BACKYARD STARGAZER: Moon plays ‘hide-and-seek’ in Earth’s shadow
By Francis Parnell
For November the Moon visits three planets and travels through Earth’s shadow during early morning on the 8th!
At dusk on the 1st, look south to see the first-quarter Moon hanging about 5 degrees below yellow Saturn.
After sunset on the 4th, spot the waxing gibbous Moon 3 degrees below left of Jupiter.
If you’re an early riser, there’s a total lunar eclipse on the morning of the 8th. The partial phase begins at 4:09 a.m. with totality at 5:16 a.m. Mid eclipse is 5:59 a.m. On the east coast, moonset is in twilight during totality. If it’s clear, head outside, look west, and enjoy the last total eclipse of 2022.
Between 8 and 9 p.m. on the 10th, look east-northeast to catch the Moon about 3 degrees upper right of red Mars. On the 11th, the Moon will be about 3 degrees lower left of Mars.
On the 13th around 9:30 to 10 p.m., the Moon, Castor and Pollux, the two brightest of the stars in Gemini, form a straight line and are spaced apart fairly evenly.
At sunset on the 28th look low above the southwestern horizon to see the waxing crescent Moon 6 degrees below Saturn. Catch this sight before the pair set.
FAST FACT: Earth is speeding along its orbit at 66,628 mph while orbiting an ordinary sized star that’s orbiting the center of the Milky Way Galaxy at 514,500 mph and dragging everything in the solar system with it, including all 8 planets, 5 dwarf planets, 1.1 million asteroids, and 2 trillion comets in the Oort Cloud that surrounds the solar system! Earth orbits the Sun in one year. Being 26,000 light-years from the center, the Sun orbits our galaxy taking 220 million years!
“Keep looking up!”