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The Sky this Month

MAS Sky this month

What's in the night sky this month ?

The 'fixed' stars will appear in the same locations year after year (note 1). Some astronomical events - such as meteor showers - also repeat from year to year (even if the 'peak' date of a meteor shower varies somewhat) whilst other astronomical objects, such as the planets and Comets, have orbital periods that don't follow Earth's annual cycle at all. So these pages focus on the main Constellations, whilst other events can be found on the Events page

Note 1. In fact, due to the precession of the Earths axis, positions of the Constellations don't repeat exactly from one year to the next. Fortunately, in the context of "What's in the sky this month ?", this 'slippage' (which is 1 degree every 71.6 years) can be ignored (it taking 25,772 years to complete one revolution). So, if this had been written down some 2,200 years ago, at the time when the 'Sun signs' were defined, everything would have 'shifted' by some 30 degrees (or one 'Zodiac' constellation) and these pages would make as much sense today as that Astrology nonsense :-)

Running the Stellarium scripts (.ssc)

Our monthly sky Stellarium 'scripts', {date}-WhatsOn.ssc, were designed to run with Stellarium V10.1 but should 'work' with almost any version. To run the scrip on your own computer, start by downloading the script = 'right click' the link and use 'Save link as'. Next drag the .ssc file to the to the '\scripts' sub-directory of the installed Stellarium program directory (i.e. C:\Program Files\Stellarium\scripts).

To run the script, launch Stellarium, open the 'Configuration' menu dialog and go to the 'Scripts' tab. A list of available scripts will be shown in the list box on the left side. You select a script by clicking on it as usual and details (about that script) will then be shown in the panel on the right side. To run the selected script, click the 'run script' button (the icon that looks like a DVD player 'Play' button). For more Stellarium scripts, visit the Stellarium.org/wiki page

Note, before running a script it's a 'good idea' to disable the on-screen 'information' (Configuration, Information tab, set 'Selected Object information' = 'none')

(-) 11 November

Meteors this month The Leonids peak Nov 17/18 (2015) with activity from Nov 14-20 every year. The Leonid radiant rises in the late evening and is highest in the sky around dawn. Due to the debris left by comet Tempel-Tuttle, the Leonids produced 'storm level' activity in 1999, 2001 and 2002 however this has not been seen since, although in 2008 the Earth passed close to material ejected by Tempel-Tuttle during it's 1466 perihelion return resulting in enhanced rates (almost to Perseid levels). Normally, a peak rate of approx 20/Hr can be expected.

In 2014, the Moon reaches it's Last Quarter on Nov 14 leading to favourable viewing during the 17-18 peak.

Photo: ../Sky_this_month/photos/November.jpg
The sky (looking South) this month.

(click the sky map, left, for a larger view)

The Stellarium script presented at Novembers meeting can be downloaded (using 'right click' and 'Save link as') :-
Nov 2014
Nov 2015
Nov 2016
(note = built for Stellarium 10.4)

This note last modified: 25th Nov 2016 10:30.


(+) 12 December

(+) 01 January

(+) 02 February

(+) 03 March

(+) 04 April

(+) 05 May

(+) 06 June

(+) 07 July

(+) 08 August

(+) 09 September

(+) 10 October