeast.

Sky Sights in Early November 2011: In early November, the planet Mercury appears below the brilliant planet Venus, low in the western dusk. View the two planets about 45 minutes after sunset (6:50 p.m. DST or 5:50 EST). Binoculars will aid in spotting the much dimmer planet Mercury. On November 2nd, the evening moon appears half full in the southwestern evening sky. On November 8th and 9th, the moon appears above the bright planet Jupiter. On November 10th, the moon is full, shining in western Aries.

Sky Sights in Mid November 2011: Mercury stays below and to the right of Venus. The moon moves into the morning sky, appearing half full on November 18th in the southern dawn. On the morning of November 19th, the moon appears near the planet Mars in the southern dawn.

Sky Sights in Mid November 2011: On November 22nd, the crescent moon appears the planet Saturn in the southeastern dawn sky. The morning following Thanksgiving (November 24), the moon swings from the morning to the evening sky. On Saturday, November 26th, the crescent moon can be seen low in the 5:30 p.m. western dusk. To the left of the moon will be the brilliant planet Venus. On the next evening, the crescent moon will appear above and to the left of Venus.

The Frostburg State Planetarium's November Program will be "Mysteries of the Stars", covering our understanding of the sun and night stars and what still remains mysterious. Also featured is an informal tour of the fall and early winter evening sky using our Planetarium projector. Our free public programs are only on Sundays at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on November 6th, 13th and 20th. Each program lasts about 45 minutes. (There will be no programs on November 27th.)The Planetarium is in Tawes 302, just off the front lobby that faces the Compton Science Center. Our programs change monthly. No reservations are needed, just come a little bit early as once programs start, it is difficult to seat visitors in a darkened planetarium.

By Dr. Bob Doyle

To contact Dr. Doyle, his mailing address is Planetarium, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD 21532 or by email at rdoyle@frostburg.edu.









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