Photo of the Week.A waxing crescent Moon is
surrounded by a colorful diffraction corona produced by
interference among light waves as they pass through thin clouds.
Astronomy news for the two weeks starting Friday, October 31,
The next Skylights will appear Friday, November 21.
Having passed full the evening of
Thursday, November 6 the Moon wanes through its gibbous phase during the first week of our
fortnight, which ends at third quarter on
Friday the 14th with the Moon descending the daytime western sky.
The second week features the waning
crescent, whose last view will be the morning of Thursday the
21st as slim as can be seen, new Moon passed the following
morning. The morning of Friday the 14th, the near-quarter will
Jupiter, while the following morning it will appear beneath Regulus in Leo, the trio making a fine sight. Friday the 14th, a
busy day, sees the Moon going through its apogee, where
it is farthest from the Earth.
The planetary sky remains dominated by Jupiter (in Leo to the east
of Regulus), which rises half an hour before midnight at the start
of our term, an hour and a half before by the end of it. At the
opposite ends of the nighttime sky we find Mars and Mercury. In
the evening, the red planet persists in setting at 8 PM as it runs
through northern Sagittarius, north of the Little Milk Dipper. At
the start of our period Mercury shines in morning twilight. The
little one then quickly disappears. With us during much of the
finally goes through conjunction with the Sun on Tuesday the 18th
to become a morning object, rising at the start of dawn in mid-
December. In a minor note, Neptune ceases
retrograde motion on Sunday the 16th.
meteor shower, which is the debris of short-period (3.3 years)
is still active, to which we add the Leonids the mornings of Monday the 17th and Tuesday the 18th. While
capable of huge numbers of meteors, the Leonids (from 33-year
Tuttle) are well off their peak, and will produce a mere dozen
or so meteors per hour.