Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sterreprag oor Prince Albert

- Hans Daehne -

In November the huge Square of Pegasus becomes an outstanding evening feature of our night sky and should thus be in a position to be admired by everybody - the star-gazing enthusiast or someone who just gives an occasional upwards glance - because it is just going to be there ... in all its splendour and easy to identify.

The diagonals of the square extended upwards (southwards) point to lesser known constellations of the Zodiac. The one from lower right to upper left (along the neck of the horse) indicates Aquarius while the other diagonal from lower left to upper right points towards the V of Pisces. These are the last two signs of the Zodiac and it`s time to start from the beginning again with Aries, Taurus and Gemini, our Summer constellations culminating soon.

Full Moon is on the 13th with the moon close to Earth (Perigee) and this is the right combination for rain in the Western Cape. New Moon is on the 27th November .

The bright Venus is still our evening star and moves closer to Jupiter.

Jupiter, on the move through Sagittarius is still very bright but lower in the West in the evenings and sets before midnight for the month.

Saturn, in Leo, is a morning object for the whole of November. Because Saturn orbits the Sun in more than 29 years and thus takes more than two years to move through a Zodiac constellation it has been in Leo now for nealy two years and is on its way to Virgo.

Meteor showers can only be observed favourably this month on the 5th of November.

The very ambitious and just as expensive experiment 100m underground on the Swiss/French border, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experienced a little mishap earlier in September when its eight electro-magnets overheated and caught fire. The effort to accelerate tiny particles to nearly the speed of light generated too much heat in the magnets.

This will, however, not stop the experiment to create little black holes and new particles but just delay it until the damage has been repaired. More about this in future! To keep up to date about this visit Google under LHC.

The Hubble Space Telescope has also suffered a setback and its service mission has been delayed until a later date.

Keep the stars in your eyes !

Hans Daehne
Cell. : 072-641-96570
E-mail :

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