Thursday, November 3, 2011
See Jupiter in November (and Mars, Saturn, Mercury, and Venus)!
From the northern hemisphere, Jupiter is the easiest to see. Without a telescope, Jupiter "rises" in the East at about sunset, stays up all night, and then "sets" in the west about sunrise. At the end of the month it will set an hour or two before dawn. Jupiter is the brightest "star" in the November night sky. If you have a telescope or strong binoculars, you can easily see Jupiter's biggest moons too!
Mars rises in the East at about midnight and shines in front of the constellation Leo until dawn.
Saturn rises in the East shortly before dawn.
Mercury and Venus can be seen in early evening, if you can get a clear view of the Western horizon. By the end of November, Mercury will set shortly before dusk (making it impossible to see). Venus, however, will set later and later, making it easier to see immediately after sundown. If you have binoculars or a telescope, and can see Venus in early November, aim your binoculars at Venus. You should be able to see the fainter Mercury close to Venus.
Check them out! Which planets did you find?