November 2018

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         Welcome to Observing With Webb, where a high school astronomy teacher tells you what you’re looking at, why it’s so cool, and what you should check out later this month…at night.  Don’t forget to check out my Podbean page, YouTube Channel, and Twitter feed, or get my podcast feed on Stitcher, or iTunes.

Venus switches over to a morning star, and a brilliant morning star at that, Mars dominates the evening sky, Saturn tries to stay visible for another month, the Leonids try to break through the gibbous moonlight, and the Moon passes by Mars and Saturn.


Naked-eye PLANETS...

  • Around Sunset – Saturn (SW), Mars (S)
  • Throughout the night – Mars (SàW)
  • Morning – Venus (E)



  • Lost in the glare of the Sun this month


  • Becomes a brilliant morning star for the next half year or so. Even as a very thin crescent in the beginning of the month, it is VERY bright, and easily visible just above the ESE horizon starting late the first week of the month. It’ll get up to about 30˚ above the horizon by the end of November, and visible as early as 4:30am. If you have binoculars or a telescope, you should easily see it transform from a very thin crescent to a smaller but thicker crescent throughout the month, about the size of Jupiter in your view.


  • Mars is already in the S around sunset, traveling toward the W and setting around 11:30pm each night. Moves from Capricornus to Aquarius throughout the month. Absolutely gorgeous and bright and red right now, but not so breathtaking in a telescope.


  • Lost in the glare of the Sun this month, and probably next


  • Starts to dive lower in the sky quickly this month. Already up around sunset. Look about 20˚ above the SW horizon in evening above Sagittarius. Sets around 8pm in the beginning of the month, and 6pm at the end of the month. Get binoculars or a telescope out to check out the rings.



4thDaylight Savings Time Ends

New Moon – 7th (darkest skies)

11th Close EncounterMoon, Saturn – Find a thin crescent Moon off in the SW after sunset and you’ll see Saturn only 3˚ off to the right and down a little bit, both just above the teapot of Sagittarius.

First Quarter Moon – 15th (Visible until midnight)

15th Close EncounterMoon, Mars – A half-lit Moon will get to within 3˚ of Mars tonight.

17thLeonid Meteor Shower – You might just catch a couple meteors coming from Leo, if you get out early in the morning and look at the whole sky in general, like other meteor showers.  However, this meteor shower is losing steam throughout the years, but still producing about 15 per hour. The Gibbous Moon will make it hard to see many of the fainter meteors in the early evening.

Full Moon – 23rd (Visible all night)

Last Quarter Moon – 30th (Visible from midnight into the morning)



(see sky map link at the bottom for a Star Map for this month)   

After Dinner:

Pegasus & Andromeda - Look pretty much straight up you’ll be able to see the Great Square of Pegasus, with Andromeda curving off of one corner. If your skies are decently dark, you might catch the faint fuzz that is the Andromeda Galaxy.

Before Bed:

Andromeda, Perseus, Triangulum, Aries – Find Pegasus off to the West a little bit to find the cornucopia shaped Andromeda again. Keep following the cornucopia shape to find Perseus, which has kind of a similar shape, except opening up toward the southern horizon and the Pleiades.  Below Perseus and Andromeda will be Triangulum, a small thin triangle, and Aries the Ram, which looks more like a curved walking cane on its side.

Before Work:

Orion – Look southwest to find the vertical bow-tie that is Orion the Hunter.

Use a sky map from to help you out.


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