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Mon Nov 5, 2018, 08:25 PM

November's New Moon Brings Planetary Conjunctions and a Mercury Treat

By Jesse Emspak, Space.com Contributor | November 5, 2018 11:26am ET

November's new moon will be bracketed by two days that Mercury provides a treat for observers. On Nov. 6, the planet will be visible for the longest period in the evening sky. And on Nov. 8, Mercury will meet up with the brightest star in Scorpio, according to NASA.

The new moon will occur on Wednesday (Nov. 7) at 11:02 a.m. EST (1602 GMT). That is just a day after the planet Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation, or the farthest east from the sun's position in the sky, which will happen on Tuesday (Nov. 6) at 9:59 a.m. EST (1459 GMT). After the new moon, the innermost planet is in conjunction with the star Antares on Thursday (Nov. 8) at 11:56 p.m. EST (0456 GMT on Nov. 9).

A new moon occurs when the sun and moon are at the same celestial longitude astronomers would say the two bodies are in conjunction. Celestial longitude, like its earthly counterpart, is described by a vertical line from north to south through the poles; in this case the celestial poles. [10 Surprising Lunar Facts]

Putting the moon directly between the sun and Earth would cause a total solar eclipse like the one in August 2017 if the planes of Earth's orbit and the moon's were perfectly aligned. They aren't; the moon's orbit is tilted at an angle of about 5 degrees with respect to the plane of Earth's orbit, so most of the time the moon "misses" the sun in the sky.


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Reply November's New Moon Brings Planetary Conjunctions and a Mercury Treat (Original post)
Judi Lynn Nov 5 OP
Igel Nov 6 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Nov 6, 2018, 05:15 PM

1. Mercury Treat. Up there with Crunchy Frog and Spring Surprise. n/t

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