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November Skywatch

by Maya del Mar

Many of you must be oohing and ahing as you observe Mars this week. It appears as a spectacular orange flare lighting up the night sky. And it’s visible all night, as it rises in the east at sunset and sets in the west at sunrise. It’s sitting very close to the Pleiades. In the Babylonian creation mythology, the Pleiades were considered a “net” that could catch monsters. Interesting that they are featured just as Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald’s indictments are beginning to come down against the Bush Administration!

Mars turns retrograde about once every two years. It comes closest to earth then, and opposes Sun then. Its distance from earth varies a great deal, however, and its apparent size is a function of that distance. That distance is greater now than it was two years ago, but Mars and Earth are still relatively close. Thus its brightness. Now Mars appears about half the size it appeared two years ago. At its worst appearance, in 2832, it will appear about half the size it appears this year.

Mars viewing, however, is particularly good for sky watchers in the northern hemisphere. First, because of the all-night visibility. Secondly, because it travels fairly high in the sky, where visibility is much better than closer to the horizon. At midnight, when it is highest, Mars is traveling 2/3 of the way between horizon and zenith in the southern sky. Thirdly, because Mars appears so bright, light pollution is of little importance.

Sun’s opposition to Mars occurs the night of November 6-7, but the closest approach between the two occurs one week earlier. So get out there tonight!

The rise of the Full Moon on November 14 will be spectacular, accompanied by a brilliant Mars.

Mars is co-ruler of Scorpio, and it’s particularly apt for Mars to shine it on during this season. I believe Mars’ current apparition adds to Scorpio’s powers, one of which is digging up the buried bones. Mars is moving retrograde in Taurus, and is hanging around the Pleiades until the end of January.

Early in November, in the early morning western sky, along with spectacular Mars, we may see “shooting stars,” the Taurid Meteor Shower. What an active sky area this month!

Venus, as usual, is radiant. You have to look fast in the southwest sky as soon as darkness falls, because it is low on the horizon. Elusive Mercury is just below it, difficult to find. However, for southern hemisphere observers, they will be both sitting well above the horizon. On the night of November 5, a delicate crescent moon lies just to the left of Venus. This lovely sight is worth catching.

While Mars appears high in the southern sky, Saturn is rising in the east. It rises earlier and earlier, and by the end of the month it will be well clear of the horizon by midnight, and viewing will be good.

Brilliant Jupiter returns to the morning sky in November. As the month wears on, look for it in the early morning sky.

Thus Saturn and Jupiter, those two big gas giants who are associated so closely with Earth’s happenings, are morning planets before November is over. Does that mean that they will act more assertively, as they bring the day into being? Like plants with their rising sap in the mornings.

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November 2005
Table of Contents
November Daykeeper Home
Maya: Karl Rove Is Still A-Roving
Alex Miller Mignone: All the President's Enablers
Condoleezza Rice
Neptune and Juno
Crystal's Full Moon Meditation: Access the Magical Guidance Power of the Snow Moon
Daily Success Guide
Nov. 1 through 30
Monthly Astrological Influences, November 2005
General Sun Signs,
November 2005
Retrograde Watch: Five Directional Changes
Goddess of the Month: Medusa
Sign of the Month: Scorpio Maya's Sun Sign Archives

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