Weekly Stargazing Tips

Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii). Check out last week's tips if you missed a night.

November 26: Moon and Taurus

Taurus, the bull, stands to the upper right of the Moon as they rise this evening. The bull’s V-shaped face is formed by the Hyades star cluster. The bright orange “eye,” Aldebaran, forms one point of the V, although it’s not a member of the cluster.

November 27: Betelgeuse

Betelgeuse, the sparkling orange shoulder of Orion, the hunter, stands to the right of the Moon as they climb into view in mid evening. Betelgeuse is one of the largest stars in our region of the galaxy, and is doomed to explode as a supernova.

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.


©2015 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory