Planets all night.
This month, as soon as the Sun sets, Saturn is visible to the East and Jupiter to the Southeast. Saturn is getting lower on the horizon, so take the opportunity to observe its rings before it’s too late. Jupiter is still incredibly bright, lighting up the sky, and the ballet of its Galilean satellites is a daily spectacle.
Mars, the beautiful red, is getting closer, it will be at opposition (closer to Earth) in December, so we can take the opportunity to admire it with the naked eye or with a telescope.
On November 7 and 8, the alignment between Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon and Mars will be spectacular.
On November 11, the Moon will approach Mars to offer us a beautiful show.
Venus and Mercury, on the other hand, are very close to the Sun and difficult to observe.
Leonid meteor shower
In November, Earth crosses the path of Comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, a comet that passes Earth every 33 years. Some debris from the comet will pass through the Earth’s atmosphere and heat up: this will form shooting stars. This meteor swarm is known to produce very fast shooting stars, some of which reach speeds of 70 kilometers per second. The peak is expected on the night of November 17-18, with a maximum in the second part of the night. The fireballs will appear to come from the constellation of Leo, in the East. It should be possible to observe a little more than 10 per hour at most.
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Around 10 pm, two bright stars appear in the East: Castor and Pollux, the twin brothers of Helen of Troy according to legend. They are the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini. It is a constellation of the zodiac, that is, it is crossed by the ecliptic, the virtual line followed by the planets of the solar system, the Moon and the Sun. It is preceded in this line by the constellation of Taurus, and followed by that of Cancer. The Moon will also pass close to Castor and Pollux on the night of November 13. As is often the case, it is difficult to recognize who is who among the twins. A tip: Pollux is close to the bright star Procyon, and Castor is right next to the Charioteer constellation. Therefore, the first letters of the names should be useful to you.
It is interesting to note that one of the most beautiful planetary nebulae known, these suns at the end of their lives, is found in this constellation, at the level of the “body” of Pollux. NGC 2392, better known as the Eskimo Nebula, is 6,500 light-years away. The star at its center began expelling its gas envelope 10,000 years ago at more than 100,000 kilometers per hour. The star, currently extremely hot, excites this gas, giving it brilliant colors and offering us a magnificent spectacle. It is not possible to see it with the naked eye, but you can think of it looking at Castor and Pollux.
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