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Stargazing This November? See Venus, Saturn, Meteor Showers and More

Nov 03, 2016 06:03 AM EDT
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The November night sky will be a spectacular gathering of planets, moons, and meteor showers. Here's a list of astronomical events you can't afford to miss this month.

Moon, Saturn and Venus

On Nov. 3, a crescent moon will join Saturn in the southwestern sky just after sunset. The two will appear less than three degrees apart, National Geographic reports. On the left, a bright Venus will join the two to form a dazzling trio in the night sky.

According to Universe Today, Venus will be shining at magnitude -4.0, Saturn will be 20 times fainter with a deep magnitude +0.5, and the crescent moon will be hanging above them. During this time, the moon will be just two days past apogee, the farthest point in its orbit from Earth.

Jupiter 

Jupiter can be seen in the east-southeast sky above Spica - the brightest star in the constellation Virgo - every morning just before sunrise.

Supermoon

The crescent moon will wax into a full moon on Nov. 14 and will become the biggest and brightest supermoon since 1948, and another one when the moon is this close will not happen until 2034. A supermoon occurs when the full moon makes its closest approach to Earth or perigee. This month's supermoon is also called "Beaver Moon," as it arrives at the time of year when hunters are setting traps on the swamps before they froze over to make sure they will have enough furs for the winter.

Taurids, Leonids and November Orionids Meteor Shower

The Orionids meteor shower peaked on Oct. 21 to 22 and will be visible until Nov. 7. The Orionids occur when the Earth passes through the debris of Halley's Comet.

The Taurid meteor shower will peak on Nov. 11, where the meteors will radiate from its namesake constellation Taurus, the Bull, which will be high in the south sky during the overnight hours for regions in the mid-northern latitude.

The Leonid meteor shower will peak during the predawn hours on Nov. 17. However, the waning gibbous moon could spoil the view for star watchers and wash out the fainter meteors.

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