Sky Report, October-November 2021
Sky Report by Ted Gruber
Venus (magnitude -4.3) becomes visible in the southwestern sky at twilight and currently sets about 8:00pm (PDT), and around 7:00pm (PST) by mid-November when it reaches magnitude -4.6.
Jupiter (magnitude -2.6) is visible in the east-southeast at dusk, with Saturn (0.6) becoming visible west of Jupiter as the sky darkens. Saturn currently sets in the southwest about 12:30am (PDT) and Jupiter a bit before 2:00am (PDT). By mid-November, Jupiter will dim slightly to magnitude -2.4 and set just after 11:00pm (PST). Saturn will also dim slightly to magnitude 0.7 and set around 9:45pm (PST).
The moon passes about 1° north of Venus in the early evening hours of November 7. On November 10, the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn form a triangle in the southern sky, with the moon passing about 4° south of Saturn, and 4° south of Jupiter the next night.
Mercury (magnitude 0.9) appears very low above the east-southeast horizon just before sunrise in early November. The moon occults Mercury the morning of November 3, but this occultation will not be visible in the Pacific Northwest. Here there will be about 1° of separation when the pair rises about 6:30am (PDT). This conjunction should be visible for a little more than an hour until fading from view as dawn breaks, reaching about 10° above the horizon.
The Orionids meteor shower is active from September 26 to November 22, peaking the night of October 20-21. This year the predicted rate at the peak is 20 meteors per hour, but a full moon will drown out all but the brightest meteors. The shower is called the Orionids because the meteors appear to emanate from a point in the constellation Orion in the east-southeast sky. The meteors result from the debris trail left by Halley’s Comet.
The Leonids meteor shower is active from November 6 to 30. It peaks in the early morning hours of November 17 with a predicted rate of 10 meteors per hour, but as with the Orionids, a nearly full moon that night will drown out all but the brightest meteors. The shower is called the Leonids because the meteors appear to emanate from a point in the constellation Leo in the southeast sky. The Leonids result from the debris trail left by comet 55P/Temple-Tuttle.
Full (10/20), last (10/28), new (11/4), first (11/11), full (11/19), last (11/27)
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