Tour November’s Sky: Predawn Planets

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    Tour November’s Sky: Predawn Planets
    By: Kelly Beatty | October 30, 2017

    Venus-Jupiter in November 2017
    Look low in the east before dawn to watch Venus and Jupiter draw closer and closer together. Make sure your horizon is clear in that direction.
    Sky & Telescope
    These shorter days also mean it'll likely be dark when you get up, and this month the predawn sky features some drama. Venus has been dazzling the past few months, but now it’s dropping fast. It rises about 90 minutes before sunrise as November opens but only 45 minutes ahead of it at month’s end.

    Meanwhile, Jupiter is sneaking up from the horizon. As Venus sinks lower down and Jupiter rises up out of the twilight glow, the gap between them shrinks. At their closest they'll be only ¼° apart — but on which date does that happen? Listen to the podcast to find out!

    The evening sky features Pegasus, the Flying Horse, which is almost overhead around 8 p.m. Look high in the southeast for a giant diamond in the sky that’s about the size of your hand with your fingers spread wide apart. Skywatchers the world over know this as the Great Square, representing the chest of Pegasus. Look below it and to its right for compact groups of stars that mark three different constellations. (Which ones? The podcast will tell you!)

    Venus-Jupiter-in-November-2017.jpg
    Look low in the east before dawn to watch Venus and Jupiter draw closer and closer together. Make sure your horizon is clear in that direction.

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