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November sky highlights

THE nights are much longer now, so with weather permitting, we should have more time to enjoy the splendours of the night sky. 
There's plenty going on to get you out under the stars this month including a good meteor shower...
Without a doubt, the highlight (in every sense of the word) of the night sky at the moment is the planet Jupiter. 
November sees the peak of the Leonid meteor shower. This is a regular and usually prolific shower which as the name suggests, has its radiant point in the constellation of Leo. 
Leo rises in the early hours of November in the east from mid-northern latitudes, so the radiant hardly peeks above the horizon from our point of view in Europe. 
This will not affect our view of the meteors though, which will appear to streak across the sky from the eastern horizon on the night of Friday 18th November. It is usually best to observe meteors after midnight, as the earth spins 'into' the shower from this time. You should be able to observe them all night though. 
We can still see the asterism of the 'Summer Triangle' in the early evening, but later in the night we start to see the constellations of winter coming in to view. In mid-evening though, we get to see the lovely Autumnal constellations of Pegasus and Andromeda, which play host to a variety of beautiful 'deep sky objects'.  
If you are willing to stay up late, or you are an early riser, then the planet Mars will surely catch your attention.  Visible in the early hours. 

Ninian Boyle