A superstar event for 2019: Elusive Mercury, one of the most difficult planets to view, will be out in broad daylight—literally! Look through a telescope equipped with a suitable solar filter and you’ll be able to view tiny Mercury transit across the surface of the Sun. This rare celestial event will be visible throughout much of the world, but observers along the eastern coasts of the Americas will get the best view.
This shower coincides with the full moon, so that pretty much blows your chances of seeing much… But Keep your fingers crossed! Every now and then the Taurid meteor shower — normally modest — produces spectacular fireballs visible even in bright moonlight. Last year it caused a rash of UFO reports.
Most recently this happened in 2008. Since the meteor stream is rather spread out in space, Earth takes several weeks to pass through it, causing an extended period of meteor activity, compared with the much smaller periods of activity in other showers. The Taurids are also made up of weightier material, pebbles instead of dust grains.
Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Taurus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
The Leonids is an average shower, producing up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak. This shower is unique in that it has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years where hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen. That last of these occurred in 2001. The Leonids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865. The shower runs annually from November 6-30. It peaks this year on the night of the 17th and morning of the 18th. The second quarter moon will block many of the fainter meteors this year, but if you are patient you should be able to catch quite a few of the brightest ones. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
A conjunction of Venus and Jupiter will be visible on November 24. The two bright planets will be visible within 1.4 degrees of each other in the evening sky. Look for this impressive sight in the western sky just after sunset.