Starwatch for November 2021
Written by Karl Krico on November 18, 2021
Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society, bringing you the November Starwatch for the WNTI listening area.
Although there’s no turkey among the stars, you are able to see a turkey foot. This group of stars as seen by some Native Americans, actually is a piece of the constellation we now call Cygnus the Swan, or the Northern Cross. The turkey has been an important food source and symbol in the lives of the American Indians.
The Eastern Woodland Indians have a legend about the turkey whom they call “The Peace Eagle”. They said that greed caused a separation between them and the creator. The chief prayed to the Creator and then had a vision of a turkey. It said that they could use him as food, as long as they would love and trust and live in respect. Chief said the creator has given us the Turkey Peace Eagle as food to eat. So, they called it “The Feast of Friendship “, and it was celebrated on the first full Moon of November.
Besides the Moon, at dusk we can see Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus from left to right in descending order to the southwest. Venus is in Sagittarius, while Saturn and Jupiter are both in Capricornus. The Moon slides by from Venus to Jupiter as it moves from Crescent to Full. At dawn to the east southeast in Virgo, Mercury sits above Mars which is on the horizon. A partial lunar eclipse takes place on the 18th to the 19th, starting at 2:18 a.m. and ending at 5:47 a.m.
So this month, as we celebrate The Feast of Friendship, let us follow the example of the Native Americans by giving thanks to the Creator, and living in love and respect.
Until our next Starwatch – Don’t forget to check out … What’s up in the Night Sky!