Southern Colorado Skies / November 12-18, 2017

Consider a planetarium program to help you plan your observations. There are many commercial products available; an excellent program (STELLARIUM) is available free at http://www.stellarium.org/.

THIS WEEK

Mars, Jupiter and Venus are centered around Spica, and the Moon makes a gracious appearance in this gathering by mid-week.

The Taurid meteor showers may still be visible this week; they overlap for over a week between two recognized peaks: southern (November 5th) and northern (November 15). If past experience is an indication, the meteors in this shower should be sparse (maybe 5 per hour) but relatively bright. The best time to view, as typically for meteor showers, is after midnight when the Earth is turning into the shower. (They are called the Taurids because they appear to originate from the constellation Taurus). For more information see https://www.space.com/34587-taurid-meteor-shower-guide.html,

Speaking of meteor showers, the Leonids will peak on November 17th. The radiant point is from Leo, which will just be rising about 1 or 2 a.m. According to Sky & Telescope, expect about 10 to 20 meteors per hour. For more information go to https://www.space.com/34500-leonid-meteor-shower-guide.html.

Wednesday (November 15)

At the beginning of dawn look to the east southeast to a triangle formed by the crescent Moon, Mars and Venus, as shown in the above graphic.

Thursday (November 16)

A very thin crescent Moon will be hanging about 6 degrees above Jupiter, as shown in the above graphic.

Friday (November 17)

Just as twilight is fading, Saturn and Mercury will appear in the low southwest sky about 5 degrees apart. Bring binoculars.

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday (November 18)

New Moon at 4:42 a.m. MST.

DAYLIGHT

 

PLANETS

Mercury (in Ophiuchus/Scorpius):

Mercury will be visible with binoculars in the darkening sunset to the southwest. It will be very low about 20 or 30 minutes after sunset.

Venus (in Libra) and Jupiter (in Virgo/Libra):

Venus and Jupiter rise at essentially the same time soon after the beginning of dawn. (See above graphic.) They will be in conjunction on November 13th – at that time they will be only 1/3 degree apart!

Look to the east northeast about 30 to 40 minutes before sunrise.

Mars (in Virgo):

Mars rises about 3:30 in the morning and is in good spotting position (see above graphic) by dawn.

Saturn (in Ophiuchus):

Saturn is visible very low in the southwest just after nightfall.

Uranus (in Pisces):

High in the southeast by mid-evening.

Neptune (in Aquarius):

Also high in the south by mid-evening.

BRIGHT IRIDIUM FLARES

The following data are based on my location in Pueblo West, Colorado. If you live well outside this area, you should consider checking this information for your location in order to be assured of accurate times, elevations, etc. If you’re unfamiliar with Iridium flares, check out my article at: http://scaspueblo.com/blog/2017/02/25/iridium-flares/.

Monday (November 13) 6:45:59 p.m. / Magnitude -5.7 / SSE / Elevation 34 degrees

Tuesday (November 14) 5:20:25 a.m. / Magnitude -6.0 / SSE / Elevation 26 degrees

Tuesday (November 14) 5:39:35 p.m. / Magnitude -4.6 / NE / Elevation 61 degrees

Wednesday (November 15) 5:33:00 p.m. / Magnitude -3.9 / NE / Elevation 62 degrees

Friday (November 17) 5:07:29 a.m. / Magnitude -2.0 / S / Elevation 24 degrees

Saturday (November 18) 6:24:50 p.m. / Magnitude -5.0 / SSE / Elevation 34 degrees

INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS)

These are too numerous to list here! If you’re seriously interested, load the ISS DETECTOR app on your smart phone or tablet.

Carpe noctem

Dave Furry

Pueblo West, Colorado

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