Late tonight, the Leonid Meteor Shower peaks, at a rate of 10 to 15 meteors per hour, under ideal viewing. The waning Moon, just a day after its Last Quarter, will interfere with the fainter meteors. Fortunately, some of the meteors feature bright heads, with a tail. In additional a few outbursts are possible from previous passages of its parent comet, Temple-Tuttle, over the next few nights.
Just as the clock strikes midnight, our planetary cousin Mars passes behind the Sun from our vantage point, though it has been too close to the Sun to view for months. Mars remains in the Sun’s glare through the winter, and only slowly emerges from the twilight next spring. It won’t be until a year from now that Mars appears as a prominent object.
The northeastern skies in mid-November feature two contrastingly bright stars. After 7:00 in the evenings, the star Capella shines higher and a pale yellow color, starting about one quarter of the way up. To the lower right, and less bright is Aldebaran, a red giant star, considered to be the “eye” of Taurus, the Bull, not to be mistaken for the much brighter Mars, shining lower between them.