March/April 2017 – Vol. 29 No. 6

Sky-Watching Activities, November 2012 to Early January 2013

Posted: Thursday, November 1st, 2012

by Robert C. Victor

Saturn emerges in morning twilight to the lower left of Venus and the star Spica by the second week of November. Venus will pass within 4 degrees north of Spica on Nov. 17, and will appear less than a degree from Saturn on the mornings of Nov. 26 and 27. These close pairings will be very interesting to follow for several consecutive mornings around those dates. Mercury will have a fine morning twilight apparition low in ESE to SE sky during Nov. 24-Dec. 28. Look for our solar system’s innermost planet to the lower left of Venus, within 10 degrees Nov. 29-Dec. 28, and within 6.5 degrees Dec. 5-12. During Mercury’s morning apparition, four of the five naked-eye planets will be visible simultaneously!

In the evening sky, the Pleiades star cluster is visible all night around Nov. 20. Look low in ENE at dusk, high in S in middle of night, and low in WNW as dawn brightens. Jupiter reaches peak brightness, opposition, and all-night visibility on the night of December 2-3, while dim red Mars lingers very low in SW to WSW in twilight until February.

Follow Moon in morning sky, one hour before sunrise, through Nov. 12.

Watch for the following events:

Th Oct 31: Pleiades star cluster 6° upper right of Moon.

Fr Nov 1:  Aldebaran, eye of Taurus the Bull, 4° left, Jupiter 7° UL, of Moon.

We Nov 7:  Regulus, heart of Leo, 10° left of fat crescent Moon.

Th Nov 8:  Regulus 8° above Moon.

Sa Nov 10: Venus 14° LL of crescent Moon.

Su Nov 11: Venus 5° UL of Moon. Spica 7° LL of Moon and 8° below Venus; Saturn 17° LL of Venus and 11° LL of Spica.

Mo Nov 12:  Last old Moon, very thin, 15° below Venus, 8° LL of Spica; look for Saturn 5° left of Moon and slightly lower.

Watch for these events involving planets and stars; look one hour before sunrise.

Sa Nov 17:  Venus passes 4° (min. dist.) north (upper left) of Spica.

We Nov 21:  Venus about equidistant from Spica and Saturn, 6° from each; Spica UR of Venus; Saturn LL of Venus.

Mo and Tu, Nov 26 and 27:  Saturn within 0.8° of Venus; by now Mercury is also visible, very low in ESE 12° LL of Venus; with Jupiter in WNW, four planets are visible simultaneously!

We and Th, Nov 28 and 29:  Jupiter 7° UL of Moon on Nov 28, 6° LR on Nov 29; note Aldebaran, eye of Taurus, 5° LL of Jupiter.

(Between these two mornings, one hour after sunset on evening of We Nov 28, look low in ENE for rising Moon, just past Full, with Jupiter 1-2° above.)

Night of Wednesday, November 28:

This is a great night to observe the effects of two motions: (1) The rotation of Earth, which causes the Moon and Jupiter to rise higher in the eastern evening sky, pass high in the south in the middle of the night, and sink low in the WNW as dawn brightens on Thursday, Nov. 29. (2) The other motion is the revolution of the Moon around the Earth, which causes the Moon to shift against the background of Jupiter and distant stars. By one hour before sunrise on Thursday, Nov. 29, the Moon will have moved nearly 6° E of Jupiter. (Jupiter will appear to lower right of the Moon.) Using binoculars, can you still spot Jupiter Thursday at sunrise, 6° lower right of the Moon?

Now follow the Moon daily, one hour before sunrise, Nov. 29-Dec. 11.

After seeing the Moon one day past Full above Jupiter and Aldebaran on Thursday, Nov. 29, you’ll see the waning gibbous Moon on Sunday, Dec. 2 to upper right of Procyon, the “Little Dog Star”, and lower left of Pollux and Castor, the “Gemini Twins”. On Wed. Dec. 5, find the Moon high in SSW below Regulus, heart of Leo the Lion. The Moon will be just over half full and one day before Last Quarter phase. On Sunday Dec. 9, find the waning crescent Moon 2° below Spica; on Monday Dec. 10, 5° lower right of Saturn; and on Tues. Dec. 11, just 2° lower right of Venus. Note Mercury just over 6° lower left of Venus.

Sat.-Mon., Nov. 10-12, l hour before sunrise;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of Abrams Planetarium. Subscriptions to the sky calendar ar  $11.00 per year, starting anytime, from Sky Calendar, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, 755 Science Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824 or online.

Sat. Nov. 17, one hour before sunrise;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Images courtesy of Abrams Planetarium. Subscriptions to the sky calendar ar  $11.00 per year, starting anytime, from Sky Calendar, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, 755 Science Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824 or online.

Thurs. Nov. 22, 1 hr before sunrise;

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images courtesy of Abrams Planetarium. Subscriptions to the sky calendar ar  $11.00 per year, starting anytime, from Sky Calendar, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, 755 Science Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824 or online.

Tue. Nov. 27, 1 hour before sunrise;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Images courtesy of Abrams Planetarium. Subscriptions to the sky calendar ar  $11.00 per year, starting anytime, from Sky Calendar, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, 755 Science Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824 or online.

Wed. Nov. 28, 1 hour after sunset;

Images courtesy of Abrams Planetarium. Subscriptions to the sky calendar ar  $11.00 per year, starting anytime, from Sky Calendar, Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University, 755 Science Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824 or online.

Powered By DT Author Box

Written by Robert Victor

Robert Victor

Robert C. Victor was Staff Astronomer at Abrams Planetarium, Michigan State University. He is now retired and enjoys providing skywatching opportunities for school children in and around Palm Springs, CA. Robert is a member of CSTA.

Leave a Reply

LATEST POST

CSTA Endorses March for Science

Posted: Monday, March 27th, 2017

The California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) stands with our science and science education colleagues in endorsing the March For Science and its associated activities.

The decision by the CSTA Board of Directors to support the March for Science was based on the understanding that this is an opportunity to advocate for our mission of high quality science education for all and to advance the idea that science has application to everyday life, is a vehicle for lifelong learning, and the scientific enterprise expands our knowledge of the world around us. The principles and goals of the March for Science parallel those of CSTA to assume a leadership role in solidarity with our colleagues in science and science education and create an understanding of the value of science in the greater community. CSTA believes that the integrity of the nature of science and that the work of scientists and science educators should be valued and supported. We encourage your participation to stand with us.

There are over 30 satellite marches planned for the April 22, 2017 March for Science in California (to find a march near you, click on “marches” in the upper right of the main page, select “satellite marches” and use the search feature). We encourage members who participate in the March for Science to share their involvement and promotion of science and science education. Feel free to promote CSTA on your signs and banners. For those on social media, you may share your involvement via Twitter, @cascience and our Facebook groups.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

California Science Curriculum Framework Now Available

Posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

The pre-publication version of the new California Science Curriculum Framework is now available for download. This publication incorporates all the edits that were approved by the State Board of Education in November 2016 and was many months in the making. Our sincere thanks to the dozens of CSTA members were involved in its development. Our appreciation is also extended to the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, the Instructional Quality Commission, and the Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee and their staff for their hard work and dedication to produce this document and for their commitment to the public input process. To the many writers and contributors to the Framework CSTA thanks you for your many hours of work to produce a world-class document.

For tips on how to approach this document see our article from December 2016: California Has Adopted a New Science Curriculum Framework – Now What …? If you would like to learn more about the Framework, consider participating in one of the Framework Launch events (a.k.a. Rollout #4) scheduled throughout 2017.

The final publication version (formatted for printing) will be available in July 2017. This document will not be available in printed format, only electronically.

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Call for CSTA Awards Nominations

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

The 2017 Award Season is now open! One of the benefits of being a CSTA member is your eligibility for awards as well as your eligibility to nominate someone for an award. CSTA offers several awards and members may nominate individuals and organizations for the Future Science Teacher Award, the prestigious Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, and the CSTA Distinguished Contributions Award (organizational award). May 9, 2017 is the deadline for nominations for these awards. CSTA believes that the importance of science education cannot be overstated. Given the essential presence of the sciences in understanding the past and planning for the future, science education remains, and will increasingly be one of the most important disciplines in education. CSTA is committed to recognizing and encouraging excellence in science teaching through the presentation of awards to science educators and organizations who have made outstanding contributions in science education in the state and who are poised to continue the momentum of providing high quality, relevant science education into the future. Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

Call for Volunteers – CSTA Committees

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

Volunteer

CSTA is now accepting applications from regular, preservice, and retired members to serve on our volunteer committees! CSTA’s all-volunteer board of directors invites you to consider maximizing your member experience by volunteering for CSTA. CSTA committee service offers you the opportunity to share your expertise, learn a new skill, or do something you love to do but never have the opportunity to do in your regular day. CSTA committee volunteers do some pretty amazing things: Learn More…

Written by California Science Teachers Association

California Science Teachers Association

CSTA represents science educators statewide—in every science discipline at every grade level, Kindergarten through University.

A Friend in CA Science Education Now at CSTA Region 1 Science Center

Posted: Monday, March 13th, 2017

by Marian Murphy-Shaw

If you attended an NGSS Rollout phase 1-3 or CDE workshops at CSTA’s annual conference you may recall hearing from Chris Breazeale when he was working with the CDE. Chris has relocated professionally, with his passion for science education, and is now the Executive Director at the Explorit Science Center, a hands-on exploration museum featuring interactive STEM exhibits located at the beautiful Mace Ranch, 3141 5th St. in Davis, CA. Visitors can “think it, try it, and explorit” with a variety of displays that allow visitors to “do science.” To preview the museum, or schedule a classroom visit, see www.explorit.org. Learn More…

Written by Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw

Marian Murphy-Shaw is the student services director at Siskiyou County Office of Education and is CSTA’s Region 1 Director and chair of CSTA’s Policy Committee.