Treats and Celestial Delights During Scorpio
For the Northern Hemisphere
23 - November
times are local unless
You See Mars and Mercury?
The "New" Venus
Returns to View, then Prominence
Jupiter's Missing Stripe Returning?
Witch Appears in the Heavens!
Constellations ~ A Celestial Sea
A Square Replaces a Triangle
Night Sky ~ Home Page
Mars and Mercury are
difficult to see in the twilight night sky. They hug
the southwestern horizon, so you'll need right timing, clear skies,
a flat, unobstructed view, aided vision, experience and good luck!!! Mars
sets about an hour after the Sun, at
7:30pm Daylight Time in the beginning of Scorpio and at 6:00pm
Standard Time by its end. Mercury sets less than an hour after the
along binoculars for your sunset observations, the stronger the better!
Sunday, the whisker thin young Moon, Mars and Antares are in close
proximity, while Mercury hugs the horizon. You just may see young
Luna who can guide you to Mars and Antares, however it may be impossible
Dusk Map/Text to learn more. Also see this 11/7-8
~ Mars, Mercury, Scorpius
Mars and Mercury transit the cosmic Scorpion November 7-21.
20, Monday, presents
another opportunity and challenge. Mars and Mercury are at their
closest in the deepening
this an outstanding time to spot the planetary pair. Mercury
is 5x brighter than Mars. 11/20
1, Wednesday, Mercury
is at greatest elongation, east of the Sun (21º).
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The "New" Venus
Has Phases Like the Moon
see the phases of Venus in the image above. The planet moves from her
Full phase (image top) to her waning Gibbous and waning Crescent
the evening sky (image left). As the planet switches from the evening
it is positioned
between the Earth and Sun in what is called inferior
by the bright
light of the Sun (image bottom). This marks Venus
in her New Phase, similar to a New Moon. Venus is
conjunction October 28.
weeks before and after inferior conjunction, Venus appears to move
among the stars, to the west instead of to the east. This westerly
is called a retrograde.
Venus is retrograde October 8 - November 11.
During the retrograde Venus is at a close approach to Earth and briefly
beams her striking, bright
very close to the horizon, piercing the twilight glow in the evening
and then the morning sky.
moves from her New phase (image bottom) to her waxing Crescent and
waxing Gibbous phase
the morning sky (image right). Note: In
the evening sky (image left) Venus gets bigger in disk size and
her illuminated phase decreases; in the morning
sky (image right) the opposite occurs. You
can also see this demonstrated in APOD's
animation of the phases of Venus. During
Scorpio, morning Venus waxes to a 15% illuminated Crescent.
the Phase & Apparent Disk Size of Venus
2010 Evening Animation
Venus approaching inferior conjunction in 2004.
at the end of October, is hidden from our view by the light of
our central luminary. Begin looking for the reappearance of her
gorgeous light, often mistaken for a UFO, in the morning
sky as early as November
7. Look to the
east-southeastern horizon around 5:45am; Spica
lies 6° below Spica November 7. It might appear that Venus' rapid
climb in the morning sky will allow it to catch Spica, but it never
quite gets there. The closest the two come is 4° during November's
third week. Astronomy
the image above shows, the
orbital motion of Venus creates a difference in apparent disk
size and phase illumination. This results in a unique and surprising
or lesser brilliance. Venus, less illuminated by the Sun, appears
Venus is far from Earth, it lies on the far side of the Sun (image
top) and we telescopically see Venus fully illuminated by the Sun.
Venus" is like a Full Moon. Venus
moves from a Full phase toward a thin Crescent phase,
as it nears Earth and inferior conjunction (image bottom). A thin
Crescent Venus closer to Earth looks bigger and, therefore, brighter
away from Earth.
... Evening Venus (image left) was at greatest brilliancy, magnitude -4.8,
September 23, when it was a
26% waning Crescent. Morning Venus (image right) achieves greatest
4 at magnitude -4.9, when
it is a 26% waxing Crescent.
~ Venus Retrograde
retrograde cycle [10/8-11/17] ... August through
November, our attention is brought towards evaluating our relationships. Relationships with
everyone (spouse, lover, friend, co-worker, boss, government)
and everything (money, food, sexuality, possessions, emotional
attachments, endless list here). Strategic engagement, negotiations,
love and grace. Passion, life force, regeneration and healing.
Deeper connection. Transformation. Jacqueline
Lasahn / AstroFlash!
retrograde cycle is integral to a larger 9 month cycle that encompasses
3 exact conjunctions of Venus and Mars: August 20/21 + October
3, 2010 and May 22, 2011.
are in a nine month passage that spans three conjunctions of
Venus and Mars. ... Although Venus and Mars conjunct about
every two years, this cycle of three conjunctions occurs about
every 6 1/2 years. A potential for personal metamorphosis in
establishing a more intimate and authentic relationship between
your core self and the ingrained patterns of behavior of your
conscious ego. Jacqueline
Lasahn / AstroFlash!
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Saturn Returns to View in Late October
Returns to Proiminence Mid-November
Venus Blazes Below
returns to view before dawn late October. Look for the ringed planet
low in the eastern sky. Saturn shines brightly
.... Don't confuse it with Arcturus, a brighter star
that appears near the same altitude as Saturn but significantly farther
to the north. Astronomy Magazine 10/10
returns to prominence in the morning sky ... With each passing
day, the ringed planet rises earlier and climbs
before dawn paints
the sky. By Novermber's end, it's 30° high when twilight commences.
... Despite Saturn's allure, Venus quickly competes for your morning
in the in the morning sky accompanied by brighter golden Arcturus to
the north. Review maps above. At the end of
October, an hour before sunrise, look low in the east to
find the pair. November 3-4 use
the waning Crescent Moon to locate Saturn. 11/3-4
Dawn Map As
the days unfold, both Saturn and Arcturus climb higher before dawn.
By mid-November the ringed planet
is almost 1/3 of the way to the zenith.
Saturn rises in the beginning of Scorpio at 5:30am Daylight Time and
at 3:15am Standard Time by its end.
seen in the map above, Spica and Venus lie below the ringed planet
in mid-November. Saturn at magnitude 0.9
shines a little brighter than Spica at magnitude 1.0. Venus blazes
at magnitude -4.4, so bright it may be mistaken for a UFO! Note: Venus
rises up to Spica during Scorpio; the closest they get is 4 degrees during
the third week of November.
telescopic rings are tilting open, revealing more and more of their
northern face. The planet's ring
tilt is 9º in November. Saturn's
Rings 11/15 Generate images of Saturn's ring tilt as seen from
Earth with the Solar
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Hubble Sees Giant Jupiter Minus One Stripe
Is the Planet's Missing Stripe Returning?
Note: Earth's size
is seen in the lower left of the image. Eleven Earths can fit across
Jupiter's diameter! Have fun checking out the Interactive
Planet Size Comparison.
Choose miles or kilometers for the unit of measurement.
11/11/10 Update: Jupiter's
missing stripe may be returning! Experienced planetary photographers
are encouraged to monitor Jupiter for further developments.
observations of our giant gaseous planet June
7, 2010 gave scientists a close-up look at changes in
Jupiter's atmosphere following the disappearance
of the dark Southern Equatorial Belt (SEB) in May
Before and After Photos
the Hubble view [above], a slightly higher altitude layer of white
ammonia ice crystal clouds appears to obscure the deeper, darker
belt clouds. "Weather forecast for Jupiter's South Equatorial
Belt: cloudy with a chance of ammonia," Hammel says.
team predicts that these ammonia clouds should clear out in a few
months, as it has done in the past. The clearing of the ammonia
cloud layer should begin with a number of dark spots like that
seen by Hubble along the boundary of the south tropical zone.
Hubble images tell us these spots are holes resulting from localized
downdrafts taking place. We often see these types of holes when
a change is about to occur," Simon-Miller says.
SEB last faded in the early 1970s. We haven't been able to study
this at this level of detail before," Simon-Miller adds. "The
changes of the last few years are adding to an extraordinary database
on dramatic cloud changes on Jupiter." Hubble
News Release 6/16/10
astronomers are reporting a surprising number of fireballs exploding
in Jupiter’s atmosphere! See Fireballs
Light Up Jupiter to learn more. The Hubble News Release 6/16/10
for the above image also explains
why some Jupiter impacts do not leave a debris cloud.
the eye as it travels high above the southern horizon during the evening
and early morning hours. The brilliant planet is easily seen in the
southeast about 30 minutes after sunset. By 8:00pm it shines at its
highest in the south. Early birds and night owls can watch Jupiter
sink in the west and set around 4:15am Daylight Time in the beginning
of Scorpio and at 1:45am Standard Time by its end.
moving further from the Earth, dims during Scorpio from magnitude -2.8
to magnitude -2.6 and its disk size shrinks about 10%. Though diminishing
in brightness and size the planet remains the brightest point of light
in the night sky until it sets.
Scorpio, Jupiter's retrograde
motion (7/23-11/17) increases the giant planet's distance from
nearby Uranus. Uranus retrograde (7/5-12/4) shines at magnitude 5.8;
the normally telescopic planet is now bright enough to be seen with
binoculars and without an optical aid in a dark sky. November
15/16, Monday/Tuesday night, Uranus, Jupiter and the waxing
Gibbous Moon are in close proximity, in the Celestial Sea at the circlet
of Pisces. 11/15
9pm Map Click Moon
Dances for an 11/ 13-18 star map and meditative reflections. Learn
more about the Celestial Sea below.
Jupiter with a telescope promises to be an adventure. Any size telescope
will reveal Jupiter's missing South Equatorial Belt or perhaps the "SEB
Revival" ... the return of the missing stripe! In addition seeing
nearby Uranus with a telescope or binoculars is a special 2-for-one
planetary treat! Both planets, still relatively close to Earth, also
lend themselves to better than normal observations.
Moons, the largest and brightest satellites of Jupiter can be seen
in a dark country sky with binoculars. They appear starlike on either
side of the planet. With a telescope you just might see one of these
cast a shadow on the Jovian cloud tops or disappear into the planet's
shadow and then reappear in full brightness.
locate Jupiter’s four brightest satellites anytime
between January 1900–December 2100.
It also lists the satellite phenomena for the chosen day.
~ The Fun To Watch Planet
Times of Jupiter's Great Red Spot
a planet? ... What planet? When you look up at the night sky, how do you
know you are looking at a planet? Learn
what a plutoid is. Click
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Do you see the witch's face?
chin is at lower right,
her lips are punctuated with a red star,
and her pointed nose is just above center.
shaped reflection nebula is associated with the bright star Rigel
in the constellation
Orion. More formally known as IC 2118, the Witch Head Nebula
glows primarily by light reflected from Rigel,
which can be seen in A
Witch by Starlight. This nebula
which lies about 1000 light-years away
is a huge cloud of interstellar dust particles that reflect the
light of nearby stars. The particulate scattering of light is more
at the shorter (blue) wavelengths of visible light, so the camera
records this image in ghostly blue ... Wait ... did I hear an evil
laugh? ... Just kidding! <] ;-)
for Heaven's Light, if you ever have a fright!
Halloween greeting cards often depict a witch riding a broom
in front of a full Moon many people have the mistaken notion that
there is a full Moon every year on Halloween when in fact we
have a full Moon on Halloween again until 2020. In fact this
year the Moon won't rise until almost three in the morning and it
be a waning crescent Moon."Star
Script 10/18-24 Click Moon
Dances for a map and meditative reflections on the Hallow
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Watery Constellations ~ A Celestial Sea
map shows the Celestial Sea constellations as seen from mid-northern
latitudes around 10:00pm Daylight Time in October and 9:00pm Standard
time in November. Eridanus is mostly below the horizon. The constellations
move up in the sky during the night, so most of Eridanus becomes
visible low on the horizon by midnight.
requires both skill and experience, also the darker the sky the better
for navigating among these faint constellations.
the mid-to-late evening hours ... there are very few bright stars
in the region that is spread across the southern skies.
area can be called the "Watery" part of the sky. It isn't really
watery, of course. It is watery in the sense that it is vague and
dim, like a dark pool. These watery constellations — Capricornus,
the Sea-Goat; Aquarius, the Water Bearer; Pisces, the Fishes; Piscis
Austrinus, the Southern Fish; Cetus, the Whale [aka the Monster];
and finally Eridanus, the River -- may have commemorated a great
flood of long ago. Full
Part of the Sky by Joe Rao
is the brightest point of light residing in the Celestial Sea.
a variable star in the constellation Cetus, changes in brightness
during the year, making it visible or invisible to the unaided
eye. Mira, reaching maximum visibility in early October, can now
be viewed without an optical aid. Look
for this variable star east (left) of Jupiter, when there is no moonlight
interference. Use this
map as a guide; it also shows the location of the Moon 11/13-18.
sure to look for the shapeshifting
Celestial Sea triangle November 13-18.
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Square of Pegasus Replaces Summer's Great Triangle
stars overhead change as the seasons change on Earth. The stars highest
above the horizon in mid-evening are considered to be the stars
of the season. In the beginning
of November go outside 8:00pm-9:00pm. The three brilliant
stars of the Summer
Triangle are beginning to slowly descend toward the horizon.
Almost overhead are the four much dimmer stars, which make up the Great
Square of Pegasus the winged horse, the Autumn Square.
Autumn Dipper? A Flying Horse? Time Traveling?
Navigate with Pegasus and Cassiopeia. Locate Andromeda.
suddenly we are drawn into new realms and
we become the night sky travelers!
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Sky Lights ~ Scorpio
Sky Calendars +
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May your Night Sky traveling always be filled
with Celestial Delights and Treats!