Society News and Night Sky Notes – November 2001

Society News Headlines


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 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) 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 15th
at 06h:41m
on 22nd
at 23h:22m
on 30th
at 20h:50m
on 8th
at 12h:22m



Mercury finishes off its excellent morning apparition which started in mid-October. This table shows the planet’s apparition and also details where the Moon lies when near by.


Even once prominent Venus seems to sense winter is almost here and seeks the warmth of the Sun as it hugs the south eastern horizon before Sunrise.


At the end of the month Mars transits at 17:20 (diameter 7.4″ (20.5″ in June). Its fast apparent motion carries it through Capricornus lying a mere 13′ South of iota Capricorni on the 22nd. On the 21st at 22h the almost 1st quarter Moon lies 3° south of Mars.

Marswatch – latest observations of the red planet.


  • 4 Vesta is at Mag 6.5 in Taurus, at opposition on 28th November. Lying below and to the right of Saturn in Taurus Vesta is technically visible to the unaided eye but binoculars are needed as it is just on the threshold of visibility. No disk will be apparent no matter what magnification you can use. The only giveaway as to what is and what isn’t a star will be the asteroid’s nightly movement against the background stars.
  • 11 Parthenope is at Mag 10 in Taurus, at opposition on 21st November.

For More information on Asteroids Click Here.


Jupiter is now moving in retrograde motion, rise well before midnight and as its apparent diameter are increasing quickly it is really worth a look though almost any kind of telescope using as much magnification as the instrument will usefully allow. On the 6th Jupiter is 1° south of the Moon.

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.


Lunar Occultation of Saturn – November 3rd

Saturn, as with Jupiter, is in retrograde motion, however on the 3rd at 21:08UTC the gibbous Moon actually passes in front of Saturn. Occultations of planets are relatively rare events. In September Jupiter was covered by the Moon’s disk albeit in the hours of daylight but this month and again in December Saturn undergoes the same fate but in a more favourable dark sky. The reappearance, which takes place at 22:02, will be a little more observable as the event occurs on the Moon’s dark limb. The disappearance maybe a bit awkward as the brightness of the Moon will dazzle. There are two similar Saturn occultations in April and May 2002. It takes approximately 40 seconds for the planet to disappear or reappear so whilst the disappearance will be behind the Moon’s very bright limb it will be most disconcerting to see Saturn reappearing from the seemingly empty blackness of the Moon’s dark limb (link removed as URL is invalid).


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


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


November 2001 LEONIDS

  • LEONIDS 10 per Hour ZHR max on the 18th (Favourable). This shower normally produces a peak of 10-15 meteors per hour at maximum but in recent years, as the Earth has met the stream of particles left by its parent comet, a dramatic increase in rate has been reported – in the region of many hundreds per hour. The next couple of years will see a continuation of these high rates and it is a shower worth watching, especially this year will see a continuation of these high rates and it is a shower worth watching, especially this year as the Moon is out of the way. The peak is a sharp one through and because it occurs on the other side of the world we in the Uk will not see much of an inrease in activity.


  • November 18th: Comet c/2000 WN1 (Linear) will reach Mag 6.4 for Uk Observers.Perihelion not until Jan 2002.
  • November 23rd: 133p/Elst-Pizarro at Perihelion (2.635AU)

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


  • Nov 3rd at 21:08 Disappearance of Saturn. Duration is 41 secs
  • Nov 3rd at 22:02 Reappearance of Saturn. Duration is 43 secs
  • Nov 11th at 03:13 Reappearance of eta Virginis