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Last Week's Stargazing Tips

November 18: Southern Fish

Piscis Austrinus, the southern fish, is in the south this evening. It contains only one bright star, Fomalhaut, which marks the fish’s mouth. The white star is just 25 light-years from Earth.

November 17: Triangulum

The constellation Triangulum suffers from a lack of imagination. As the name suggests, it consists of three main stars that form a triangle -- an accurate if dull description for one of the smallest constellations. It is well up in the east at nightfall.

November 16: Perseus Clusters

Perseus, the celestial hero, stands well up in the east by mid-evening. When we gaze that way, we’re looking toward the outskirts of the Milky Way Galaxy. Perseus’s borders contain a massive galaxy cluster, about 250 million light-years away.

November 15: Xi Persei

Perseus climbs the eastern sky on autumn nights. It consists of two ribbons of stars that join at Mirfak, its leading light. Perseus contains the most famous variable star in the sky: Algol, the Demon Star, which gets fainter every three days.

November 14: Moon, Planets, Meteors

The brilliant planets Jupiter and Venus will stand below the Moon at dawn tomorrow. Venus is the brighter of the two. And the Leonid meteor shower should be at its peak the next couple of nights. The Moon won’t interfere with the show.

November 13: Moon and Mars

Look for Mars near the Moon at dawn tomorrow. The planet looks like an orange star close to the upper right of the Moon. The true star Spica stands to the lower right of the Moon.

November 12: Great Square

The Great Square of Pegasus passes high across the south on November evenings. Its right side, which marks the square’s western edge, points down toward Fomalhaut, the brightest star of Piscis Austrinus, the southern fish.