Nights of the stars 2023: guide to enjoying the night sky – El Sol de México

On Saturday, November 25, the Night of the Stars will take place in several cities across the country. You and your family will be able to observe with telescopes and attend conferences and workshops. It is a free event.

Find your headquarters at or on social networks, the headquarters have their own accounts.

For our part, we recommend the astronomical objects that you should not miss on Star Night. In addition, we give you a star map that will be your guide and we invite you to share it at your headquarters.

The Moon and the planets

At the beginning of the night, the first thing that will attract attention is the Moon, and above it there is a bright star, it is the planet Jupiter. The Moon is two days away from Full Moon, on November 27th.

With a telescope, see the seas of the Moon, the Tycho Crater, 85 km in diameter and almost 5 km deep. The Aristarchus Crater is the brightest thing on the Moon. Also look for Plato Crater and Rainbow Bay.

The seas are molten rock that emerged from the subsoil, due to the fall of meteorites. Today they are cold. Millions of years later, as the Moon cools, meteorites only form craters.

Above the Moon shines Jupiter, the largest of the planets in the Solar System. It is so large that it can hold 1,321 Earths, but being a gas planet, its mass is equivalent to 318 Earths.

With a telescope you will see the cloud bands and 4 of its 95 moons, those discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610.

Io (io) is a world with 400 active volcanoes. Europa is an ice marble, and under the ice there is liquid water. It is thought that Europe could sustain life. Ganymede and Callisto are rocky, with water in the subsoil and atmospheres with oxygen. Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System, it is even larger than Mercury, it would be a planet if it orbited the Sun and not Jupiter.

Higher up, heading west, shines a yellow star, Saturn. With telescope he will see the rings of it, although they are closing. By 2025 they will not be visible and then they will open year after year, until their maximum inclination in 2032.

For now, Saturn holds the record for the most moons, 146 in total! Uranus and Neptune are nearby, only within reach of telescopes, although the brightness of the Moon could prevent us from observing them.

Mercury is another case, it is observed at dusk with the naked eye, to the west or west, where the Sun hid. By 7 pm, it will no longer be seen.

The Summer Triangle

Since nightfall, three stars from three constellations shine in the west. The brightest is Vega of the constellation Lyra, the one above is Deneb of the Swan and the southern one is Altair of the Eagle. The three stars form the Summer Triangle; a figure that is not a constellation but an asterism.

Inside the Triangle is the star Albireo del Cisne, with a telescope you will see that there are two stars instead of one.

Also inside the Triangle and near Altair, is the small constellation of The Arrow (Sagitta) and outside the Triangle another small constellation The Dolphin appears. Try to locate them.

Around Orion

To the east or east, where the Sun “rises” every morning, shines the most famous star cluster of all, the Pleiades. Although you can see 7 stars, in reality there are almost 500. With a telescope you will have a more beautiful image.

The Pleiades are 444 light years away from us. That is, the observed light left the cluster 444 years ago and traveled through space at the speed of light (300 thousand km/s). The Pleiades are newborn stars, barely 100 million years old. For comparison, the Sun is 5 billion years old.

Starting at 7 pm, the red star Aldebarán del Toro (Taurus) will appear below the Pleiades, 65 light years from us. When observing it with a telescope you will see the Hyades cluster nearby.

By 8:30 pm, the constellation Orion will appear below. The three stars in the center are Orion’s Belt or the Three Wise Men.

Orion is closed by four stars, the red one in the north is Betelgeuse and the one above is Belatrix. The southern ones are, Rigel, the one above and bright and below Saiph.

Betelgeuse is 700 times larger than the Sun. If it took its place in the Solar System, it would span the orbit of Saturn! It is located 548 light years from us. Rigel is 79 times larger than the Sun and is 863 light years away.

To the south of the Belt, before the stars Rigel and Saiph, you will see a small bright cloud, it is the Orion Nebula, stars are being born there. It is located 1344 light years away. It can be seen with the naked eye but with a telescope you will see it more beautiful.

To the northwest of the Moon shines the W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia. It will guide us to the Andromeda Galaxy, but the Moon could ruin our attempt to observe it.

By 10 pm, below Orion appears the star Sirius Canis Major, the brightest of all stars. To the north shines Procyón of the Canis Menor and further north Castor and Pollux of the Twins (Gemini). North of Orion you will see the bright star Capela del Auriga.

All of this appears on our map. It has beautiful objects to observe on Star Night: Jupiter and its moons, the rings of Saturn, a double star, the Moon, two star clusters and a nebula. It will be a great astronomical evening!

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