Society News and Night Sky Notes – November 1998

Society News Headlines

  • Nov 2nd – Americas Space Station Commander’s plea to NASA.
  • Nov 2nd – Japan to spend almost 2 billon dollars on spy satellites.
  • Nov 2nd – First solar array for International Space Station is delivered to Kennedy Space Center. Due to go into orbit in August 1999.
  • Nov 2nd – A white spot has been observed on Saturn’s disc. Observations are called for.
  • Nov 2nd – New comet 1998 U4 (Spahr) discovered on October 27th. – Mag 17!
  • Nov 2nd – IMP-8 spacecraft celebrates 25 years of operation in Earth orbit.
  • Nov 3rd – German ROSAT X-Ray Observatory is shut down following Sun damage.
  • Nov 3rd – ISO spacecraft unveils the hidden rings of Andromeda.
  • Nov 3rd – Astronomers find “Chained” star-formation in the Trifid nebula.
  • Nov 3rd – Taurid Meteor Shower Peak.
  • Nov 3rd – Saturn is 1.7° North of Moon.
  • Nov 3rd – Astronomers at New Mexico State University discover galaxy in our cosmic back yard!.
  • Nov 4th – Mars is 6° South of Moon.
  • Nov 5th – First rotation peroid of Kuiper belt object measured.
  • Nov 6th – Ceres 0.3° South of Moon.
  • Nov 6th – Pallas is Stationary.
  • Nov 6th – Aldebaran is o.6° South of Moon.
  • Nov 6th – Public Open Night at the LAS Pex Hill Observatory. 7:30pm – 9:30pm.
  • Nov 7th – Space Shuttle STS-95 Discovery and crew land to-day at KSC after 9 day mission.
  • Nov 7th – Comet 98P/Takamizawa at perihelion (1.585AU).
  • Nov 7th – SPA meeting at The London Planetarium at 10:00hrs.
  • Nov 7th – First International Meteorite Fair, Gifhorn, Lower Saxony, Germany.
  • Nov 9th – Mercury 1.9° North of Antares.
  • Nov 11th – Regulus 0.3° North of Moon.
  • Nov 11th – Mercury at greatest elongation from the Sun. 23° East. However is poorly placed for observations from Liverpool.
  • Nov 13th – Mars is 0.5° South of Moon.
  • Nov 13th – RAS Meeting at Savile Row, London at 16:00UT.
  • Nov 14th – Jupiter is Stationary.
  • Nov 15th – 10th Anniversary (1988) of the 1st and only one launch of the Russian space shuttle Buran
  • Nov 17th – Leonid Meteor Shower Outburst due 19:45UT,best seen Nov 18th 01:00 – 0200am UT for Liverpool.
  • Nov 17th – Leonid’98 Meteor Outburst Page.
  • Nov 17th – Watch the Leonids LIVE! from Japan.
  • Nov 17th – Leonid Meteor shower information from Sky & Telescope
  • Nov 19th – Comet C/134P/Kowal-Vavora at Perihelion (2.575AU).
  • Nov 20th – Mercury is 7° South of Moon.
  • Nov 20th – Liverpool A.S. November monthly meeting – starts 7pm at Liverpool Museum Lecture Room.
  • Nov 20th – The Zarya module – first part of the International Space Station (ISS) is launched to-day.
  • Nov 21st – Comet C/21P/Giacobini-Zinner at Perihelion (1.034AU).
  • Nov 21st – Mercury is stationary.
  • Nov 22nd – Galileo makes 18th flyby of Jupiter’s Moon Europa.
  • Nov 24th – Neptune 1.9° South of Moon.
  • Nov 25th – BAA monthly meeting at Savile Row, London at 17:00hrs.
  • Nov 25th – Uranus 2° South of Moon.
  • Nov 27th – Comet Giacobini-Zinner closest approach to Earth (0.850 AU).
  • Nov 28th – Jupiter 0.6° North of Moon.
  • Nov 28th – Ceres at opposition.
  • Nov 30th – Saturn 1.8° North of Moon.
  • Nov 30th – Pluto is in conjunction with the Sun.


Will it be cloudy to-night?, ask the The U.K. Goverment Met Office Weather service.
To make your own star chart fo your location at any time, Click Here.

The Sun and Moon

All times are in GMT the same as U.T. Times For Observer in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, U.K.

Latitude 53 degs 24 mins North.
Longitude +3.0 degs West.

            2nd       7th       12th      17th      22nd      27th     2nd Dec
SUNRISE    07:12     07:22     07:31     07:40     07:49     07:58      08:06
SUNSET     16:38     16:29     16:21     16:13     16:06     16:01      15:57
on 19th
at 04h:28m
on 27th
at 00h:24m
on 4th
at 05h:19m
on 11th
at 00h:29m

On the 4th the Moon is at its minimum perigee (closest to the Earth) in 1998 at a distance of 356,614 km.



Even though Mercury is at its greatest elongation on the 11th it is very poorly placed for observers in the Northern hemisphere.


Venus is also poorly placed but will soon start an evening apparition which will see it into 1999.


On the 13th Mars is only 18′ North of the Moon at 18h:00m. By the time it has risen though (at 01h:45m) the following morning), the gap will have widened considerably. As the years ends Mars’ diameter will increase to over 6″ and careful telescope observers will note that the disk is not a perfect circle but exhibits a slight “gibbous” phase. In fact, only 90% of the planet’s sunlit hemisphere is turned towards the Earth this month.

MARSWATCH – latest observations of the red planet.


  • Ceres can be found in Taurus at Mag 7.7.
  • Vesta can be found in Cancer at Mag 8.0.
  • Eunomia can be found in Perseus at Mag 8.0.
  • Massalia can be found in Aries at Mag 9.0.

For More information on Asteroids Click Here.


Jupiter’s apparent diameter is decreasing but at 42″ is still eight times larger than Mars. On the 28th the Moon passes 1° to the South.

Launched in October 1989, the Galileo Jupiter Probe entered orbit around the great planet on December 7th 1995. The Project Galileo Homepage will give you up-to-date information and the very latest images returned.


Saturn is very nicely placed in the evening sky. After the Sun has set it may be found low down in the South East, but before midnight is due South near to the star Alpha Piscium. On the 30th Saturn is 2.5° North of the Moon.


Both are now less than 90° away from the Sun, and must be considered as unfavorable for observations at this time.


Pluto is in conjunction with the Sun on the 30th and will be out of view for several months.


TAURIDS 12 per Hour ZHR – max on the 3rd (Favorable) and 13th (Unfavourable).
LEONIDS 1998 STORM – max on the Nov 17th/18th Possible Storm. (Favourable)

An engraving of the Leonid Meteor Shower of 1833

An engraving of the Leonid Meteor Shower of 1833




Plus these pages will give daily and weekly reports of this and other Comets progress.



  • Nov 5th at 00hr:25m Reappearance of 5 Tauri.
  • Nov 5th at 21hr:20m Reappearance of 71 Tauri.
  • Nov 5th at 22hr:37m Reappearance of Theta2 Tauri.
  • Nov 5th at 22hr:41m Reappearance of Theta1 Tauri.
  • Nov 6th at 23hr:42m Reappearance of SAO 93975 in Taurus.
  • Nov 15th at 02hr:27m Reappearance of Alpha Tauri.
  • Nov 24th at 17hr:58m Disappearance of Pi Capricorni.
  • Nov 24th at 19hr:08m Disappearance of Rho Capricorni.