Dave Mitsky's Celestial Calendar for November 2018
All times are UT (subtract five hours after DST ends and, when appropriate, one calendar day)
11/1 The Curtiss Cross, an X-shaped illumination effect located between the craters Parry and Gambart, is predicted to be visible at 20:09
11/2 The Moon is 2.0 degrees north-northeast of the first-magnitude star Regulus (Alpha Leonis) at 20:00
11/3 The equation of time is at a maximum (16.48 minutes) for 2018 at 9:00
11/4 Daylight Saving Time ends today
11/5 Mercury is at its greatest latitude south of the ecliptic plane (-7.0 degrees) at 15:00
11/6 The Moon is 7.0 degrees north-northeast of the first-magnitude star Spica (Alpha Virginis) at 3:00; the Moon is 1.7 degrees south-southwest of the dwarf planet/asteroid 1 Ceres at 8:20; the Moon is 8.8 degrees north-northeast of Venus at 9:00; Mercury is at its greatest elongation east (23.0 degrees) at 15:00
11/7 New Moon (lunation 1186) occurs at 16:02
11/8 Asteroid 4 Vesta (magnitude +7.8) is 3.1 degrees south of Pluto (magnitude +14.3) at 1:49; the Moon is 3.7 degrees north-northeast of Jupiter at 19:00
11/9 Mercury (magnitude -1.0) is 1.8 degrees north of the first-magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) at 12:00; the Moon is 6.6 degrees north-northeast of Mercury at 14:00; the Moon is 8.4 degrees north-northeast of Antares at 15:00
11/11 The Moon is 1.4 degrees north of Saturn at 16:00
11/12 Mercury is at its greatest declination south (-24.8 degrees) at 13:00; the peak of the Northern Taurid meteor shower (5 to 10 per hour) is predicted to occur at 17:00; the Moon is 0.9 degree north of Pluto, with an occultation occurring in most of western Europe, the Azores, Iceland, southern Greenland, and northeastern North America, at 18:00
11/13 The Moon is at the descending node (longitude 299.2 degrees) at 14:07
11/14 Venus is stationary in right ascension, with direct (eastward) motion to resume, at 3:00; the Moon is at apogee, subtending 29' 33" from a distance of 404,339 kilometers (251,245 miles) at 15:56; Venus (magnitude -4.5) is 1.3 degrees east of Spica
11/15 The Lunar X (Purbach or Werner Cross), an X-shaped illumination effect involving various rims and ridges between the craters La Caille, Blanchinus, and Purbach, is predicted to occur at 8:51; sunrise takes place at the isolated lunar mountain Mons Pico at 11:13; First Quarter Moon occurs at 14:54
11/16 Sunrise takes place at the isolated lunar mountain Mons Piton at 2:07; the waxing gibbous Moon is 1.0 degree south of Mars, with an occultation occurring in southern South America, the Falkland Islands, and most of Antarctica, at 4:00; asteroid 3 Juno is closest to the Earth (1.063 a.u.) at 8:00; Venus is stationary in longitude at 11:00
11/17 Mercury is stationary in longitude at 1:00; Mercury is stationary in right ascension, with retrograde (westward) motion to begin, at 5:00; the Moon is 2.6 degrees south-southeast of Neptune at 8:00; asteroid 3 Juno (magnitude +7.4) is at opposition at 22:00
11/18 The peak of the Leonid meteor shower (15 to 20 per hour) is predicted to occur at 0:00
11/20 The Moon is 4.5 degrees south-southeast of Uranus at 23:00
11/22 Mercury (magnitude +2.0) is 4.0 degrees north-northeast of the first-magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) at 4:00; Venus is at the ascending node through the ecliptic plane at 20:00
11/23 The Moon is 8.4 degrees south-southeast of the bright open cluster M45 (the Pleiades or Subaru) in Taurus at 5:00; Full Moon, known as the Beaver or Frost Moon, occurs at 5:39; asteroid 3 Juno (magnitude +7.5) is at perihelion (1.9833 a.u. from the Sun) at 11:00; the Sun enters Scorpius (longitude 241.14 degrees on the ecliptic) at 12:00; the Moon is 1.7 degrees north of the first-magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) at 21:00
11/24 Jupiter is farthest from the Earth (6.347 a.u.) at 4:00; Mercury is at the ascending node through the ecliptic plane at 17:00; Neptune is stationary in longitude at 23:00
11/25 Neptune is stationary in right ascension, with direct (eastward) motion to resume, at 6:00; the Moon is 3.1 degrees south of the bright open cluster M35 in Gemini at 11:00
11/26 Jupiter is in conjunction with the Sun at 7:00; the Moon is at perigee subtending 32' 35" from a distance of 366,620 kilometers (227,807 miles), at 12:12; the Moon is 10.7 degrees south of Castor (Alpha Geminorum) at 18:00; the Moon is 7.1 degrees south of Pollux (Beta Geminorum) at 23:00
11/27 The Moon is at the ascending node (longitude 118.0 degrees) at 5:17; Mercury is in inferior conjunction with the Sun (0.678 a.u. from the Earth and 0.91 degree north of the Sun) at 9:00; Mercury is 0.42 degree north-northeast of Jupiter at 21:00; the Moon is 0.45 degree south of the bright open cluster M44 (the Beehive Cluster or Praesepe) in Cancer at 22:00
11/29 Mercury is at perihelion (0.3075 a.u. from the Sun) at 9:00; the Moon is 2.3 degrees north-northeast of Regulus at 11:00
11/30 Last Quarter Moon occurs at 0:19; Venus is at its brightest (magnitude -4.7) at 2:00; the Sun enters Ophiuchus (longitude 248.03 degrees on the ecliptic) at 7:00
Edmund Halley, William Herschel, Harlow Shapley, and Edwin Hubble were born this month.
Copernicus observes a lunar eclipse on November 5, 1500. Wolfgang Schuler independently discovers Tycho’s Supernova on November 6, 1572. Cornelius Gemma independently discovers Tycho’s Supernova on November 9, 1572. Tycho Brahe observes Tycho’s Supernova on November 11, 1572. Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc makes the first telescopic observations of M42 (the Orion Nebula) on November 26, 1610. Jan de Munck discovers Comet C/1743 X1 (the Great Comet of 1744) on November 29, 1743. Captain James Cook observes a transit of Mercury from New Zealand on November 9, 1769. William Herschel discovers the ring galaxy NGC 922 on November 17, 1784. E.E. Barnard discovers the emission nebula NGC 281 (the Pacman Nebula) on November 16, 1881. The first photograph of a meteor was taken on November 26, 1885. The minor planet/comet 2060 Chiron or 95P/Chiron was discovered by Charles Kowal on November 1, 1977.
The peaks of the Southern and Northern Taurid meteor showers take place on November 5th and November 12th respectively. These streams form part of the complex associated with Comet 2P/Encke. Moonlight compromises the peaks of these two minor meteor showers. The Leonid meteor shower occurs on the night of November 17th/18th. Since the waxing gibbous Moon sets prior to 2:00 a.m. local time, there will be over three hours of uncompromised observing time for this year’s Leonids. Leonid meteors are debris from the periodic comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. Due to their high speed (71 kilometers or 44 miles per second), the fastest of any meteor shower, the Leonids produce more fireballs than most showers.
Information on Iridium flares and passes of the ISS, the Tiangong-2, the X-37B, the HST, and other satellites can be found at http://www.heavens-above.com/
The Moon is 22.7 days old, is 48.4% illuminated, subtends 31.8 arc minutes, and resides in Cancer on November 1st at 0:00 UT. November 2018’s synodic month is 29 days 15 hours 18 minutes in length. The Moon reaches its greatest northern declination on November 26th (+21.5 degrees) and its greatest southern declination on November 12th (-21.4 degrees). Longitudinal libration is at a maximum of +5.3 degrees on November 8th and a minimum of -5.5 degrees on November 21st. Latitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.6 degrees on November 21st and a minimum of -6.5 degrees on November 6th. New Moon occurs on November 7th. The Moon is at apogee (a distance of 63.40 Earth-radii) on November 14th and at perigee (a distance of 57.48 Earth-radii) on November 26. The waxing Moon occults Pluto on November 12th and Mars on November 16th. The 97%-illuminated waning gibbous Moon occults Xi1 Orionis (magnitude +4.4) on the evening and night of November 24 for observers in North America. Consulthttp://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/iotandx.htm for information on lunar occultations taking place this month. Visit http://saberdoesthestars.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/saber-does-the-stars/ for tips on spotting extreme crescent Moons and http://www.curtrenz.com/moon06.html for Full Moon data. Times and dates for the lunar light rays predicted to occur this month are available at http://www.lunar-occultations.com/rlo/rays/rays.htm
The Sun is located in Libra on November 1 at 0:00 UT. It moves into Scorpius on November 23rd and Ophiuchus on November 30th.
Brightness, apparent size, illumination, distance from the Earth in astronomical units, and location data for the planets and Pluto on November 1: Mercury (-0.2, 6.0", 74% illuminated, 1.12 a.u., Scorpius), Venus (magnitude -4.2, 60.6", 1% illuminated, 0.28 a.u., Virgo), Mars (magnitude -0.6, 11.9", 86% illuminated, 0.79 a.u., Capricornus), Jupiter (magnitude -1.7, 31.3", 100% illuminated, 6.29 a.u., Libra), Saturn (magnitude +0.6, 15.7", 100% illuminated, 10.58 a.u., Sagittarius), Uranus (magnitude +5.7, 3.7", 100% illuminated, 18.96 a.u. on November 16th, Aries), Neptune (magnitude +7.9, 2.3", 100% illuminated, 29.58 a.u. on November 16th, Aquarius), and Pluto (magnitude +14.3, 0.1", 100% illuminated, 34.23 a.u. on November 16th, Sagittarius).
During the evening, Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the southwest, Mars is in the south, Uranus is in the east, and Neptune is in the southeast. Uranus lies in the southwest and Neptune in the west at midnight. Venus is located in the southeast in the morning sky.
Mercury is poorly positioned in the evening sky for northern observers this month. The speediest planet is at its greatest heliocentric latitude south on November 5th and is at greatest eastern elongation on November 6th. It is passes less than two degrees north of Antares on November 9th. Mercury is stationary on November 17th and is at the ascending node on November 24th. It’s in inferior conjunction on November 27th and is at perihelion on November 30th.
Venus subtends almost 61 arc seconds and is illuminated just 1% on November 1st. By November 30th, its angular size has decreased to 41 arc seconds and its illumination has increased to 25%. Venus is stationary in right ascension on November 14th. It passes 1.3 degrees east of Spica on that date. The brightest planet becomes the morning star once again during the second half of November. By November 30th, Venus rises more than three hours before the Sun.
A gibbous Mars shrinks in apparent size from 11.9 to 9.3 arc seconds and dims from magnitude -0.6 to magnitude -0.1 this month. It sets around 1:00 a.m. local time in early November. Mars is positioned within one degree of the third-magnitude star Delta Capricorni from November 3rd to November 5th and passes 0.6 degree north of that star on November 5th. It enters Aquarius on November 11th. The First Quarter Moon passes one degree south of the Red Planet on the night of November 15th. Mars is positioned 2.5 degrees southwest of the fourth-magnitude star Lambda Aquarii on November 30th. The prominent Martian surface features Syrtis Major and the Hellas basin are well-positioned near the planet’s central meridian during the first few evenings of the month.
Jupiter is just four degrees in altitude one half hour before sunset on November 1st. It vanishes into the glare of the Sun during the second week of November. The gas giant is farthest from the Earth on November 24th and is in conjunction with the Sun on November 26th.
Saturn lies low in the southwest and sets just two hours after the Sun by the end of the month. The Ringed Planet is located four degrees east of M8 (the Lagoon Nebula) and M20 (the Trifid Nebula) in early November. It lies 3.6 degrees south of the bright open cluster M25 and 1.5 degrees northwest of the bright globular cluster M22 on November 30th. The four-day-old waxing crescent Moon is about eight degrees from Saturn at dusk on November 10th. It passes 1.4 degrees north of Saturn on November 11th. Saturn’s rings span 36 arc seconds and are inclined by 26.4 degrees this month. For information on the positions of Saturn’s major satellites, browse http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/interactive-sky-watching-tools/
Uranus can be found in southwestern Aries some 2.4 degrees northeast of the fourth-magnitude star Omicron Piscium on November 1st and 1.6 degrees north-northeast of that star on November 30th. It passes just 14 arc minutes south of the sixth-magnitude star SAO 92659 on November 9th. The waxing gibbous Moon passes 4.5 degrees south-southeast of Uranus on November 20th. Browse http://www.bluewaterastronomy.info/resources/planets-charts-2018/09uranus_2018_1.pdf for a finder chart.
Neptune attains its highest altitude about two hours after the end of astronomical twilight this month. The ice giant planet is positioned 2.1 degrees east of the fourth-magnitude star Lambda Aquarii and 0.3 degree south-southwest of the sixth-magnitude star 81 Aquarii on November 1st. The waxing gibbous Moon passes 2.6 degrees south-southeast of Neptune on November 17th. Neptune is at its second stationary point and resumes direct (eastward) motion on November 25th. On that date, Neptune is 0.1 degree closer to Lambda Aquarii. A finder chart is posted http://www.bluewaterastronomy.info/resources/planets-charts-2018/10neptune_2018_1.pdf
Additional online finder charts for Uranus and Neptune can be found at http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/uranus.htm and http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/neptune.htm and also at https://www.skyandtelescope.com/wp-content/uploads/WEB_UrNep18.pdf and on pages 48 and 49 of the September 2018 issue of Sky & Telescope.
Pluto lies too close to the horizon to be observed this month.
For more on the planets and how to locate them, see http://www.nakedeyeplanets.com/
Asteroid 3 Juno makes its closest approach to Earth, the closest one in the period of 1980 to 2060, on November 16th and shines at magnitude +7.4 when it reaches opposition on November 17th. It lies just to the east of 35 Eridani (magnitude +5.3) on November 5th and approximately one degree to the southeast of 32 Eridani (magnitude +4.5) on November 16th. A finder chart can be found on page 49 of the November 2018 issue of Sky & Telescope. Asteroid 12 Victoria (magnitude +10.7) is at opposition on November 22nd. For information on this year’s bright asteroids and upcoming asteroid occultation events respectively, consult http://www.curtrenz.com/asteroids and http://asteroidoccultation.com/
Comet 64P/Swift-Gehrels could peak at a brightness of about tenth magnitude as it passes southeastward through Andromeda during November. The periodic comet is located about one degree north of the second-magnitude star Beta Andromedae (Mirach) on November 14th. Comet 46P/Wirtanen heads northeastward through Fornax and southeastern Cetus in the latter part of November. It may brighten to binocular visibility at that time. A finder chart appears on page 50 of the November 2018 issue of Sky & Telescope. For additional information on comets visible this month, browse http://cometchasing.skyhound.com/ and http://www.aerith.net/comet/future-n.html
A wealth of current information on solar system celestial bodies is posted at http://nineplanets.org/ and http://www.curtrenz.com/astronomy.html
Various events taking place within our solar system are discussed at http://www.bluewaterastronomy.info/styled-4/index.html
Information on the celestial events transpiring each week can be found at http://astronomy.com/skythisweek and http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/sky-at-a-glance/
Two stars with exoplanetary systems, Upsilon Andromedae (magnitude +4.1) and 51 Andromedae (magnitude +5.5), can be seen this month without optical aid.
The famous eclipsing variable star Algol (Beta Persei) is at a minimum, decreasing in brightness from magnitude +2.1 to magnitude +3.4, on November 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 27th, and 30th. Algol is at minimum brightness for observers in North America for about two hours centered at 8:10 p.m. EST on November 12th and at 1:04 a.m. EST on November 30th. Consult http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/interactive-sky-watching-tools/ and page 51 of the November 2018 issue of Sky & Telescope for the eclipse times. For more on Algol, see http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/Algol.html and http://www.solstation.com/stars2/algol3.htm
Free star charts for the month can be downloaded at http://www.skymaps.com/downloads.html and https://www.telescope.com/content.jsp?pageName=Monthly-Star-Chart and http://whatsouttonight.com/
Data on current supernovae can be found at http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/snimages/
Finder charts for the Messier objects and other deep-sky objects are posted at https://freestarcharts.com/messier and https://freestarcharts.com/ngc-ic and http://www.cambridge.org/features/turnleft/seasonal_skies_july-september.htm
Telrad finder charts for the Messier Catalog and the SAC’s 110 Best of the NGC are posted at http://www.astro-tom.com/messier/messier_finder_charts/map1.pdf and http://sao64.free.fr/observations/catalogues/cataloguesac.pdf respectively.
Information pertaining to observing some of the more prominent Messier galaxies can be found at http://www.cloudynights.com/topic/358295-how-to-locate-some-of-the-major-messier-galaxies-and-helpful-advice-for-novice-amateur-astronomers/
Author Phil Harrington offers an excellent freeware planetarium program for binocular observers known as TUBA (Touring the Universe through Binoculars Atlas), which also includes information on purchasing binoculars, at http://www.philharrington.net/tuba.htm
Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel are useful freeware planetarium programs that are available at http://stellarium.org/ and https://www.ap-i.net/skychart/en/start
Deep-sky object list generators can be found at http://www.virtualcolony.com/sac/ and http://tonightssky.com/MainPage.php and https://dso-browser.com/
Freeware sky atlases can be downloaded at http://www.deepskywatch.com/files/deepsky-atlas/Deep-Sky-Hunter-atlas-full.pdf and http://astro.mxd120.com/free-star-atlases
Seventy binary and multiple stars for November: Otto Struve 514, Alpha Andromedae (Alpheratz), Struve 3, h1947, Struve 19, Struve 24, 26 Andromedae, Struve 40, Pi Andromedae, Delta Andromedae, Struve 47, Eta Andromedae, Struve 79, Beta Andromedae (Mirach), Struve 108, Struve 179, South 404 (Andromeda); 1 Arietis, Struve 178, Gamma Arietis, Lambda Arietis (Mesarthim) (Aries); Struve 3053, Struve 3057, Struve 16, Struve 30, Otto Struve 16, Alpha Cassiopeiae (Schedar), Struve 59, Eta Cassiopeiae, Burnham 1, Struve 70, Otto Struve 23, h1088, Struve 163, Struve 170, Struve 182 (Cassiopeia); 34 Piscium, Struve 8, 35 Piscium, Struve 15, 38 Piscium, 42 Piscium, 49 Piscium, 51 Piscium, 55 Piscium, 65 Piscium, Psi Piscium, Otto Struve 22, Struve 98, Otto Struve 26, Phi Piscium, Zeta Piscium, h636, Otto Struve 30, Struve 122, Struve 132, Otto Struve 31, 100 Piscium, Struve 145, 107 Piscium, h644 (Pisces); h5440, Kappa-1 Sculptoris, h1949, h3442, h3379, Tau Sculptoris, Epsilon Sculptoris (Sculptor); Struve 143, Struve 183 (Triangulum)
Notable carbon star for November: Z Piscium
Seventy deep-sky objects for November: M31, M32, M110, NGC 252, NGC 404, NGC 752 (Andromeda); NGC 680, NGC 691, NGC 697, NGC 772 (Aries); Cr 463, IC 1747, K14, M103, NGC 129, NGC 133, NGC 146, NGC 185, NGC 225, NGC 281, NGC 278, NGC 381, NGC 436, NGC 457, NGC 559, NGC 637, NGC 654, NGC 659, NGC 663, Tr 1 (Cassiopeia); NGC 40, NGC 188 (Cepheus); NGC 151, NGC 175, NGC 178, NGC 210, NGC 227, NGC 245, NGC 246, NGC 247, NGC 274, NGC 337, NGC 578, NGC 584, NGC 596, NGC 615, NGC 636, NGC 681, NGC 720, NGC 779 (Cetus); NGC 7814 (Pegasus); M76, St 4 (Perseus); M74, NGC 128, NGC 194, NGC 488, NGC 524 (Pisces); NGC 24, NGC 55, NGC 134, NGC 150, NGC 253, NGC 254, NGC 288, NGC 289, NGC 439, NGC 613 (Sculptor); M33, NGC 672 (Triangulum)
Top ten binocular deep-sky objects for November: M31, M33, M103, NGC 225, NGC 288, NGC 253, NGC 457, NGC 654, NGC 663, NGC 752
Top ten deep-sky objects for November: M31, M32, M33, M76, M103, M110, NGC 40, NGC 253, NGC 457, NGC 752
Challenge deep-sky object for November: IC 59 (Cassiopeia)
The objects listed above are located between 0:00 and 2:00 hours of right ascension.