| Observatory |
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...
The following tips on exciting current and upcoming astronomical events
have been gathered from magazines and other sources by Dave Gamble
with the objective of giving OC RASC members a heads-up on
special personal astro-experiences to look forward to. They are complemented by pictures from Jim Failes' extensive personal photo collection.
Sat. Nov. 1 - Mommy!!! It's Overrr!!!! Yes, daylight saving time will end overnight tonight, so be sure to turn your clocks one hour back before retiring. A time to savour since there will be one less hour of evening daylight starting tomorrow.
Sun. Nov. 2 - The coming week will continue to offer the opportunity to view the Zodiacal Light, a delicate glowing triangle of light extending up from the horizon about an hour before sunrise. The phenomenon is caused by the Sun illuminating the disk of dust left over from planet formation in the solar system's equatorial plane.
Sun. Nov. 2 - Algol became known as 'The Demon Star' because just short of every three days it very noticeably dips in brightness for a couple of hours. Astronomers dispelled the mystery by discovering Algol is an eclipsing binary (it is actually a three star system). Tonight the 'blink' will conveniently take place between 6 and 8pm. To catch the 'before and after' effect by comparing Algol to neighbouring stars, you can use the following picture which was taken by Jim Failes that illustrates the constellation Perseus and the location of Algol.
Mon. Nov. 3 - Don't be surprised if you hear reports of the occasional bright fireball this month. If you are lucky enough to see one yourself, it is likely to be a member of the Taurid meteor shower which is active through most of the month. While the Taurids are few and far between, perhaps about a dozen an hour, it does include larger dust grains which produce dramatic fireballs emanating from the vicinity of the Hyades and Pleiades in Taurus.
Tues. Nov. 4 - The next few days offer the opportunity to catch Mercury above the early morning horizon. The innermost planet will pop up over the eastern horizon about an hour before sunrise. Following is a picture of fleet Mercury which was taken by Jim Failes.
Thurs. Nov. 6 - This is Full Moon night when the glowing ball of golden light appears over the eastern horizon around dinner time to survey the progress of fall into winter. Following is a picture of the Full Moon which was taken by Jim Failes.
Thurs. Nov. 13 - Early risers tomorrow morning will be treated to a beautiful celestial scene before dawn. The giant planet Jupiter will be seen in the sky above the almost Last Quarter Moon. Below is a picture of a pairing of the Moon and Jupiter which was taken by Jim Failes.
Fri. Nov. 14 - This is Last Quarter Moon night when the first part of the evening is already without a Moon, and a time to start anticipating the advancing dark night hours for imaging, observing and sketching. Below is a picture of the Last Quarter Moon which was taken by Jim Failes.
Mon. Nov. 17 - The annual Leonid meteor shower will peak after midnight tonight. The Leonids are known as being among the fastest meteors, hitting the Earth's atmosphere head on from a radiant point in Leo, in the eastern morning sky. The waning crescent Moon will not interfere, which is lucky since the Leonids are not a strong meteor shower with perhaps around 12 streaks per hour at maximum.
Wed. Nov. 19 - The waning crescent Moon will be located about two finger widths above bright Spica in the pre-dawn sky. At home, this beautiful star is a blue giant ten times the size of our Sun. As well, it has a smaller binary companion.
Sat. Nov. 22 - This is New Moon night, the heart of the dark sky period for deep sky sketchers, observers and astro photographers. Hopefully the weatherman will provide a few clear sky windows.
Sat. Nov. 22 - Algol is back winking at us tonight. The slow decline in brightness will take place between 8 and 10pm.
Tues. Nov. 25 - Mars continues to hang around the western sky, seemingly reluctant to move behind the Sun. Early this evening it will pose to the left of the growing crescent Moon. Following is a picture of the fingernail three day old Moon which was taken by Jim Failes.
Tues. Nov. 25 - Guess what? Algol is back again for an evening 'nudge, nudge, wink, wink'. The blink will be between 5.30 and 7.30pm.
Sat. Nov. 29 - The Moon reaches First Quarter tonight, with the half slice of orange high in the evening sky. Check out the picture of the First Quarter below that was taken by Jim Failes.