Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth - Ptolemy
Mickey Mouse spotted on Mercury!
Who could fail to be enraptured by the remarkable alignment of craters upon innermost planet Mercury, which looks for all the world like a giant Disney advert? Granted, the Mickey Mouse image is helped by shadowing, but it's still a striking effect. The formation measures over 100km wide, and was imaged by NASA's Messenger unmanned spacecraft in June 2012.
November 2015 Diary Dates
Comet Catalina will be viewable for Northern Hemisphere astronomers towards the end of the month; turn your telescope or binoculars towards Virgo. The comet could reach 4th magnitude and already has a double tail.
- 03: Venus passes 0.7° south of Mars
- 04: The 57m-wide asteroid 2015 TD179 will pass Earth beyond the orbit of the Moon
- 06: The Moon passes 2° south of Jupiter
- 07: The Moon passes 1.8° south of Mars
- 07: The Moon passes 1.2° south of Venus
- 07: The Moon is at apogee (furthest from Earth)
- 11: New Moon
- 12: The Moon passes 3° north of Saturn
- 17-18: Leonids meteor shower peak
- 19: The Moon passes 3° north of Neptune
- 20: The 390m-wide asteroid 2005 UL5 will pass Earth beyond the orbit of the Moon
- 22: The Moon passes less than a degree south of Uranus
- 23: The Moon is at perigee (closest to Earth)
- 25: Full Moon - the Beaver, Frosty, Trading or the Sassafras Moon
- 26: The Moon passes 0.7° north of Aldebaran (alpha Tauri)
- 26/27: Comet Catalina close to the star Khambalia (λ Virginis), a spectroscopic binary
- 28: Venus passes 4° north of Spica (alpha Virginis)
- 29: The 2.2km-wide asteroid 2003 EB50 will pass Earth beyond the orbit of the Moon
Chat about your celestial observances at the H2G2 Astronomy Society. Comment on anything in this edition of Babe Among the Stars by starting a new conversation below.