Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 4th and Thursday, November 5th

This is the Dudley Observatory Skywatch Line for Wednesday, November 4th and Thursday, November 5th written by Louis Suarato.

The Last Quarter Moon sets in the early afternoon Wednesday, leaving the skies dark for evening observing. The constellation Pegasus is nearly straight overhead on these nights, east of Cassiopeia. Between the two constellations is the Andromeda Galaxy. There are four stars that head away from the Square of Pegasus. The third star is 2nd magnitude Mirach. The Andromeda galaxy can be found about 6 degrees above Mirach. Look approximately 6 degrees below Mirach for the Triangulum Galaxy, also known as M33. The Triangulum Galaxy is a spiral galaxy located 3 million light-years from Earth. The Triangulum Galaxy is the third largest of the Local Group of galaxies that include our Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy. It is estimated that the Triangulum Galaxy may host 40 billion stars, compared to 400 billion in the Milky Way and 1 trillion stars in Andromeda.

The 44% illuminated, waning crescent Moon rises around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Moon will be about 3 degrees to the right of Leo’s brightest star, Regulus, Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Jupiter follows the Moon as it rises around 2 am. to the right of the constellation Leo. Friday morning, Jupiter will be 3 degrees to the lower left of the crescent Moon. Mars and Venus, now a degree apart, rise around 2:30 am Friday. Try to see both planets in the same field of view through binoculars or a small telescope. Venus shines at magnitude – 4.5, while dimmer Mars shines at a magnitude of 1.7.

The Albany Area Amateur Astronomers invite you to join them for star parties this Friday and Saturday at the Landis Arboretum in Esperance, NY. The star parties will begin at 8 pm near the Meeting House at the top of the hill. Look for signs at the gate. Directions can be found at http://dudleyobservatory.org/AAAA/directions/.

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