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The Sky This Week from November 12 to 19

Monday, November 15

Today we have a good time Frederick William Herschel’s 283rd birthday. The achieved astronomer made many discoveries throughout his profession, probably the most well-known of which is the planet Uranus.

Cap off Herschel’s huge day by having fun with a night view of the ice giant. Uranus reached opposition earlier this month, so it’s up all evening. The greatest time to search for it’s round native midnight when it’s highest within the sky, floating within the constellation Aries the Ram. Look south to search out Aries’ brightest star, Hamal, after which find Menkar, Cetus’ alpha star, about 23° to its southeast. Uranus lies roughly midway between these stars, about 1.5° west-southwest of Sixth-magnitude Omicron (ο) Arietis.

Shining at magnitude 5.7, the distant planet is seen with the bare eye below dark-sky situations. However, relying in your location and with the waxing Moon close by in Pisces, you’ll seemingly want binoculars or a small scope to identify its 4″-wide, blue-green disk. The distant ice giant is at the moment some 1.75 billion miles from Earth.

Sunrise: 6:45 A.M.
Sunset: 4:43 P.M.
Moonrise: 3:14 P.M.
Moonset: 2:59 A.M.
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous (88%)

Tuesday, November 16

Have you ever seen a demon star? It lurks in Perseus the Hero, rising within the northeast by sundown.

The star in query is Algol, additionally cataloged as Beta (β) Persei. This shiny star is in an eclipsing binary system, which means its companion passes between it and Earth each orbit, dimming the sunshine we see. In Algol’s case, this happens each 2.867 days, making the star dip from magnitude 2.1 to three.4 — that’s a change of 30 %, sufficient to note with the bare eye.

You’ll discover the so-called Demon Star, which depicts the severed head of the gorgon Medusa within the constellation’s determine drawing, about 18.5° northwest of the Pleiades in Taurus. Algol is situated 93 light-years away and consists of a star some 3.5 instances the width of our Sun that’s eclipsed by a smaller star about 2.9 instances the diameter of the Sun. (In reality, there may be at the least yet one more element of this method, which orbits the inside pair each 1.86 years.)

So, step exterior tonight and be aware of Algol’s brightness in comparison with the celebs round it. Then come again every evening for the subsequent few days and observe the way it has modified. When uneclipsed, Algol is as shiny as close by Mirfak (Alpha [α] Persei). But throughout an eclipse, it’s clearly fainter.

Sunrise: 6:47 A.M.
Sunset: 4:42 P.M.
Moonrise: 3:37 P.M.
Moonset: 4:00 A.M.
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous (94%)

Wednesday, November 17

The Leonid meteor bathe peaks right this moment, however the shiny Moon will make recognizing bathe meteors practically not possible. If you missed your likelihood to look out taking pictures stars earlier this week, wait just a few days till the Moon begins waning, then attempt once more throughout the early morning predawn hours, when Leo is highest within the sky. The bathe lasts till November thirtieth — however keep in mind that it’s weak and never more likely to produce numerous meteors above the sporadic background restrict. Plus, the waning Moon will nonetheless grace the early-morning skies, including some undesirable mild.

Speaking of our satellite, the Moon passes 1.5° south of Uranus at 9 P.M. EST tonight. The pair shines in Aries, which is bordered by the constellations Cetus, Pisces, Triangulum, Perseus. Taurus, and Eridanus. Although the Moon might be shiny, you may nonetheless catch a glimpse of Uranus via binoculars or a telescope. It’s at the moment 11.3° northwest of a Seventh-magnitude discipline star, HIP 12349.

While you’re within the space, you may also zoom in on clusters comparable to just like the Pleiades and the Perseus Double Cluster, which might be seen — if considerably diminished — by the intense moonlight.

Sunrise: 6:48 A.M.
Sunset: 4:42 P.M.
Moonrise: 4:00 P.M.
Moonset: 5:01 A.M.
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous (97%)

Thursday, November 18

Saturn’s two-faced moon Iapetus reaches inferior conjunction right this moment, showing nearer to the ringed planet than regular. Turn a telescope towards Capricornus after darkish to see the Eleventh-magnitude moon roughly 34″ south of Saturn. Its darker face is at the moment turned towards us, however that’s altering — its lighter facet will rotate into view for the second half of the month, so come again to examine in on the moon in per week or two to see how its brightness has modified.

More simply seen is Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, sitting 2.8′ due west of Saturn and glowing at magnitude 8.7. Over the subsequent few days, its orbit will carry it northeast (counterclockwise), till it sits due north of the planet on the twenty second.

Don’t neglect — how may you? — to additionally cease and admire Saturn’s rings, which span about 38″ (compared to the disk, which stretches only 17″ throughout).

Sunrise: 6:49 A.M.
Sunset: 4:41 P.M.
Moonrise: 4:26 P.M.
Moonset: 6:01 A.M.
Moon Phase: Waxing gibbous (99.6%)

Friday, November 19

With the Moon properly over 99 % illuminated, the stage is about for a near-total lunar eclipse seen throughout your complete U.S., together with Alaska and Hawaii. It’s price staying up late on the 18th or getting up early on the nineteenth (relying in your time zone) to view at the least a few of it. As a bonus, that is the longest partial lunar eclipse that may happen this century, so it needs to be straightforward to catch!

The Moon first slips into Earth’s outer shadow (penumbra) round 1 A.M. EST (10 P.M. PST on the 18th, for these on the West Coast). An hour later, the Moon enters the darker inside shadow (umbra) and the partial eclipse begins. This is when the Moon will begin rising noticeably dimmer and tackle an orange or reddish hue — the precise colour varies, relying on the situations in Earth’s environment throughout any given eclipse.

The eclipse will take a number of hours, reaching most round 4 A.M. EST (1 A.M. PST), when Earth’s umbra will cowl roughly 98 % of our satellite. Only a small portion of the Moon will stay exterior the umbra. This is simply after the time Full Moon formally happens, which is 3:57 A.M. EST. (November’s Full Moon can also be referred to as the Beaver Moon.)

The partial phase of the eclipse ends simply earlier than 5:50 A.M. EST, with the penumbral phase ending round 7 A.M. EST.

If you recall, final November featured a lunar eclipse as properly, however this was a penumbral eclipse, throughout which the Moon solely handed via the outer area of Earth’s shadow for a a lot much less dramatic impact.

Sunrise: 6:50 A.M.
Sunset: 4:40 P.M.
Moonrise: 4:56 P.M.
Moonset: 7:03 A.M.
Moon Phase: Full

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