This is your monthly guide to NASA launches, observing the planets, celestial events, moon phases, this day in space history, and other astronomy resources.
Observing The Planets:
- Mercury (morning planet, magnitude -1.0) is visible for the first few days of the month low above the horizon in the east-southeast 30 minutes before sunrise.
- Venus (morning planet, magnitude -4.5) is visible high in the east in the predawn sky.
- Mars (morning planet, magnitude +1.7, in Virgo) is visible in the ease just before sunrise.
- Jupiter (morning planet, magnitude -1.8, in Leo) is visible in the eastern predawn sky below Venus.
- Saturn (evening planet, magnitude +0.6, moves from Scorpius to Ophiuchus by end of the month). Vanishes in the southwest during evening twilight.
- Uranus (evening planet, magnitude +5.7, in Pisces) is visible high in the southeast by 9 pm. Visible most of the night.
- Neptune (evening planet, magnitude +7.8, in Aquarius) is visible high in the southeast by 9 pm and setting by midnight.
Moon Phases & Celestial Events:
The best nights for viewing (moonless nights) will be from October 4 to Wednesday October 14.
- November 3: Last Quarter Moon at 6.24 am CST.
- November 3: Venus is 0.7° south of the Mars.
- November 6: Jupiter is 2° north of the Moon.
- November 7: Mars is 1.8° north of the Moon.
- November 7: Venus is 1.2° north of the Moon.
- November 7: Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 4 pm CST with a distance of 405,721 km and an angular size of 29.5′.
- November 9: Moon near Spica.
- November 11: New Moon at 11:47 pm CST
- November 12: Taurid meteor shower peaks.
- November 12: Saturn is 3° south of the Moon.
- November 13: Moon near Antares.
- November 17-19: Leonid meteors. Peaks on the 18th. The Leonid meteor shower arises from debris ejected by Comet Tempel-Tuttle in 1533.
- November 19: First Quarter Moon at 12:27 am CST.
- November 19: Neptune is 3° south of the Moon.
- November 20: Mars is at aphelion (farthest from the Sun).
- November 22: Uranus is 0.9° north of the Moon. The Moon will occult Uranus.
- November 23: Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 2 pm CST with a distance of 362,817 km and an angular size of 32.9′.
- November 25: Full Moon at 4:44 pm CST
- November 25: Moon near Pleiades.
- November 26: Aldebaran is 0.7° south of the Moon. The Moon will occult Aldebaran.
- November 28: Venus is 4° north of Spica.
- November 29: Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun.
The following missions are scheduled for October:
Date: November 21, 2015.
Mission: Progress 62P Cargo Craft.
Description: The Progress resupply vehicle is an automated, unpiloted version of the Soyuz spacecraft that is used to bring supplies and fuel to the International Space Station.
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz spacecraft.
Launch Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Want to learn more about what goes on each week on the International Space Station? Watch NASA’s weekly Space to Ground video log.
This Day In Space History:
- November 3, 1957: Sputnik 2 carries dog Laika, the first living creature into orbit.
- November 8, 1656: Edmond Halley born.
- November 9, 1967: Surveyor 6 lands on the Moon.
- November 9, 1967: Apollo 4 launches.
- November 12, 1980: Voyager 1 flies past Saturn.
- November 12, 2014: Philae probe becomes the first spacecraft to land on a comet.
- November 13, 2014: Mariner 9 is the first spacecraft to orbit Mars.
- November 14, 2014: Apollo 12 launches as the second lunar landing mission.
- November 15, 1738: William Herschel born.
- November 17, 1970: Luna 17 lands on Moon.
- November 17, 1970: The Lunokhod 1 rover becomes the first wheeled vehicle on the Moon.
- November 19, 1969: Apollo 12 makes second lunar landing.
- November 20, 1889: Edwin Hubble born.
- November 26, 1885: First photograph of a meteor taken.
- November 26, 1965: France becomes the third nation to launch a satellite.
- November 26, 2011: The Mars Curiosity rover launched.
- November 27, 1971: Mars 2 probe becomes the first artificial object to hit Mars.
- November 29, 1967: First Australian satellite launched.
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