Weekly Stargazing Calendar for 2010-11-22

Last week we had the peak of the Leonid meteor shower. If you missed it, you could still see a few meteors this week, though not nearly as many as last week.

Besides the occasional meteor, there are no major astronomical events this week, though it would still be interesting to observe the planets, especially if you have a telescope. So here are their positions for this week:

Mercury: This planet is very close to the Sun and can only be seen at dawn and dusk, which means that it’s position changes quickly. It can be seen near Mars between the constellations of Scorpius and Ophiuchus for most of the week.

Venus: The sister planet can be found at dawn and dusk in the Virgo constellation near Saturn and the bright star Spica. But no star can outshine Venus. It is the brightest celestial body after the Moon in the night sky.

Mars: The red planet can be seen accompanying Mercury between the constellations of Scorpius and Ophiuchus. It has moved away from the bright star Antares over the past weeks and it is now much closer to Ophiuchus.

Jupiter and Uranus: The two gas giants are still visible close to each other between the constellations of Aquarius, Pisces and Cetus. Jupiter can easily be spotted with the naked eye, even in highly illuminated cities. However for Uranus you will need a telescope.

Saturn: The ringed giant can be seen with the naked eye in the middle of the Virgo constellation, not far from the bright star Spica as well as the planet Venus.

Neptune: The blue giant requires a telescope pointed between the constellations of Aquarius and Capricornus in order to be seen.

As you know, the Moon has a big impact on the visibility of celestial bodies in the night sky. So here are the Moon’s phases for this week:

Nov. 22

Nov. 23

Nov. 24

Nov. 25

Nov. 26

Nov. 27

Nov. 28