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Science

Starwatch: Saturn adds special beauty to view of crescent moon

starwatch chart

This week’s must-see moment occurs on the evening of the 11th, just after sunset. Look to the south-west and Saturn will be hanging low in the sky just below a beautiful crescent moon.

The chart shows the vista at 17:30 GMT on 11 November. The moon will be just 16% illuminated, making it appear as a thin crescent. It is always a joy to see our natural satellite when it is this young and the pale spot of Saturn, the furthest planet visible to the naked eye, will add some special beauty to the view.

Also this week, keep an eye open for the northern Taurid meteor shower. It will peak on the night of 9-10 November in the southern hemisphere and 10-11 in the northern, although meteors from the shower will be visible for most of the month.

The shower itself is sparse with just five meteors an hour expected. The meteors will appear to come from the direction of Taurus. The three stars of Orion’s belt, which will appear in the south after dark, point to Taurus if you follow them up and to the west.

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