Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of November, 2013:
November 3 — Daylight Saving Time ends. Turn clocks back 1 hour.
November 3— New Moon, 7:50 a.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.
November 3— Annular-Total Eclipse of the Sun. This is a rather unusual solar eclipse in that along its track, which runs more than 10,000 miles across the Earth’s surface, the eclipse will morph from annular to total then back to annular: known as a “hybrid eclipse.” Truth be told, along most of the track, the eclipse will appear total, with the very thin annulus, or ring, of sunlight being seen near the very beginning and again near the end of the track. The track of this eclipse begins in the Atlantic ocean, about 440 miles southeast of the Carolinas. So along North America’s Atlantic Coast, interested viewers (using proper viewing devices, such as pinhole projection or #14 welder’s glass) will only see the dark disk of the Moon exiting the Sun’s face at sunrise. The eclipse track will pass south of the Cape Verde Islands, then curve southeastward, parallel to the African coastline. Greatest eclipse, with 100 seconds of totality and a path width reaching a maximum of just 36 miles, occurs approximately 250 miles off the coast of liberia. the shadow track will then sweep across central Africa, passing over parts of Gabon, Congo, Zaire, Uganda and Kenya, before ending at sunset at the Ethiopia-Somalia border.
Partial Eclipse Begins: 5:05 a.m. – Central Eclipse Begins: 6:05 a.m. – Greatest Eclipse: 7:46 a.m. – Central Eclipse Ends: 9:28 a.m. – Partial Eclipse Ends: 10:28 a.m.
November 5 — Taurids meteor shower. Due to the dark New Moon, 2013 is predicted to be a favorable year for this lengthy shower, which peaks today and generally lasts from mid-October to early December.
November 6 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth).
November 10 — First Quarter Moon, 12:57 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.
November 17 — Leonids meteor shower. Due to the Full Moon, 2013 is not expected to be a favorable year for this often strong shower.
November 17 — Full Moon, 10:16 a.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days.
November 22 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point from the Earth).
November 25— Last Quarter Moon, 2:28 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.
November 28 — Comet ISON’s closest approach to the Sun. Some astronomers are predicting that this newly discovered comet will be the “comet of the century.”