Tuesday, November 12, 2013

6 Sky Events This Week: Leonids, Green Giant and a Stellar Snow Globe

November 12, 2013
via http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com

Posted by Andrew Fazekas in StarStruck

A treasure-trove of celestial sights are on display this week, ranging from a double-dose of meteor showers, a green-giant planet and one of the most beautiful deep-space sights seen in the heavens.
North Taurids Peak.  Late night on Monday, November 11, and during the following morning, the North Taurid meteor shower peaks. Individual meteors will appear to radiate out from the shower’s namesake constellation Taurus, the Bull, which will be riding high in the south for mid-northern latitude regions.  Skywatchers away from city lights may see as many as 10 to 15 shooting stars per hour, peaking at around 5 am local time on Tuesday.
Moon and Uranus.  All night long on Wednesday, November 13, the seventh planet from the Sun, Uranus, will hang just underneath the waxing gibbous moon.
The green giant will appear less than 3 degrees from the moon—equal to six full moons side-by-side.
The green-colored ice giant has four times the width of Earth, but since it lies nearly 2 billion miles (3.1 billion kilometers) away from Earth, it’s barely visible to the naked eye—and only in very dark, pristine skies.
With the glare from the nearby moon, binoculars will be your best bet for spotting Uranus.  Just look for a tiny greenish-blue disk in the field of view. By the way, the absorption of red light by methane in the atmosphere is what gives Uranus it’s cool cyan coloring.
Venus and M22.  On Thursday, November 14,  Venus appears to pose next to a beautiful stellar snow globe, a globular star cluster in the low southwestern sky soon after dusk.  The goddess of love  slides 3 degrees lower left of the 65 light-year-wide M22, also known as the Sagittarius cluster.
continue reading here http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2013/11/11/6-sky-events-this-week-leonids-green-giant-and-a-stellar-snow-globe/

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