| Observatory |
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...
The following tips on current and upcoming astronomical events
have been gathered from magazines and other sources by Dave Gamble
with the objective of giving OC RASC members a heads-up on
special personal astro-experiences to look forward to.
Wed. Nov. 1 – For early risers, brilliant Venus will appear just north of Spica in the pre-dawn sky.
Thurs. Nov. 2 – The waxing Moon will be less than the width of three fingers to the south of the tiny greenish disk of Uranus tonight.
Thurs. Nov. 2 - The coming week will continue to offer the opportunity to view the Zodiacal Light, a delicate glowing triangle of light extending up from the horizon about an hour before sunrise. The phenomenon is caused by the Sun illuminating the disk of dust left over from planet formation in the solar system's equatorial plane.
Fri. Nov. 3 - Don't be surprised if you hear reports of the occasional bright fireball this month. If you are lucky enough to see one yourself, it is likely to be a member of the Taurid meteor shower which is active through most of the month. While the Taurids are few and far between, perhaps about a dozen an hour, it does include larger dust grains which produce dramatic fireballs emanating from the vicinity of the Hyades and Pleiades open clusters in Taurus.
Sat. Nov. 4 – A busy celestial day will begin with a pairing of bright Venus and Spica before daybreak this morning, low in the eastern sky.
Sat. Nov. 4 – This is Full Moon night as our fully lit companion looks down on the transition between fall and winter in the Okanagan. Tomorrow our companion will be at perigee, the closest point in its orbit from Earth, meaning that it will appear a bit larger than the average Full Moon.
Sat. Nov. 4 - Get set for our annual jolt! Yes, daylight saving time will end overnight tonight, so be sure to turn your clocks one hour back before retiring. Looking on the bright side, it is a time to savour since there will now be one less hour of evening daylight and an extra hour of dark sky starting tomorrow.
Sun. Nov. 5 – Our restless neighbour will be less than two of its widths above bright Aldebaran in Taurus tonight.
Fri. Nov. 10 – This is last Quarter Moon night with the neatly divided lunar sphere rising around midnight to stand guard through the early morning hours and remaining high in the sky the following morning.
Sat. Nov. 11 – Bright Regulus in Leo will have the waning Moon as a close companion in the early hours of this morning. Things will get even more interesting after daybreak when a lunar occultation of Regulus will take place moments after 8.51am in the Okanagan. The star will disappear on the almost quarter Moon’s bright limb and will reappear on the dark limb at 9.08am. This should be an exciting event for daylight telescope observing!
Mon. Nov. 13 – This has been a year of close pairings between the bright planets. Early this morning the two brightest, Venus and Jupiter, will be as close as about half the width of the Moon apart. The closest approach will take place low in the east so binoculars or a telescope will enhance the view against the brightening sky.
Tues. Nov. 14 – The waning crescent Moon will be seen just below Mars in the pre dawn sky this morning.
Thurs. Nov. 16 – The fingernail pairing lunar crescent will pose with bright Jupiter in the pre dawn sky, welcoming the gas giant into the morning sky after its successful evening sky sojourn over most of the past year.
Fri. Nov. 17 - The annual Leonid meteor shower will peak after midnight tonight. The Leonids are known as being among the fastest meteors, hitting the Earth's atmosphere head on from a radiant point in Leo, in the eastern morning sky. The Leonids are not a strong meteor shower with perhaps only around 12 streaks per hour at maximum, however this year even the faintest ones will not be hampered by the Moon.
Sat. Nov. 18 – This is New Moon night with our companion leaving the stage open for deep sky sketching, observing and imaging continuing for most of the coming week.
Mon. Nov. 20 – Newly entering the evening sky, the very thin crescent Moon will join Saturn for the start of that planet’s exit stage right.
Thurs. Nov. 23 – Fleet Mercury is at its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun low in the western sky at nightfall.
Sun. Nov. 26 – This is First Quarter Moon night with our bright companion fleshed out to its near perigee girth to look over the late season in the Okanagan. Will it illuminate dull post fall panoramas, or will it shine down on hills freshly blanketed with snow?
Mon. Nov. 27 – Mars, which has now peaked out into the pre dawn sky after its passage behind the Sun, will appear only two finger widths north of bright Spica in constellation Virgo which is getting into position in anticipation of its annual spring run.
Tues. Nov. 28 – Shy Mercury, never caught very high in the sky, will make a guest appearance with Saturn low in the western sky after nightfall tonight.
Thurs. Nov. 30 – The waxing gibbous Moon will take an encore tonight as it passes just south of Uranus for the second time this month.