Take advantage of the moonless nights later this month to observe the most distant objects visible with the unaided eye. Anywhere away from the glare of streetlights, you will see the misty blur of the great Andromeda Galaxy, the nearest large galaxy to us at 2.5 million light years away. Another challenge is to try and find the fainter Triangulum Galaxy. The light we see from this galaxy left it almost three million years ago
November is the first month of long nights and we are starting to see the familiar winter constellations. Orion the Hunter appears in the sky just before midnight. Just to the right of Orion is Taurus the Bull with the bright red star Aldebaran and the star cluster the Pleiades or ‘Seven Sisters. They too 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 planet Venus is brilliant in the south east after 6am. As the morning star slips down into the dawn glow, it passes very close to Jupiter on the 13th of this month.
Saturn but it will be sinking below the horizon around 6pm.
Mars can be found in Virgo, rising at 3.30am.
Mercury at magnitude -0.2 will appear below Saturn, during the last few mornings of this month.
Neptune: well you will need a telescope to see this distant planet in the constellation of Aquarius. It sets around half past midnight.
Uranus drops below the horizon around 4.30am and is in the constellation of Pisces.
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 16 to the 17th the Leonid meteors will be on display. Every 33 years the Leonids produce spectacular displays, It promise to be a good year, as moonlight won’t interfere.
Phases of the Moon for November, will be:
Full Moon 4th
Last Quarter 10th
New moon on the 18th
First Quarter 26th