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TOPIC: November 2008


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RE: November 2008
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In evening twilight our two brightest planets drift closer in the southwest. Venus, brilliant diamond-like Evening 'Star', ascends toward Jupiter and its Galilean moon system. The royal pair will dance together next week, a rare celestial event! Dim Mars, in Scorpius, lies near the setting sun. Pluto hides above.
Dim blue Neptune sails into the southwest in Capricornus, Sea Goat. Blue-green Uranus, in Aquarius, drifts across the south. Fomalhaut (mouth of the Southern Fish) twinkles below the outer planets.

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On Monday, November 17, Ukrainians will have a unique opportunity to see a spectacular cosmic phenomenon of meteor shower. According to astronomers, falling stars will be seen on the night of November 17 18. The meteor shower is expected to start after the midnight. Nearly 10-20 meteors an hour will fall before the dawn, at around 3-5 a.m.

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Sky gazers can expect to see an exhibition of celestial fireworks over the next two days as the night sky will be lit up by the famous Leonid meteor shower expected to peak on Monday.
Amateur astronomers of the capital can see about 15 to 20 shooting stars every hour for the next couple of days.

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It's the annual Leonid meteor shower for much of this month, caused when the planet's orbit crosses paths with the cosmic debris left in the wake of the Tempel/Tuttle comet, which last passed by in 1998.

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On the evening of the 13th of November 2008, the Moon will glide across the face of the Pleiades star cluster. This star cluster is also known as the seven sisters, as the seven brightest stars in the cluster are visible to the unaided eye - although over 50 can be seen through binoculars.

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November is a most exciting month for activity in space Midnight Fireballs are visible late at night as Earth is passing through a swarm of gritty debris from comet 2P/Encke causing a slow flurry of Taurid fireballs.

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Conditions are not favourable to see Leonid meteor shower
The early morning hours until sunrise Nov. 17 and 18 will give us the Leonid meteor shower, and it looks like a very unfavourable year for this sometimes huge shower, but enhanced activity is possible. The waning gibbous moon will be problematic at this time.

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Accessing Novembers night sky is as easy as glancing upward with the naked eye, but a cornucopia of celestial treats awaits skywatchers who make the effort to dig a little deeper.
Two bright lights in the southwestern sky, planets Venus and Jupiter, are eye-catching at dusk. Early in the month, its easy to tell them apart when one remembers that the brighter one, Venus shining at a magnitude of minus-4.0, is lower to the right, and Jupiter, magnitude minus-2.1, is much higher to the left. Venus shifts to the lower left of Jupiter by months end.

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