Maya del Mar's Daykeeper Journal: Astrology, Consciousness and Transformation
Mercury Transit
Mercury Transit


Maya's November Skywatch

by Maya del Mar

All of the inner planets are crowded around the Sun now, even Jupilter, which means we can’t see them in the night sky. Only Saturn has some distance, which translates astrologically into perspective. But Saturn rises very late, around midnight, and visibility is not good for several hours. Look for it in the southeastern sky, near Regulus, Leo’s bright star. On November 13, the last quarter moon joins them to create a spectacular trio in the early morning sky.

Mercury is always elusive, always difficult to spot. However, this month its retrograde trip gives us the best view of 2006.

First, on November 8, we have the Mercury transit of Sun, which will not occur again for another decade. This transit brings Mercury from the evening to the morning sky. Mercury transits occur when the planet crosses the ecliptic plane, 13-14 times each century. It is visible in the U.S., but one needs a telescope and a solar filter.

Then, on November 13, Mercury starts rising a half hour after sunrise in the southeast, and climbs noticeably higher every morning. It brightens at the same time. Scan the eastern horizon with binoculars around 6:00 a.m., and look for a peach-colored dot. Just a few days later, Mercury has brightened much, and makes a fine sight with the waning crescent moon on November 18-19.

By November 25, Mercury rises 100 minutes after sunrise, and is quite bright—brighter than the bluish star Spica above it. It begins to descend towards the horizon then, but is still fairly high and bright through the first 10 days of December.

It’s interesting that this time of Mercury’s high visibility is just when Jupiter enters Sagittarius. And Mercury and Jupiter had that very long conjunction at the end of October and the beginning of November. Both of these planets are involved with thinking and communication. Lots of movement and change there!

Just in from Yahoo News: A comet flared up to become visible to the naked eye. In the Northern Hemisphere, look halfway up the western sky after sunset. It is supposedly easy to see in the country, looking like a fuzzy green star. Astronomers say that the green color indicates cyanogen and diatonic carbon as part of the offgassing. Comets, however, are notoriously unpredictable, and by the time you read this, Comet X may be much dimmer.