What’s In The Night Sky This Week
Every Monday I pick the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week forward, however make sure to verify my most important feed for extra in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy, eclipses and extra.
What To Watch For In The Evening Sky This Week: October 31-November 6, 2022
Subsequent week sees a spectacular “Blood Moon” whole lunar eclipse come to North America, however earlier than that settle in for what could possibly be a uncommon “meteor swarm.” Though this week’s Southern Taurid meteor bathe shall be troubled by robust moonlight—one thing that tends to uninteresting the impact of seeing “taking pictures stars”—it will likely be price being exterior after darkish (anytime) this week simply in case there’s a repeat of 2015’s extravagant show. The prize could possibly be some “fireballs” as Earth strikes by the mud and particles left within the photo voltaic system by Comet 2P/Enke. Wrap up heat and search for!
Tuesday, November 1, 2022: First Quarter Moon and Saturn
The Moon is at all times half-lit by the solar, however from the floor of the Earth it doesn’t look that manner. That’s as a result of the Moon is consistently orbiting, getting farther from the Solar because it waxes to full Moon, then nearer to it because it wanes to a New Moon. In the present day it reaches its First Quarter part when it rises at midday (to change into an “afternoon Moon”) and units at midnight. Because it turns into seen in darkness within the south look 4º above the Moon for the “ringed planet” Saturn.
Friday, November 4, 2022: Moon and Jupiter
Look southeast as darkness falls for an 87%-lit waxing gibbous Moon. Simply 3º above it will likely be the super-bright planet Jupiter.
Saturday, November 5, 2022: Southern Taurid meteor ‘swarm’
Though it is energetic from September 28 by December 2, the Southern Taurid meteor bathe is not notably robust. In actual fact, you’ll be able to anticipate to see somewhat greater than 5 to 10 slow-moving “taking pictures stars” per hour in most years. Nonetheless, not solely will lots of them be shiny “fireballs,” however 2022 may convey an superior show of them. As soon as each seven years there seems to be an outburst of fireballs through the peak of the Southern Taurids. It final occurred in 2015.
Nonetheless, nothing is assured and, in addition to, there’s one other drawback. It is a lot simpler to see “taking pictures stars” below a darkish sky. Not solely does this imply getting away from city gentle air pollution, but additionally robust moonlight. Sadly, tonight sees an 93% illuminated waxing gibbous Moon, which makes looking for darkish skies pointless. That is one on your yard, wherever you reside.
In observe the height of the Southern Taurids is moderately free, so any darkish, clear evening this week is nice for recognizing fireballs.
Constellation of the week: Orion
This week’s attainable fireballs will seem to come back from the east, particularly from the constellation of Taurus, “the bull.” Nonetheless, in case you go exterior about midnight Taurus shall be barely beneath the horizon, and about to rise. Earlier than that occurs you’ll see the constellation simply above Taurus, the far more recognisable Orion.
Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka—the three stars of Orion’s Belt—are its most recognisable stars, with the reddish star Betelgeuse to the left and blue star Rigel to the fitting.
Occasions and dates given apply to mid-northern latitudes. For probably the most correct location-specific info seek the advice of on-line planetariums like Stellarium and The Sky Stay. Examine planet-rise/planet-set, dawn/sundown and moonrise/moonset occasions for the place you might be.
Wishing you clear skies and large eyes.