This month sees the familiar and brilliant constellation of Orion the Hunter appear in the sky just before midnight. Taurus the Bull with the bright red star Aldebaran and the star cluster the Pleiades or ‘Seven Sisters are now becoming more conspicuous. This is the best time to look for the autumn constellations during the evening; the Plough is low in the north and the ‘W’ of Cassiopeia overhead. The summer triangle stars Altair, Deneb and Vega are now becoming low in the west.
If you look to the south the Square of Pegasus is very prominent; a line drawn from the top left hand star of the square shows a line of stars that form the constellation of Andromeda. Below Andromeda is one of the few constellations that look like the figure they are supposed to describe; Triangulum the Triangle. Using the two right hand stars of the Square of Pegasus draw a line down for some distance to find Fomalhaut, the brightest star in the constellation of Piscis Austrinus (the Southern Fish).
The main planets are only on view in the mornings this month. On the first few mornings of the month there will be a lovely tableau of brilliant Venus passing very close to Mars with Jupiter to the upper right. Jupiter will be rising earlier as the month progresses, and it will be just after midnight by months end, shining at magnitude –1.7 in the constellation of Leo. Venus is going the other way rising at 3.30am by the months end. With a strong magnitude of –4.2, she will be close to the star Spica in the constellation of Virgo as we move towards December. Mars remains in Virgo between Venus and Jupiter throughout the month. Rising around 2.30am at magnitude +1.6
There are two meteor showers this month. The Taurid meteor shower consists of slow moving meteors that often produce spectacular fireballs and is visible from November 5th-12th. On November 17th the Leonid meteors will be on display. Every 33 years the Leonids produce spectacular displays, but this is just an ordinary year.
Phases of the Moon for November, will be: Last Quarter 3rd, New Moon 11th, First Quarter 19th and a full moon on the 25th.