November 17, 2022: A crescent moon appears this morning near the source site of the Leonid meteor shower. During the evening, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn can be seen.
by Jeffrey L Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:43 a.m. DST; Sunset, 4:28 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Great Red Spot transit times, when you are in the center of the planet in the southern hemisphere: 7:52 UT, 17:48 UT; November 17, 3:44 UTC. Convert the time to your time zone. In the US, subtract five hours for EST, six hours for CST, and so on. Use a telescope to see the spot.
Here are today’s planet predictions:
This morning, the moon, 41% lit, is more than two-thirds of the way in the Southeast an hour before sunrise. The waning crescent phase is characterized by Earth’s light – sunlight reflected from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and Earth – gently illuminating the lunar night. This can be seen through an endoscope and recorded with a camera mounted on a tripod.
Moon in front of a lion – a lion facing west in silhouette. The creature’s head is identified with a question mark or a scythe. The six stars are known as the sickle of the lion. Blue and white Regulus – meaning “prince” – is at the bottom of the sickle handle. Roses and tail polka dots with three stars. Denbula – the lion’s tail – as in the eastern head of the triangle. This morning the moon looks like it’s in the belly of a lion.
Regulus is 22second abbreviation The brightest star visible from Earth and 15The tenth The brightest can be seen from the northern middle latitudes. At a distance of approximately 80 light-years, it shines and has a brightness of approximately 150 suns.
Leonid meteorite at its peak. The shower averages about 20 meteors per hour. Even with such a low rate, the American Meteorite Society states that this shower contained “very fast meteors, many fireballs, and many droplets.”
Meteors are dust and small fragments that strike our atmosphere and evaporate at altitudes between 50 and 60 miles above the Earth’s surface. They arise as components of comets that are ejected when the sun heats up cometary ice formations. Meteorites scattered almost along the paths of comets. If these orbital debris trails cross Earth’s orbit, we see vaporized fragments emerging from one spot in the sky.
Meteors from a shower can be found anywhere in the sky, but more can be seen near the radiation, where it appears to appear. Leonids from Comet Temple-Tuttle and the bright near Sickle Leo.
Moonlight may interfere with faint meteors. The ubiquitous outdoors is more of an urban and suburban factor than this morning’s moon.
Some meteors leave a temporary streak of light, a train, or a trail that may last for several seconds or even minutes, showing the meteor’s path.
This shower is known to produce sparkling fireballs and meteors. The Observer’s Guide It states, “Fireballs are exceptionally bright meteors, [brighter than when Venus is at its brightest]This is stunning enough to light up a wide area and capture the audience’s attention (p. 255).” The author adds that these meteorites are at least one centimeter in diameter. Large objects may fragment and reach the Earth.
The reason for noticing this shower isn’t the price – only 20 per hour viewed from a very dark place and with other sky-watchers looking towards different directions in the sky – but the possibility of seeing a fireball. Set an early warning and look toward Leo’s machete.
Far west, Mars is retrograde in front of Taurus. Look for the red planet less than halfway up the sky at this hour. It is the brightest star in the sky at this time.
Tomorrow Mars will pass Elnath, the northern horn of Taurus. At the end of the month the planet is closer to Earth.
Ignore online memes that show it’s as big as a full moon. Even at 51 million miles away, the planet still appears as a star with the naked eye.
Reverse motion occurs when the Earth moves, in a faster internal orbital path, between the planet and the sun. The line of sight from Earth—which usually moves eastward versus the distant stars—begins to move westward or backward. The Earth passes between them on December 7.The tenth, known as the opposition. On this evening, the moon covers or obscures the planet – an occultation of opposition.
An occultation is a kind of eclipse, but the moon appears much larger than the distant world. Mars is obscured by the moon for several minutes. The lunar orb continues its eastward motion and then discovers the planet.
Careful observations of occultations help improve the celestial path of the moon. This includes recording the ground coordinates of the sky observer and the exact times when the planet disappears and then reappears.
Venus and Mercury continue their slow entry into the evening sky. Mercury will be absent this evening after 11 minutes from the sun, and Venus will follow after 10 minutes.
Bright Jupiter ends its retrograde movement in a week in front of the fainter star of Pisces. Look for the planet in the southeast as night falls.
The star Deneb Kaitos lies below Jupiter, about a third of the distance from the horizon to the planet.
Try to locate Neptune in the same field of view as Jupiter. The outermost world appears as a bluish star through binoculars. Even with a telescope and high magnification, the globe is very small. Neptune is more than 2.7 billion miles away.
Saturn is located at its southern cardinal point approximately an hour after sunset. It is slowly moving towards the east with the astronomical background of Eastern Capricorn, West Nashira and Deneb Algedi.
The star Fomalhaut is low in the southeast like this hour.
Mars rises about two hours after sunset. Two hours later, it is about a third of the way in the east and northeast. Saturn is located about the same height – the height above the horizon – in the southwest. Bright Jupiter is located in the south.
The three bright outer planets lie along the plane of the solar system, known as the ecliptic. This symptom occurs early each evening, and significantly earlier each week.
At 9:44 p.m. CST, Jupiter is less than halfway southwest of Chicago. The Great Red Spot is located in the center of the planet in the Southern Hemisphere. To sky watchers farther west in North America, the planet is farther east and higher in the sky. The spot can be seen from Earth two to three times a day as the planet is above the horizon.
By tomorrow morning, Mars is in the west while the crescent moon is far east under Leo’s hip.