November 2014

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November is not the most exciting month, however the days are getting ever increasingly shorter, nights longer, and daylight saving time ends, bring us the night much sooner.  You might even get a chance to see Leonid meteors, Mars, and Jupiter.

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

Planets you can see around Sunset – Mars (SW)

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

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


Mercury – Might be able to catch it low on the horizon an hour before sunrise in the East until the 19th.

Venus Venus is now in the Sun’s glare this month.  It will come back as an evening star next month.

Mars – Look in the SW after sunset and look for the visibly red “star”.  It’s hanging out in the relative middle of the Milky Way.  Get out before 8pm, since that’s about when Mars sets or is too low to be seen.  If you’ve got a good view of Mars, you’ll also have a good view of the Milky Way and the many star clusters and nebulae in that area of the sky, so bring binoculars or a telescope along with your sky chart.  Close to the Moon on the 25th and 26th.

Jupiter – The best time to look for it in the E is after midnight with a clear horizon, continuing on until sunrise. Look to the right of Leo’s brightest star Regulus – the point in the “Backwards Question Mark” of Leo.  Don’t forget the binoculars or telescope for the Galilean Moons and the cloud bands on its surface.  Closest to the Moon on the 14th. 

Saturn – Lost behind the Sun this month. 


         2ndDaylight Savings Time Ends at 2am for most of the U.S. and Canada

Full Moon – 6th (Visible all night)

Last Quarter Moon – 14th (Visible from midnight into the morning)

14thClose Encounter – Moon, Jupiter – Get out after midnight and look East for a Last Quarter Moon with Jupiter 6˚ to the left.

17th – 18th – Leonid Meteor Shower – You might be able to see about a dozen or so of these per hour of watching, so keep an eye out…or up!

New Moon – 22nd (darkest skies)

25th – 26thClose Encounter – Moon, Mars – Get out after sunset but before 8pm on the 25th and look Southwest to find a thin crescent Moon with Mars 8˚ to the left.  On the next night, the 26th, the Moon will have moved to be 9˚ above and to the left of Mars.

First Quarter Moon – 29th (Visible until midnight)


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. 2nd) – 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.