6 Storm Team Starwatch: Monday, November 11th – Sunday, November 17th 2019


Welcome to the 16th edition of 6 Storm Team Starwatch! This is a blog that will be posted every Monday that will list events happening in the sky this week! 

Monday, November 11th 2019

The Mercury transit is today! The Mercury transit occurs when Mercury passes in between the Sun and Earth and casts a shadow on the Sun. Mercury will appear like a small dot on the Sun’s surface. The greatest transit will occur at around 10:20 AM EST. “Greatest transit” happens when Mercury is closest to the center of the Sun (University of Tennessee) .

In order to see this event, you will need a telescope with a proper solar white light filter, to help block out some of the sun’s harmful rays. If you do not have a telescope, make sure to use your solar eclipse glasses from a few years ago to protect your eyes as you look up at the Sun, but you will still need binoculars at a minimum to see this event (University of Tennessee).

The University of Tennessee Department of Physics and Astronomy is hosting a public viewing from 7:30 AM until 1:15 PM on the Alvin H. Nielsen Physics Building roof (https://calendar.utk.edu/event/mercury_transit#.Xcf8xflKiUl).

Transits are a relatively rare event, happening only 13 times a century (NASA).

Image Courtesy of NASA

Tuesday, November 12th 2019

Tonight is the November Full Moon. This Full Moon is called the Beaver Moon, Frosty or Frost Moon as well as the Snow Moon. The Moon will appear full from Sunday night through Wednesday. The Indians named the November Full Moon the Beaver Moon. This name could come from the fact that beaver traps were often set during this time and beavers themselves are believed to be active during this time of the year (NASA).

Additionally, tonight Venus will be visible about 2 degrees above the horizon to the WSW (NASA).

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