Sky Report, October-November 2020
Sky Report by Ted Gruber
Jupiter (magnitude -2.3) and Saturn (0.6) become visible in the southern sky as darkness falls. Jupiter currently sets in the west-southwest just before 11:00pm with Saturn following about 30 minutes later. By mid-November, Jupiter sets about 8:30pm (adjusted for the change to Pacific Standard Time), followed by Saturn about 20 minutes later. The first quarter moon passes 2° south of Jupiter and 3° south of Saturn the evening of October 22.
Mars (-2.4) becomes visible in the eastern sky as darkness falls. The red planet reached opposition on October 13 and currently remains visible until setting in the west just before 7:00am. By mid-November, Mars will have dimmed to magnitude -1.7 and will set just before 4:00am (adjusted for PST). The moon appears about 3° south of Mars the evening of October 28 and into the early morning hours of October 29, and just east of Mars the next night.
Venus (-4.0) currently rises in the east just before 4:30am, and about the same time in mid-November when adjusted for PST. The moon passes 3° north of Venus in the early morning hours of November 12.
Mercury (1.3) returns to the morning sky by November 1, rising in the southeast sky about 45 minutes before sunrise. The innermost planet gets brighter and rises a minute or two earlier each morning, reaching its greatest western elongation the morning of November 10 when Mercury shines at magnitude -0.5. A thin crescent moon appears just north of Mercury the morning of November 13.
The Orionids meteor shower is active from October 2 to November 7, having peaked in the early morning hours of October 21 with a predicted rate of 20 meteors per hour.
Just as the Orionids are ending, the Leonids become active on November 6. The shower peaks in the early morning hours of November 17 with a predicted rate of 15 meteors per hour and a favorable moon. The Leonids are active until November 30 and result from the debris trail left by comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle.
First (10/23), full (10/31), last (11/8), new (11/15), first (11/21), full (11/30)
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