November Astronomy

November Astronomy

October 31, 2017| Categories: Eye on the Sky, Mark Breen, Planetarium News, Skywatch Almanac Astronomy

November sees a return to Standard Time, (on the 5th), the earlier arrival of evening gives us a parting view of Saturn, inching lower in the southwest, and briefly joined by Mercury after Thanksgiving.  November finds the Milky Way high overhead, with the Summer Triangle slipping into the west, while the dazzling Capella rises higher in the northeast.  Lower in the east, the red star Aldebaran marks the eye of Taurus, the Bull.  Just above Taurus is the fainter cluster of stars known as the Seven Sisters, or the Pleiades, Orion rising below them late.  On the other side of night, Jupiter climbs out of the Sun’s glare for a spectacular meeting with Venus on the morning of the 13th.  Mars is higher, but quite faint in the morning twilight.


7 – The Taurid Meteors are at their peak, but can be viewed from mid-October to mid-November.

13 – Very low in the east this morning near 6:00 AM EST, the planets Venus and Jupiter are very close, perhaps best viewed with binoculars.

17 – The Leonid Meteor Shower peaks, seen best after midnight, though hampered by the bright Moon, while Orion rises through the evening.

20 – A very slender waxing Crescent Moon shines to the upper right of Saturn in the evening twilight.

Sun & Moon

The full moon will look the brightest on the night of November 3rd. Called the “Beaver” moon or “Full Frost” moon, it was aptly named for colonists and native Americans setting beaver traps and anticipating the first fall frosts.

Full “Beaver” Moon: Nov 4th

Last Quarter: Nov 10th

New Moon: Nov 18th
First Quarter: Nov 26th


Sunrise November 1      6:26 AM EDT

Sunset November 1       4:37 PM EDT

Standard Time resumes on the 5th

Length of Day    10h 11m


Sunrise November 30    7:04 AM EST

Sunset  November 30    4:10 PM EST

Length of Day   9h 6m


In the Lyman Spitzer, Jr. Planetarium weekends through December….

Mars – A Watery Past

The question of the existence of life beyond our planet has intrigued humankind since time immemorial. For many years, Mars has been the focus of the search for extraterrestrial life. Water, or more specifically liquid water, is vital to life on Earth.  Scientists have adopted a “follow the water” approach, seeking sites on Mars which show signs of a watery past or present.




Tags: astronomy, Fairbanks Museum, Mark Breen Skywatch