Space Station & Planet Viewing in Pagosa’s Clear Sky
Photo credit Wally Pacholka (AstroPics.com
“This adventure is made possible by generations of searchers strictly adhering to a simple set of rules. Test ideas by experiments and observations. Build on those ideas that pass the test. Reject the ones that fail. Follow the evidence wherever it leads, and question everything. Accept these terms, and the cosmos is yours.” — Neil deGrasse Tyson
The International Space Station is the third brightest object in the heavens now and is very visible in Pagosa’s clear night sky. The chart below gives times and directions to look. A four to six minute pass travels directly overhead. See if you can get an interesting photo and send it to PagosaSpring.com.
If you have a camera with a time exposure setting, interesting photos of the International Space Station can be taken. By knowing where the station will pass over you can mount the camera on a tripod or set it on a solid object pointing in the correct direction and open the shutter just before or as it becomes visible. The longer the shutter is open the longer the streak in the photo will be and long exposures will also show star and moon movement. For the cover photo, above, the camera was mounted so the trees would be in the image and after the first exposure was complete a second exposure was made with the flash on, illuminating the frosted tree branches and adding perspective.
|Wed Nov 1, 6:29 AM||4 min||31°||25° above WNW||11° above NNE|
|Thu Nov 2, 5:39 AM||2 min||27°||27° above NNE||10° above NE|
|Fri Nov 3, 6:22 AM||2 min||17°||17° above NNW||10° above NNE|
|Sat Nov 4, 5:33 AM||< 1 min||10°||10° above NNE||10° above NNE|
|Sun Nov 5, 5:15 AM||< 1 min||10°||10° above N||10° above N|
|Sun Nov 12, 5:37 AM||3 min||12°||10° above N||10° above NE|
|Mon Nov 13, 6:20 AM||4 min||33°||10° above NNW||26° above ENE|
|Tue Nov 14, 5:28 AM||3 min||20°||14° above N||16° above ENE|
Sunita Williams, former station commander, gives a tour of the most complex machine mankind has ever produced.
Leonids Meteor Shower
Sun Nov 12 2017
The Leonids (generated by comet Tempel-Tuttle) can be quite a prolific shower with between 15 and hundreds of meteors per hour – but averaging around 40. The activity peaks every 33 years with the last peak in 2001. It is usually most active on November 17 and 18. Look for the shower radiating from the constellation Leo after midnight. Visible in northern and southern hemispheres.
Two of the five bright planets – Saturn and Mercury – are evening planets, but only Saturn is clearly visible after nightfall in early November, 2017. Mercury is lost in the sunset glare during the first half of the month and will likely be seen after mid-month. The other three bright planets – dazzlingly bright Venus, extremely bright Jupiter and super-faint Mars – adorn the morning sky, before sunup. Venus and Jupiter will have a spectacular conjunction – albeit low in the sky – around November 13. Follow the links below to learn more about the planets in November 2017.
Venus, brilliant in east at morning dawn
Jupiter climbs out of the glare of sunrise
Mars visible in eastern predawn sky
Saturn out from dusk until early evening