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Sky Report - November 2012

Winter evening star groups showing low in East, Leo meteor shower and late November full moon

Sights Seen All Through November - The star group Cassiopeia resembles a letter 'M' high in the North. Underneath is the North Star, a modest point of light about half way up in the North. The Summer Triangle now appears in the West with Vega, its brightest star sparkling with a white-blue light. On the opposite side of the sky, the first winter evening groups are creeping into view. Low in the East is Orion, with his three star belt. To the left of the belt is pinkish Betelgeuse, marking Orion's shoulder. On the right of the belt is Rigel, Orion's brightest star. Above and to the left of Orion is the bright golden star Capella. The very bright planet Jupiter shines in Taurus, to the right of Capella.

Early November Sights - On the evening of November 1st, the moon appears close to the bright planet Jupiter in the eastern evening sky. On the next evening, the moon appears to the left of the star group Orion. On November 3rd, we set our clocks back an hour before retiring as we return to Standard Time. November 4th will have the sun rising an hour earlier (about 6:45 p.m.) and setting an hour earlier (about 5:10 p.m.). By November 7th, the moon will be rising just before midnight, appearing half full in the next morning's southern dawn sky.

Mid November Sights - On November 11th, the crescent moon appears to the right of the brilliant planet Venus in the southeastern dawn. On November 13th, the moon swings from the morning to the evening side of the sun (New Moon). By November 15th, the moon will again be seen low in the western dusk. The planet Mars will be seen to the left and slightly above the moon on that evening. The early morning hours of November 17th is the best time to watch for the Leonid meteor shower. These meteors can be traced back to the star group Leo in the eastern morning sky. On the evening of November 20th, the moon will appear half full, resembling a tilted letter 'D'.

Late November Sights - In the last week of November, the innermost planet Mercury can be seen low in the southeastern dawn sky, rising more than an hour before sunrise. On the morning of November 27th, the brilliant planet Venus appears close to the planet Saturn in the southeastern dawn, above and to the right of the planet Mercury. On November 27th, the moon is nearly full in the evening sky, appearing in western Taurus, near the 7 Sisters star cluster. On the next evening, the moon (just past full) is close to the very bright planet Jupiter.

Our Science Sunday presentation in November is "Mammals of Asia", showing at 4 p.m. in Compton 224, on November 5th, 12th and 19th. This half hour program will be followed by a tour of the Science Discovery Center. To receive a schedule of our future programs, call (301) 687-7799 and leave your name and mailing address.

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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