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5 Sky Events This Week: Mars Has Tea While Moon Joins Jupiter

The red planet will top the handle of the star teapot, and the asteroid Hebe will make an appearance.

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The Hubble Space Telescope captured this view of Jupiter back in April of this year. This week the gas giant will shine next to the moon.


This week sky-watchers can make peace with the god of war by joining Mars for a spot of tea, and watch the king of all planets join Luna.

After nightfall on Monday, November 10, check out the red planet as it appears just above the handle of the giant stellar teapot pattern in the constellation Sagittarius.

Look toward the low southwestern sky in the early evening any time this week to see the alignment. Orange-hued Mars can't be missed, since it will appear as the brightest starlike object in this part of the sky.

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This sky chart shows Mars right above the constellation Sagittarius and its distinctive teapot pattern, where it will be visible at dusk this week.


North Taurids Peak

For two nights starting Tuesday, November 11, the minor Northern Taurid meteor shower will peak, with up to ten shooting stars per hour.

With the waning gibbous moon rising at the same time, only the brightest meteors are likely to be visible this year. But with its sister showers, the Southern Taurids, just starting to kick in, there may be some decent sky shows to watch for.

Moon Sandwich

In the early morning hours of Wednesday, November 12, look for the waning gibbous moon to be positioned between the bright stars of the constellations Gemini and Canis Major, high in the southeastern skies.

To the upper left of the moon will be Castor, 51 light-years away, and 34-light-year-distant Pollux, while to its lower right is Procyon, 11 light-years away.

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The moon will be parked between the constellations Gemini and Canis Major.


Jupiter Joins the Moon

Early risers can enjoy a close encounter between the bright last-quarter moon and Jupiter.

The cosmic duo rides high in the southern sky at dawn, separated by less than 6 degrees. Meanwhile, to the left of Jupiter is Regulus, 78 light-years away, the lead star of the constellation Leo.

As an added challenge, see if you can spot the gas giant planet next to the moon in daytime, using nothing more than your naked eyes. Or try using binoculars to hunt down its faint pinpoint of light.

Asteroid Hebe

Got binoculars or a backyard telescope? On the evening of Saturday, November 15, try hunting down asteroid 6 Hebe: a 124-mile-wide (200-kilometer-wide) space rock that ranks as the fifth brightest of all visible asteroids.

Shining like a faint, 8 magnitude, starlike object, Hebe will be sailing through constellation Eridanus high in the southeastern sky near midnight. It will also pass near a faint star, making it a bit easier to track down. Hebe will appear only 2 degrees northeast of the 3.5 magnitude star Delta Eridani.

The best way to know for sure that you've snagged this asteroid from the main belt is to check your views from night to night to see its movement in front of the static star field. Check out this detailed finder's chart courtesy of astronomy.com.

Happy hunting!

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This wide-angle sky chart shows the position this week of asteroid Hebe next to the faint (to the naked eye) star Rana in the constellation Eridanus, near its brighter neighbors Orion and Taurus.


Follow Andrew Fazekas, the Night Sky Guy, on Twitter, Facebook, and his website.

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