The constellation Andromeda the Princess is renowned for the Andromeda galaxy, but anyone with even a modest telescope would be remiss to overlook Andromeda’s star Almach (Gamma Andromedae), which appears in a telescope as one of the finest double stars in all the heavens.
At this time of year, for all of us around the globe, the Pleiades cluster culminates – reaches its highest point in the sky – around midnight.
Will you see thousands of meteors per hour in the 2015 Leonid meteor shower? No. But you should see a steady sprinkling of meteors between midnight and dawn November 18.
November’s wonderful Leonid meteor shower happens every year at this time, as our world crosses the orbital path of Comet Tempel-Tuttle. Like many comets, Tempel-Tuttle litters its orbit with bits of debris. It’s when this cometary debris enters Earth’s atmosphere, and vaporizes, that we see the Leonid meteor shower. In 2015, the peak night of the shower is expected from midnight to dawn on Wednesday morning (November 18).
It’s time for the famous Leonid meteor shower! In 2015, this shower is expected to be at its best on the night of November 17-18. Usually, the most meteors fall in the dark hours before dawn so the predawn hours on November 18 are probably your best bet. Follow the links inside to learn what to expect.
Tonight … at nightfall and early evening, the bowl-shaped constellation Corona Borealis — the Northern Crown — shines to the lower right of the star Vega, close to your western horizon. Can you spot brilliant Vega shining rather high in the western sky at nightfall? It can guide you to the Northern Crown.
Tonight, or any clear November evening, try using the Great Square of Pegasus to star-hop your way to a view out our galaxy’s south window. In other words, you’ll be looking away from the flat plane of our Milky Way – where most of our galaxy’s stars reside – and toward intergalactic space. You can do this no matter what part of Earth you’re standing on, by the way.
If you can see the Big Dipper tonight, use the top two bowl stars to find the bright star Capella. But can you see the Dipper? Maybe yes, and maybe no. The Big Dipper sits low in the northern sky on November evenings from northerly U.S. latitudes. From southerly U.S. latitudes, and farther south, you can’t see the Dipper at all. It is hidden below the horizon in the evening.
Only the sharpest-eyed observers on Earth on the evening of November 13, 2015 will catch this world near the sunset. On this date, the bright portion of the waxing crescent moon points to Saturn. Binoculars will help you spot this world, as it leaves our evening sky.
You might see the moon and Saturn close on November 12. Or you might catch Saturn below the moon on November 13 or 14. These evenings may be your last chance to view Saturn in the evening sky this year (without optical aid). By the end of this month – on November 30, 2015 – Saturn will pass out of the evening sky and into the morning sky.