Stargazing Information

Taurus climbs high across the sky on November nights, reaching its zenith around midnight late in the month. The bull is marked by its orange eye, which stands at one point of its V-shaped face, and by the Pleiades star cluster at its sparkly shoulder. Orion and Gemini climb skyward earlier each evening, and by month’s end are in good view by 9 p.m. or so. And on the other side of the sky, the Summer Triangle drops from sight by late evening.

This Week's Stargazing Tips

November 28: Moon and Gemini

The Moon huddles at the knee of a twin tonight. The star Lambda Geminorum is quite close to the Moon as they climb into good view by about 9 p.m. It represents the knee of Pollux, one of the mythological twins depicted by the constellation Gemini.

November 29: More Moon and Gemini

The constellation Gemini, the twins, climbs into good view in the east by about 9 o’clock. The gibbous Moon rises directly below the twins late this evening, and follows them across the sky for the rest of the night.

November 30: Orion Rising

One of the icons of winter nights is climbing higher into the evening sky. Orion the hunter is in good view in the east by about 9 p.m. Look for his “belt” of three moderately bright stars pointing straight up from the horizon.

December 1: Venus and Spica

Spica, the brightest star of the constellation Virgo, is in the southeast at dawn tomorrow. It stands close to the right of Venus, the brilliant “morning star.”

December 2: Orion Nebula

Orion climbs into view in the east by 9 p.m. To the right of its three-star belt, look for a row of three objects that make up Orion’s Sword. One of those objects looks fuzzy because it’s a nebula, a cloud of gas and dust that’s giving birth to new stars.

December 3: Moon and Jupiter

Jupiter keeps company with the crescent Moon early tomorrow. The planet looks like a brilliant star. It rises just above the Moon in the wee hours of the morning, and they remain close together at dawn.

December 4: Moon and Mars

Mars is in the morning sky, shining like a moderately bright orange star. The planet will stand close to the lower left of the Moon at dawn tomorrow, and to the upper right of the Moon on Sunday.

Check last week's tips if you missed a day.


©2015 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory