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The November Night Sky

The sky is not a painting, it's a movie. Stars pulse, flare, some explode as supernova, asteroids whiz by the earth, new comets appear in the sky, Aurora sets the northern skies ablaze and meteors streak through Earth's atmosphere.

 Astronomy Picture of the Day

See below Hubble site Tonight's Sky, highlights of this months night sky movie with narration below. Click on photo below.

The Full Moon for November

 November is known as the Full Beaver Moon also known as the Frosty Moon.  For  the Algonquin tribes and the colonists this was the time to set beaver traps before the waterways froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. It is a time of activity for beavers as they work to shore up their dams and store food stocks to survive the coming winter. 


Lunar Phases

Full Moon November 6 5:23 pm EST
Last Quarter Moon November 14 10:16 am EST
New Moon November 22 7:32 am EST
First Quarter Moon November 29 5:06 am EST

November  Lunar Highlights

On the evening of the 25th, a waxing crescent Moon lies 0811'23" to the right of Mars. On November 28th the Moon is 6 degrees from Neptune.

The Planets Visibility for November


Morning sky E

Mercury is visible in the November morning sky just before sunrise. Mercury on the 15th is at -0.8 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.05" at a 91.16% phase. Mercury on November 15th rises at 5:44 a.m. and the sun rises at 6:52 a.m..  Mercury is in the constellation of Libra the 15th. Mercury reached greatest elongation from the Sun on the 1st of November. Mercury will be low on the horizon.

Mercury above will appear at 91.16 % phase disk on November 15th.


Morning sky E

 Venus is lost in the Sun's glare. Venus will next reappear in the December evening sky.


Evening sky SW

Mars sets November 25th at 8:09 p.m.. To find Mars look for a reddish object low in the southwest sky. It is located in the constellation Sagittarius. Mars is at +0.9 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.05". On November 25th the Moon is an Angular separation from Mars of: 0811'23". Look for the Teapot of Sagittarius, see image below

To see which part of the surface is visible at any time, check out the Mars Profiler at Sky & Telescope Magazine's web page.


 Midnight - Morning sky E - S

Jupiter is at -2.2 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.39" located in the constellation Leo the Lion. Jupiter rises around 10:44 p.m. on November 22nd and before dawn will be high in the south. Jupiter lies 0642'53"degrees to the left of the Moon November 14th. See image below.

A small telescope will easily reveal four of Jupiter's largest and brightest moons. Check out Sky & Telescope's Jupiter Moons Utility for other configurations. Sky and Telescope Red Spot Calculator  


Lost in the Suns glare

Saturn is lost in the suns glare and will next reappear in the morning sky in early December. Saturn is in conjunction with the Sun on November 18th at 9:00 a.m.

In image above the planet Saturn on the 17th was about 2 degrees from the Sun and Venus was about 5 degrees from the Sun. Yellow circle indicates location of the Sun. Visible are the solid occulter disk, used to create a false eclipse; the "pylon", which is an arm that holds the occulter in place. Images from the Solar & Heliospheric Observatory. See larger image from NASA/SOHO

Through a small telescope Saturn will reveal the famous rings of the planet. Rings currently are 22.7 tilt. See: Saturn's moons locations


Evening Sky E Morning SW

 Uranus midmonth is at 5.8 magnitude and diameter 00'.04" is up after sunset and sets 2:44 a.m.. Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces. A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a green-gray disk.


Evening -Morning Sky SE

Neptune midmonth is at 7.9 magnitude and diameter 00'.02" is up after sunset visible in the south and sets 11:30 p.m.. The Moon is 6 degrees from Neptune as seen in image below. A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a blue green disk. Neptune is located in the constellation Aquarius.

Bright Asteroids

Midmonth asteroid 6Hebe  is at magnitude 8.1 located in the constellation Eridanus. See finder skymap.

Dwarf Planets


 Pluto at midmonth is visible in the south after sunset  amid the stars of the Milky Way in the constellation Sagittarius. Pluto is at magnitude +14.2 and diameter 00'.01"  A large telescope is needed to see this distant object. You will need binoculars to identify this asteroid. Watch it move from week to week to verify.


Comets Brighter than 8 Magnitude

No bright comets visible for northern hemisphere.

For more on current Comets and locations see: Seiichi Yoshida web site here.



The Leonid meteors appear from November 13 to around November 21, The Leonids peak on November 17/18. with about 10 meteors per hour on the night of maximum. The meteors are fast moving meteors that are a result of the Earth passing through the remnants of dust debris of comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. These meteors produce the most fireballs. Look for Leo the Lion high in the south. Leo the Lion rises at around midnight on the 17th. The waning crescent moon will not interfere with brighter meteors. The meteors are best looked for in the early morning hours from 12:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. till before the dawn. The meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Leo the Lion. When you see a meteor, mentally trace it backwards. If you end up at Leo then you have probably seen a Leonid meteor. See the image below for location of the radiant.

Northern Taurids

There is a minor shower active from October 12 to December 2 called the the Northern Taurids with around 2-3 meteors per hour as a result of passing through the debris stream of Comet 2P/Encke. Location of radiant is just above Taurus the Bull in the constellation Aries the Ram and best observed after midnight when radiant becomes higher in the sky. See sky chart below for mid November location at midnight. The radiant is 7 and a half degrees from M-45 the Pleiades star cluster. Yellow dashed line depicts the meridian which is overhead at midnight.


See: Listen to Meteors , American Meteor Society, Meteors Online also NASA All Sky Network

Some local links below to Heavens Above satellite information website.

Satellites Visible from York

Satellites visible from Hanover

Satellites visible from Gettysburg

Satellites visible from Lancaster

Satellites visible from Baltimore

Satellites visible from Harrisburg

Also see: Spaceflight NASA

 The Sun

Real time solar wind dials are linked live to the ACE Spacecraft.

 If the dial on the left (Magnetic Field) has dipped below zero, the speed is high and the dial dynamic pressure is in the yellow/red, be alert for Aurora. Anytime the gauges are in the Red and the dial on the left, the Magnetic Field BZ has dipped to the yellow-red... Aurora will be occurring in our area. See link to solar wind gauge here: REAL TIME SOLAR WIND

See explanation of  solar wind dials below by clicking on photo of dials

Solar Wind Dials


Use your hand to find degrees

NASA Night Sky Network Planner

Free download. AstroPlanner  

Download a free starmap at: Skymaps

Make your own starmap at: Star Finder

Download a free Planetarium for your computer at: Stellarium or Hallo Northern Sky Stellarium has many extra features.

Your Sky - Fourmilab

Your night sky map on the internet

Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart Register to use.

Sky Map