Skywatchers are in for a treat this November. NASA revealed a list of events to look forward to by the astro-enthusiasts to enjoy this month, right from sunset planets, a partial lunar eclipse, to return of the winter stars.
From November 6th through the 11th, one can watch the Moon glide past Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter after sunset in the south or southwest. In particular, if one steps outside for a look on November 7th, they’ll find the four-day-old crescent Moon just about 2 degrees away from Venus, said NASA.
The space agency also informed that from now through early December, skywatchers will find Jupiter and Saturn drawing a little closer to Venus each night.
“A partial lunar eclipse is on the way, taking place overnight on November 18th and 19th, when the Moon slips into Earth’s shadow for a couple of hours. Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible from any location where the Moon appears above the horizon during the eclipse. Depending on your time zone, it’ll occur earlier or later in the evening for you,” NASA informed.
The space agency mentioned that a huge swath of the planet that’ll be able to see at least part of the eclipse, including North and South America, Eastern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Region. So check the timing of its visibility for your area.
Partial lunar eclipses might not be quite as spectacular as total lunar eclipses – where the Moon is completely covered in Earth’s shadow – but they occur more frequently. And that just means more opportunities to witness little changes in our solar system that sometimes occur right before our eyes.
“All month long, if you’re up late and cast your gaze toward the east, you’ll notice some familiar companions have begun rising late in the night. The familiar stars of Northern winter skies are returning, rising late at night and sitting high in the south by dawn,” read a NASA report.
“You’ll find the Pleiades star cluster leading the constellations Taurus the bull and the hunter Orion, followed by the brightest star in the sky, Sirius – all of them back to keep us company on the long winter nights here in the Northern Hemisphere. (And for those in the Southern Hemisphere, they’re keeping you company on shorter nights as spring gives way to summer there.)” the space agency informed.
A fun note about the Pleiades this month is that several of the 8 asteroids will be visited by NASA’s Lucy mission, located in that part of the sky. The Lucy spacecraft launched on Oct. 16th on its 12-year mission to visit a bunch of special asteroids called the Trojans. They share the orbit of Jupiter, with a group of them leading the planet, and another group following behind it.
Lucy is the first space mission launched to explore this unique group of asteroids, providing new insights about the formation and early history of our solar system.
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