IF YOU were in the crowd with me up at Kendal Castle on bonfire night, ooh'ing and aah'ing at the gorgeous fireworks, I wonder if you noticed a very bright blue white star shining high in the east, to the left of that brilliant Moon? That 'star' was actually the planet Jupiter!
This is the best time in years to look at Jupiter. Rising at sunset, it dominates the sky, brighter than any of the true stars, and is visible all night long. Now, as the nights start to get frosty, the air is very cold and still after sunset and Jupiter appears to shine like a lantern above the treetops. Venus is also visible right now, but very low and faint in the sunset glow. It'll be much more impressive by Christmas.
From 7pm on Friday night (November 11), under a beautiful Full Moon, members of the Eddington Astronomical Society will be back up at Kendal Castle for a Planet Watch. Weather permitting we'll be showing people Jupiter's cloud belts, storms and moons through our telescopes, and we'll try to show you other fascinating things too.
Stuart Atkinson Eddington Astronomical Society of Kendal