Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL
Happy November, Borderland Sky Watchers! This month promises some decent sights for spending time outdoors during the cooler temperatures of evening. There will be several planets visible, a meteor shower, as well as an asteroid, and even a comet.
All month long, Venus will be visible in the pre-dawn sky. So, if you’re an early riser, keep an eye out in the east just before sunrise to see this bright planet. On November 7th, Jupiter will be near the planet Mercury about a half hour after sunset.
The views for this will be best on the west side of town where the horizon is not blocked by mountains. The following week, on November 11th, Saturn will be near the crescent moon starting at 5:45pm. On November 14th, Mars will be near the moon after 6:30pm.
Over the rest of this month, Mars will fade in brightness as it moves further away from Earth. But it will still be visible in the night sky on November 26th when the InSight Lander touches down on the Red Planet.
On November 17th, the Leonid meteor shower will reach its peak. As the Earth passes through the dust left behind by Comet 55P Temple-Tuttle, sky watchers can expect to see around 10 meteors per hour when viewing just after midnight.
Happening all month, Asteroid 3Juno will be visible through small, backyard telescopes. You can find it by looking west/southwest between the constellations Orion (easily the most recognizable constellation in the autumn/winter sky) and Taurus.
Another great sight through backyard telescopes or a good pair of binoculars will be Comet 46P. Visible all month long near the constellations Orion and Taurus, there is the possibility that this comet will brighten enough to be seen with the naked eye.
So, take your chairs and spend some time outside with family and good friends, because you never know what you’ll see when you just keep your eyes to the skies.
If you get pics or video of any of these events, you can email them to me at LunaPoetic@gmail.com and I will feature them in an upcoming article.