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Starwatch for November 2020

Written by John Del Re on November 16, 2020

Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society, bringing you the November Starwatch for WNTI.ORG.

Did you know that your head is getting older than your feet? That’s because your head is farther away from the gravity of the Earth. This is a result of Einstein’s Relativity Theory. It also means that people living at the top of skyscrapers age more quickly than those at the bottom. Of course the effect is very small, but it’s enough to affect our GPS System. The time on the orbiting satellites is affected by both speed and gravity.

The effect of both of these results in overall increase of time in the atomic clocks on the satellites. To compensate for this, the clocks are set to tick slower than clocks on Earth. If this were not done, there would be about a six mile mistake in the navigation system every day.  So Einstein was right, time is affected by motion and gravity. So you better watch the motion of the planets this month, before your head gets too old.

Looking to the southwest in Sagittarius, after sunset, you’ll see Saturn and Jupiter from left to right. Moving your gaze to the south, Mars is seen in Pisces higher in the sky. At dawn, Both Venus and Mercury are found in Virgo in the east. Mercury is on the horizon while Venus shines brightly above it.

So with a sense of gravity … it’s just about time – to accelerate your enjoyment of the beauty and mysteries of the celestial sky this month.

Until our next Starwatch –   Don’t forget to check out…  What’s up in the night sky!

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