Today in 1998 assembly of the first multinational space station started. Today we call this the International Space Station (ISS) which is periodically visible from our backyards.
This is the Saint Louis Science Center’s NIGHT SKY UPDATE for the week of Tuesday, November 14. All times are given as local St. Louis time (Central Standard Time). For definitions of terminology used in the night sky update, click the highlighted text. Information updated weekly or as needed. Join us for our next star… Continue reading
On this date in 1969 the Apollo 12 mission landed on the Moon. During Apollo 12 mission astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean rendezvoused with the Surveyor 3 mission on the lunar surface.
New moon occurs today starting lunation 1174. A lunation is the time it takes for the Moon to go from new moon to the next new moon. This takes about 29.5 days which is the basis for our month.
If you look in the north around 6 pm you will see a group of stars that look like the letter ‘W”. This is the fall constellation Cassiopeia, the Queen.
The Leonid meteor shower peaks on November 17 for N. American observers. Your best chance to see this meteor shower will be around 3 am on November 17 and 18. The Moon will be a waning crescent so it will not interfere.
On this date in 1738 Sir William Herschel was born. Herschel discovered the planet Uranus in 1781. You can find Uranus in the constellation Pieces but it will require binoculars.
The star Polaris is currently the North Star. The Earth wobbles on its axis in a motion known as precession. Because of this the star Vega will be the North Star in 12,000 years. You can see Vega in the west around 6 pm.
Tomorrow morning look east for a thin waning crescent moon around 5 am. Just below the Moon you will also see the planet Mars.
On this date in 1980 the Voyager 1 mission made its closest approach to Saturn. Its closest approach to Saturn was about 124,000 km.