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SPACE: What’s up for November 2012

PASADENA, Ca. (NASA JPL) – What’s Up for November? The return of Jupiter in the evening sky.

Hello and welcome. I’m Jane Houston Jones at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Jupiter is the star of the evening sky this month.It rises earlier as the month progresses and will be visible at sunset by month’s end.

There’s a lot of detail to be seen on Jupiter, even from a small telescope. Wait as late as you can, when Jupiter is higher in the sky, and you’ll have a nicer view.

Look above and below the equator for ruddy stripes and the four Galilean moons.

NASA JPL

If you get a chance, join your local astronomy club for one of their public Jupiter viewing nights.

Through larger telescopes you’ll see colorful cloud bands, dark and light spots, and if your timing is right you’ll catch the Great Red Spot south of Jupiter’s equator.

NASA JPL

Hundreds of planetary imagers point their camera-laden telescopes at Jupiter every clear night and what they produce is simply amazing.

If they see something unusual, they notify interested planetary scientists.

If one of the scientists already has observing time scheduled at an observatory, the timing is perfect, and the scientist can observe new or changing features soon after they’re discovered.

NASA’s Juno mission plans to ask the amateur observing community for help in monitoring features on Jupiter in order to plan spectacular images to be taken by Juno’s color camera.

This will help scientists choose imaging targets for the public to vote on when Juno is in orbit, starting in 2016.

NASA JPL

Nearby Jupiter, you’ll find the Pleiades star cluster in Taurus.

NASA JPL

That’s the radiant of the November Taurid meteor shower, followed by the early-morning Leonids on the 17th.

NASA JPL

To learn more about all of NASA’s missions, including Juno, visit www.NASA.gov.

That’s all for this month. I’m Jane Houston Jones.

VIDEO: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jane is an astronomer, NASA science podcast developer, writer, educational and outreach artisan and social media enthusiast. She and her husband have an asteroid (22338 Janemojo) named after them. She’s also the human behind the @CassiniSaturn Twitter Account.

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