Tonight and tomorrow night – November 27 and 28, 2015 – before going to bed, look for the moon in your eastern sky. It’ll be a bright waning gibbous moon, and you might notice two bright stars in its vicinity. These stars are noticeable for being both bright and close together on the sky’s dome. They are Castor and Pollux in the constellation Gemini.
Mars’ large moon Phobos is slowly falling toward the planet. In 20-40 million years, it’ll shatter, and its pieces will form a Saturn-like ring around Mars.
Nikolaos Pantazis posted this beautiful photo at EarthSky Facebook. It’s the morning planets, plus bright stars, over the Saronic Gulf – part of the Aegean Sea between the mainlands of Greece and Turkey.
Ah, Thanksgiving Day. You pile your plates with turkey, dressing, two kinds of potatoes, cranberries – all the traditional foods – and dig in. Second helpings? Of course! An hour later, after plenty of food and conversation, you push back and notice you’ve become very, very sleepy. You think, “I’m sleepy because turkey is high in tryptophan.”
The Summer Triangle is the signature star formation of summer, but you can see it in autumn, too. It’s made up of the three brilliant stars – Vega, Deneb and Altair – in three separate constellations. The The Summer Triangle still lights up these autumn evenings. What’s more, the Summer Triangle will continue to shine after dark throughout December and January. Look for it this evening, in your western sky.
Here’s a question we get regularly:
Is it true that Jupiter could be considered our friendliest planet because – without Jupiter – comets would be more likely to hit us?
The answer is yes … and no.
Sergio Emilio Montúfar Codoñer sent in these wonderful images of a circumhorizontal arc, which he captured a few days ago – November 21, 2015 – in La Plata, Argentina. Above the colorful arc is a halo encircling the sun.
It’s the Northern Hemisphere’s Frosty Moon. Flower Moon for the Southern Hemisphere. November full moons follow the path of the sun in May. The moon reaches the crest of its full phase on November 25 at 22:44 Universal Time. At US time zones, that translates to 5:44 p.m. EST, 4:44 p.m. CST, 3:44 p.m MST and 2:44 p.m PST.
Blue Origin, a private spaceflight company founded by Amazon originator Jeff Bezos, says it has made a safe soft landing of its main rocket – called New Shepard – following a launch to sub-orbital space. Bezos tweeted the landing success; click in to see this tweet is also his first, ever, since (it’s said) he set up his Twitter account seven years ago.
The star Omicron Ceti – aka Mira – in the constellation Cetus varies in brightness over about 11 months. That’s why, for centuries, stargazers have called it Mira the Wonderful.