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Post Info TOPIC: November 2017


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November 2017
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Venus is close to Spica (separation 3.5°) at 18:48 UT, 2nd November 2017

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Other notable Messier objects

M57 This smallest planetary nebula in the Messier Catalogue is the famous Ring nebula in the constellation Lyra. Low power telescope views show a very small blue/green disk, not much bigger than a star. Medium to high power will magnify the size of the nebula while leaving the surrounding stars the same size, confirming you have found it. Can be seen in binoculars as a faint star like point of light.
M56 Also in the constellation of Lyra we find our first globular cluster of the night. In a telescope look for a small round ball of light, slightly brighter in the center. This is a difficult binocular object appearing as a small fuzzy patch.
M27 Also known as the Dumbbell nebula, the largest planetary nebula in the Messier Catalogue, M27 lies in the constellation Vulpecula. Fairly easy to see in binoculars as a small hazy patch. In small to medium scopes it appears as a rectangular patch of light. In large scopes it may even appear round in shape with a bright rectangular, or dumbbell shaped core.
M71 Lying in Sagitta, this globular cluster appears as a faint oval hazy patch of light in a telescope. This is a very difficult but possible binocular object, requiring dark skies and trained eyes.
M30 This globular cluster in Capricornus is tough but very possible to see in binoculars as a faint fuzzy star. Telescopes show a small fuzzy ball of light, bright in the center fading to the edges.
M72 This is a small faint globular cluster in Aquarius. Look for a faint oval patch of light, gradually brighter towards
the middle. A very difficult binocular object.
M73 This asterism is located near M72 in Aquarius. In a low power telescope view it looks like a very small fuzzy
patch of light at first glance. When stared at it reveals itself as a small collection of stars. Medium to high power shows the view best described by Messier "cluster of three or four stars...containing very little nebulosity"

Lyra contains the bright star Vega, the fifth brightest star in the sky. It is a blue-white star, magnitude of 0.03, that lies 26 light years away. Vega is a young star only a few hundred million years old, and is surrounded by a cold,dark protoplanetary disc

Nearby, a pair of binoculars will show the lovely double-double starsystem called Epsilon Lyrae up and to the left of Vega.

Capricornus, the Sea Goat Sign of the Zodiac for birth dates between 22 December and 19 January; it is the leading constellation of the "wet" or "water" constellations. Capricornus has a symmetrical shape resembling a bikini bottom, but the stars of Capricornus are very faint with no star brighter than the third magnitude. Capricornus appears low in the southern sky (never at higher altitudes). The Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees South latitude) is named after Capricornus; on 22 December (on average), the Sun is directly overhead (at the zenith) at Noon along the Tropic of Capricorn. In Mythology, the Greeks identified Capricornus with Pan, the god of nature, who was pictured as half-man, half-goat. In fear, Pan escaped the giant Typhon by leaping into the Nile River and changing his tail to that of a fish. This is the origin of the word, "panic."



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Meteor Showers

There are many minor meteor showers this month...
The northern Taurids and southern Taurids started to become active about October 1st, but do not reach maximums until early November. Both have fairly slow meteors, with the northern Taurids velocity at 29 km per second, and the southern at 27 km per second. 
The Taurids produce bright slow moving orange fireballs. 
At maximum in November, both showers will peak at about ZHR rates of 5 meteors per hour. 
The Southern Taurids will peak around the 5th November and the Northern Taurids the 12th November. Both these meteor showers are part of the Taurid stream which in turn has been associated with Comet Encke.
Late Orionid rates typically continue until about November 7, long after their October peak, for post-midnight observers. In early November their radiant lies a few degrees east of the second magnitude star Geminorum. The Leonid Meteor Shower is one of the better meteor showers to observe, producing an average of 60 meteors per hour at their peak. 

ShowerActivity PeriodMaximumRadiantVelocityZHR
  DateR.A.Dec.km/s 
Northern TauridsOct 1 - NovNovember3.2h17.5°29km/s5
Southern TauridsOct 1 - NovNovember  27km/s5
LeonidsNov 17-21Nov 17 - 19    
November MonocerotidsNovNov 227.3h-6.1°55km/s92.2
Theta OphiuchidsNovNov 2917.4h-11.3°11.1km/s9.4


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Deep-sky objects for November: 

Andromeda: M 31 M 32
Cepheus: NGC7354 NGC7380 NGC7419 NGC7510 
Cygnus: NGC6819 
Lyra: M56 M57 NGC6791 
Pegasus: NGC7814
Perseus: M76
Triangulum: M33

Highlights
Halloween, the word itself, is a contracted corruption of All Hallows Eve. It actually has its origins in the Celtic New Year. The holiday was  called Samhain (Sah-ween). The date marked the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that at the time of Samhain, more so than any other time of the year, the ghosts of the dead were able to mingle with the living, because at Samhain the souls of those who had died during the year travelled into the other world. People gathered to sacrifice animals, fruits, and vegetables. They also lit bonfires in honour of the dead, to aid them on their journey. Here are a few deepsky objects to look out for:

In AquilaNGC 6781 "The Ghost of the Moon Nebula"
In Andromeda, NGC 404 "Mirach's Ghost"
In CetusNGC 246 called "The Skull Nebula".
In Bootes (abbreviated BOO), you may find The Spider Galaxy, NGC 5829 .

Leonid Meteor Shower
 The Leonids is one of the better meteor showers to observe, producing an average of 60 meteors per hour at their peak. The shower itself has a cyclic peak year every 33 years where hundreds of meteors can be seen each hour. The last of these showers occurred in 2001. The shower peaks this year on November 17. Look for the shower radiating from the constellation Leo after midnight.

The Pleiades
In the evening sky you'll see the wonderful gem of an "open cluster" rising in the East. As Tennyson said "The Pleiads , rising thro' the mellow shade, Glitter like a swarm of fireflies Tangled in a silver braid...".
Nearly every culture mentions the Pleiades in some respect. Chinese writings appear to mention it from 2357 BC. American Indian folklore of the Kiowa talks of the "Seven Maidens" who where protected from giant bears by their placement in the skies. To the Japanese, they are called "Subaru".



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