Venus is the 1st evening planet visible as Dusk twilight starts to fade. The planet is visible low in the SW. Venus has a noticeable gain in brightness as the month progresses. The planet also has a slight gain in altitude as the month progresses. These two factors will help Venus gain a minor positional improvement and will help its visibility. However, this minor gain will be short lived.
Saturn is visible in the SSW sky as evening darkness falls. As the month progresses, Saturn is slowly losing some altitude and brightness. This is the last month that Saturn will have a fairly good evening showing.
Jupiter still follows Saturn across the sky. Jupiter like Saturn is losing brightness as the month progresses. Due to Jupiter’s position, the planet will be in the evening sky longer than Saturn.
Mercury manages to hold onto to its fairly good position in the ESE during the first week of November. The planet will rise just after Dawn breaks for the first few days of November. Things then rapidly change for Mercury. The planet rapidly loses altitude and dives into the bright Dawn twilight. After 7 November, the planet will be very difficult to see. Around mid-month, the planet will have moved deep into the bright Dawn twilight and will be lost from view.
Mars has now moved into the morning sky. The planet is very poorly placed in the ESE and will be almost impossible to see in the last few days of the month.
3 Nov Thin Crescent Moon above Mercury, Dawn
4-5 Nov South Taurid Minor Meteor Shower
7 Nov Crescent Moon right of Venus, Dusk
9 Nov Crescent Moon, Saturn, Jupiter form a rough line, Dusk
10 Nov Moon, Saturn, Jupiter form a rough triangle, Dusk
11 Nov 1st Quarter Moon lower left of Jupiter, Dusk
19 Nov Partial Lunar Eclipse
23 Nov Waning Gibbous Moon near bright stars Castor and Pollux, Evening
27 Nov Last Quarter Moon near bright star Regulus, Dawn
South Taurid Minor Meteor Shower:
November’s only meteor shower which is not spoiled by the Moon is the weak South Taurid Minor Meteor Shower. This meteor shower will happen on the night of 4 -5 November. The very thin crescent (1 day old) Moon will soon set after Sunset, leaving the night sky Moon free. About 7 meteors per hour are predicted in the evening sky. About 10 meteors per hour are predicted in the Pre-Dawn skies. The South Taurids are known for slow-moving meteors and occasionally producing a bright fireball meteor. This meteor shower is favorable for our viewing area.
Leonids Meteor Shower:
November’s best meteor shower, the Leonids will happen on the night of 16 -17 November. The almost Full Moon will wash out the sky with its bright light and completely ruin the view of the Leonids.
November Partial Lunar Eclipse:
In the early Pre-Dawn hours on the morning of the 19 November, the Moon will have a partial eclipse. This partial lunar eclipse will cover about 97% of the Moon with the umbra (Earth’s Shadow). Only the very bottom of Southern most part of the Moon will not be covered by the Umbra.
Here’s the Time Table of the Partial Lunar Eclipse for 19 November 2021
Eclipse Begins: 02:18 am EST
Mid Eclipse: 04:03 am EST
Dawn Breaks: 05:13 am EST
Eclipse Ends: 05:47 am EST
Note that the last stage of the eclipse will be viewed in the Dawn twilight. It will be interesting to see what colors the lunar eclipse will exhibit. Recent volcanic activity may cause the colors to be dark. Predictions vary on the Moon’s colors from yellow -orange to a deep dark red black. This partial lunar eclipse is favorable for our viewing area.
Gary T. Nowak
Vermont Astronomical Society