Bakersfield Night Sky – November 1, 2008
By Nick Strobel
Venus and Jupiter are now 30º apart from each in this evening's sky in the southwest (chart A). They are the first star-like objects you'll see after sunset (Jupiter will be to the upper left of Venus). By month's end, they will pass just 2º from each other for a spectacular conjunction. Tonight a waxing crescent Moon is positioned between Jupiter and Venus for a beautiful view. Are you able to see any Earthshine glow reflecting off of the dark part of the Moon? By next Saturday Venus will be in the constellation Sagittarius (just above the spout of the "Teapot").
Two hours after sunset, look to the northeast to see if you can spot the Pleiades star cluster above the mountains and a bit left (still northeast!) is the very bright star, Capella in the constellation Auriga (chart B). The Pleiades are sometimes called "The Seven Sisters" after the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione in Greek mythology. However, most people can only see six stars. They make a shape that looks like a tiny dipper. On November 13th, a Full Moon will be just right of the Pleiades.Early risers can see Saturn low in the east at about 5 AM (chart C)—don't forget that daylight savings time ends Sunday morning!. Saturn will be below the left side of Leo. Closer to sunrise, you may be able to spot Mercury below Saturn near the horizon. Mercury will be about 5º left of the bright star, Spica, in Virgo. Almost due East and slightly higher up than Spica at about six times the Mercury-Spica separation will be the bright star Arcturus.
See the planetarium's website for information about the upcoming November shows and more Night Sky charts.Save the night sky and save energy (and money) by keeping all the light from street and building lights shining down toward the ground where we need it. Check out www.darksky.org for what you can do to shield your lights
Director of the William M Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College
Author of the award-winning website www.astronomynotes.com
last updated: November 9, 2008
Webpage contact: Nick Strobel