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Sky Report - November 2013

Winter evening star groups showing low in East, mid November full moon and a Comet's Tail

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. To 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 brilliant planet Venus shines in the western dusk, setting more than two hours after sunset. Late in the evening, the bright planet Jupiter Jupiter shines low in the East.

Early November Sights – On the night of November 2nd, we set our clocks back an hour, giving us later sunrises and earlier sunsets. For the next five months we are on Standard Time. On November 3rd, the moon swings from the morning to the evening side of the sun. (New Moon). On November 6th, the crescent moon will appear above and to the right of the brilliant planet Venus. By November 10th, the evening moon appears half full, offering optimal views of its craters through binoculars held steadily.

Mid November Sights – The evening moon grows to full on Sunday, November 17th. On the next evening, the moon will appear near Aldeberan, the eye of Taurus the Bull. The bright planet Jupiter is now appearing low in the East after 10 p.m. As Jupiter appears, look to the right for Orion the Hunter with his three star belt.

Late November Sights – The moon eases out of the evening sky as its rising time advances from 7:40 p.m. on the 20th to 11:20 p.m. on the 24th. On the evening of November 21st, the moon appears to the right of the planet Jupiter in the late evening sky. On November 25th, the moon appears half full (like a reversed 'D') in the southern dawn. For the rest of November, the moon rises after midnight and is best seen in the last hour of darkness from 5 to 6 a.m. On November 27th, the crescent moon appears below the planet Mars in the 6:30 a.m. dawn. Late on November 28th, comet ISON has its closest approach to the sun. It is possible that at the end of November may see a ghostly tail streaming upward from the Northeastern horizon about 6 a.m.

Our Science Sunday presentation in November is "Mammals of Asia", showing at 4 p.m. in the Science Discovery Center on each Sunday in November. 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.

Frostburg State's new technology center called the CCIT has most of its outer walls in place. The building will likely be opening in the spring of 2014. It features an auditorium called the Multi-Media Center or MLC, which includes a digital planetarium projector. There will be resumption of our Sunday Public Planetarium programs, featuring a review of the past week's weather, the current night sky sights and a half hour feature. Sunday Tours of the Science Discovery Center will also be available to the interested public.

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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