November 2013

November is looking fairly normal, with Venus being prominent along with the Moon, but disappointing conditions for the annual Leonid Meteor Shower.  Comet ISON is holding together fairly well, but is not quite as bright as expected.  It’ll pass by the Sun this month, and hopefully give us a good December showing.  More info here.


New Moon – 3rd (darkest skies)


3rd – Daylight Savings Time Ends at 2am for most of the U.S. and Canada


4th – Pequea Valley Star Watch – more details here


6thClose Encounter – Moon, Venus– Look Southwest after the Sun sets and look for a thin waxing crescent Moon. Venus will be 7˚ down and to the left of the Moon.  Venus will be the first “star” you see in that direction.


First Quarter Moon – 10th (Visible until midnight)


Full Moon – 17th (Visible all night)


17thLeonid Meteor Shower – Technically, it’s happening, but there’s a full Moon, which means it will be extremely difficult to see any meteors, but there could be some fireballs visible.


21st – 22ndClose Encounter – Moon & Jupiter – Find the waning gibbous moon in the SW in the morning.  On the 21st, Jupiter will be 10˚ above the Moon.  On the 22nd, the Moon will have moved to be about 6˚ to the left of Jupiter.


Last Quarter Moon – 25th (Visible from midnight into the morning)


27thClose EncounterMars, Moon – Get out early in the morning and check out the crescent Moon.  About 6˚ above the Moon will be red Mars.


30thClose Encounter – Moon, Saturn, Mercury – Look to the SE between 7:15am and sunrise and you can see (with binoculars) a VERY thin crescent moon, with Saturn and Mercury below, closer to the horizon.


PLANETS...well, the ones visible with your naked eye

Planets you can see around Sunset – Venus (W)

Planets you can see throughout the night – Jupiter (EàS)

Planets you can see in the Morning – Jupiter (S), Mars (SE)


Mercury – From the 12th to the 28th, you could possibly see Mercury if you look ESE in the morning about 10˚ above the horizon.


VENUS Fairly prominent in the sunset sky, until it sets itself around 8:30pm.  Closest to the Moon on the 6th. 


Mars – Look East after 3:00am and before sunrise, you may be able to locate it close to the horizon around 4am, and higher up the closer you are to dawn.  It’s hanging out below Leo this month.  Close to the Moon on the 27th. 

JUPITER – Look East after 10pm for the brightest “star” currently in Gemini.  Jupiter gets higher and higher in the sky and moves south. By sunrise it’ll be 70˚ above the horizon.  Close to the Moon on the 21st and 22nd.


Saturn – Might just be visible in binoculars right before sunrise at the end of the month.  Not easy to find.

CONSTELLATIONS... (see sky map link at the bottom for a Star Map for this month – or ask Mr. Webb)    Look straight up and you'll see...

After Sunset (sunset is around 5:00pm after Nov. 4th) – Lacerta, Pegasus (the Great Square)

Between Sunset and Midnight – Pegasus, Andromeda - Extra Challenge!  Using your naked eye (dark-adapted and in a dark area) or binoculars under normal conditions and a star chart, try finding our neighboring Andromeda Galaxy.  It’ll be a faint, but bigger, fuzzy in the constellation Andromeda.

Midnight – Perseus, Taurus

Early Morning – Lynx, Cancer, Gemini - Extra Challenge!  Using binoculars, find the bright and open cluster M35.  Find Gemini, look at the rightmost leg, go down to the foot, and move 2-3 degrees to the right (W).  


Summer Constellations: Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila, Delphinus

Look to the West after sunset until about 9pm and you’ll still be able to see Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila, (and Delphinus.)  These three constellations have the three brightest stars of the summer constellations (Vega, Deneb, Altair – respectively.)  Those bright stars create the summer triangle.  Being summer constellations and it being fall right now, they are setting and are visible for a shorter period of time.  If you’re under dark skies (away from city lights) you may just catch a glimpse of the Milky Way passing through Cygnus and Aquila.

Fall Constellations: Andromeda, Pegasus

If you can find the Summer Triangle and Delphinus, about 40˚ to the East (leftish) will be the Great Square of the fall constellation Pegasus.  Perhaps you’ll even see the two curves of Andromeda off of one side, with the Andromeda Galaxy as a small, faint fuzzy nearby (you’ll need dark skies to see it).  A sky map will help you tremendously in finding these.  You’ll see these in the East after sunset, straight above you around midnight, and in the West in the morning.

Use a sky map from to help you out.