Friday, November 2, 2012

November 2012 Sky Events


Moon Phases

Tue., November 6, 7:36 p.m. EST

Last Quarter Moon

The last or third quarter moon rises around 11:45 p.m. and sets around 1:15 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Tue., November 13, 5:08 p.m. EST

New Moon

The moon is not visible on the date of new moon because it is too close to the sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after new moon.

Tue., November 20, 9:31 a.m. EST

First Quarter Moon

The first quarter moon rises around 1:00 p.m. and sets around 12:15 a.m. It dominates the evening sky

Wed., November 28, 9:46 a.m. EST

Full Moon

The full moon of November is called the beaver moon. In Algonquian it is called the “much white frost on grass” moon. Other names are frost moon, snow moon and hunter's moon. In Hindi it is known as kartik poornima. Its Sinhala (Buddhist) name is il. The full moon rises around sunset and sets around sunrise, the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.


Observing Highlights

Thu., November 1, 9 p.m.

Jupiter and the moon

The moon will pass just south of Jupiter soon after moonrise in the eastern sky.

Sun., November 11, 6 a.m.

Venus, Spica and the moon

About an hour before sunrise, The Moon joins the planet Venus and the bright star Spica in the morning sky.

Wed., November 14, morning

Total eclipse of the sun

The path of this eclipse crosses northern Queensland, Australia before heading out across the Pacific Ocean. It will be visible as a partial eclipse over all of Australia and New Zealand, as well as most of the southern Pacific Ocean and southwestern South America.

Sat., November 17, 3 a.m.

Leonid meteor shower peaks

The Leonid meteor shower has at times produced incredible storms of meteors. This year is not predicted to be anything out of the ordinary, but there’s always a chance of seeing a good number of meteors, especially this year since there will be no Moon in the sky after midnight when meteors are most frequent.

Tue., November 27, before sunrise

Venus and Saturn in conjunction

A close approach between Venus and Saturn provides a rare opportunity to see two planets in the same telescope field, as well as being a treat for the unaided eye. Venus will be far brighter than Saturn.

Wed., November 28, 9 p.m.

Jupiter and the moon

The moon will again pass just south of Jupiter soon after moonrise in the eastern sky.

Wed./Thu., November 28/29

Penumbral eclipse of the moon

This eclipse is best viewed in Asia, Australasia, and the northwestern Pacific Ocean. It will be at maximum near the middle of  the night, on the night which begins on the 28th and ends on the 29th. The moon will only be passing through the Earth’s penumbral shadow (outer circle), so will only be slightly shaded at maximum eclipse; you will need to look closely to see the shading.


Mercury is too close to the sun all month to be observed.

Venus is still a morning “star,” shining brightly before sunrise. It spends most of the month in Virgo, crossing into Libra on November 27.

Mars has faded into the west moving behind the sun. It moves from Ophiuchus into Sagittarius on November 12.

Jupiter is now in Taurus, close to Aldebaran and the Hyades. It rises about an hour after sunset, and is visible the rest of the night.

Saturn reappears from behind the sun in the morning sky around the middle of the month, just in time for a spectacular conjunction with Venus on November 27.

Uranus is visible most of the night in Pisces. It sets around 3 a.m.

Neptune remains in the depths of Aquarius all month, and sets around midnight.

Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2012 Starry Night Software