Stargazers and space enthusiasts are in for a treat this November as different celestial events are set to occur in the next few days.
Aside from the ongoing planetary race between Venus, Mars and Jupiter that began in late October, people can expect to see meteor showers from the Leonids and Taurids as well.
Vesta, the brightest known asteroid, will make an appearance in the Cetus Constellation and the Catalina comet will also become visible to starwatchers even without the use of binoculars by month's end.
Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter
Astronomers first observed the race between four of the five brightest planets in the Solar System last month. The original lineup included Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter but Mercury is about to drop out of the planetary competition.
Earth's sister planet Venus took an early lead in October, edging out the other bright planets, but Jupiter is set to take the top spot as Venus begins to sink lower this November.
Meanwhile, Mars was able to reach within almost half of Jupiter's degree. This month, the Red Planet will get close to Venus but not as close as it got to the gigantic Jupiter.
"Venus, Jupiter and Mars are doing what we might like to call a planetary dance, in that the planets are coming relatively close to each other, as we see them in the sky," University of Adelaide astronomer Ian Musgrave said.
"Of course, they're actually separated by millions of miles [but] when the planets are close to each other in the sky we call this a planetary conjunction."
The gaps between the three planets will change constantly throughout November.
Taurid and Leonid Meteor Showers
Other celestial events slated for this month are the Taurid and Leonid meteor showers.
The first of the two meteor showers, the Taurid, will reach its peak in the morning of Nov. 4. The event, which is caused by the Encke comet, will feature around 10 meteors transiting across the sky every hour.
The Taurid meteor shower is also called the Halloween fireballs as it will be visible in the sky for several nights.
The second meteor shower is that of the Leonids, which is caused by the Temple-Tuttle comet. It will reach its peak on Nov. 18 and will feature around 20 meteors every hour.
The early setting of the waxing crescent moon will allow stargazers to catch a glimpse of the Leonid meteor shower.
Vesta and Catalina
November also marks the passing of the asteroid Vesta in the vicinity of the Cetus Constellation. The space rock will reach around the seventh magnitude, making it visible to watchers through the use of binoculars.
Compared to the largest known asteroid Ceres, which measures at about 600 miles in diameter, Vesta is only around 325 miles in diameter, which can cover an area the size of the state of Arizona.
The Catalina comet, on the other hand, can be spotted near the Virgo Constellation on Nov. 22. It will be visible with or without the use of binoculars as it will only reach the fourth magnitude during its transit.