Image Courtesy: Reddit

November Night Sky

By Jennifer Wojcicki @yourmetjenny May 22, 2018 8:46 am CDT

November poses as an excellent month to view the nearby and not-so-nearby planets in our solar system simultaneously. Under clear skies at first dusk on November 5th and 6th, we're able to view an extraordinarily bright Venus, the brigtest planet, in the west. Jupiter also becomes visible, however in the eastern sky right before dawn. Saturn and Mars join Venus at dusk in early November, however Saturn loses it's visible light to the glare of sunset towards the end of the month. It's at this time that Mercury may become visible at dusk at the end of the month as it climbs up from the setting sun while Saturn sinks behind it.

Is It a Star or a Planet? Helpful Tip...

Ever wonder if what you're looking at in the night sky is a star or a planet? Here's how you can tell the difference; because stars are farther away from us (with the exception of our own sun), they tend to "twinkle" in the night sky, while planets do not. The reason for this is that the light from a distant star gets refracted, or bent, very slightly as it travels such a long distance and passes through the layers of our atmosphere. Since planets in our solar system are closer to the Earth, the light we see from them is the sunlight being reflected. They appear larger in our sky because of their closeness, and it's because of their closeness that the light being refracted is much less than that of a distant star, therefore making the planet appear more "still."


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