November is the month of the Pleiades star cluster, which will shine all night long on November nights. Also look for the full Beaver Moon, Orion, 3 meteor showers, planetary lineups, and much more in the November night sky!
All events are Eastern Time, for the Northern Hemisphere:
November 4-5 — Try to spot a fireball from the Southern Taurids Meteor Shower. The Taurids are actually two annual meteor showers created by the dust left behind by the comet Encke (the second shower comes later in November, see below). They are named for constellation Taurus, where they are seen to emanate from in the sky. These showers are a weak, long-lasting meteor shower with no specifically defined peak, which produces up to 8 or 10 meteors per hour from the 4th through the 12th. Best viewing anywhere in the sky, from 1 – 3 a.m. local time.
November 4 —“Fall back!” Daylight Saving Time ends: Don’t forget to set your clocks back 1 hour at 2 a.m.
November 7 — New Moon at 11:02 a.m. At this stage, the Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight and is completely invisible to the naked eye.
November 12-14 — North Taurids Meteor Shower peak, with the best viewing, is from 12 – 2 a.m. local time; and good news— the sky will be nice and dark due to the tiny waning crescent Moon. Head somewhere dark, free of light pollution. The Taurids are actually two annual meteor showers created by the dust left behind from the comet Encke. They are named for constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky (near the Pleiades). But they can be spotted anywhere — simply look up!
November 15— First Quarter Moon, 9:54 a.m. In this phase, the Moon looks like a half-Moon in the sky. One-half of the Moon is illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing, on its way to full.
November 15— Look to the south in the evening to see the First Quarter Moon paired up with Mars.
November 17-18 — The Leonids Meteor Showers peak. Best viewing time is between midnight and 5:30 a.m. local time. This meteor shower, named for the constellation Leo, is typically one of the more exciting showers of the year, producing an average of 20-30 meteors per hour. The radiant for the Leonids is near Algieba, one of the stars of the “sickle” or “backward question mark” within Leo. This shower may be hindered by the glow of the bright waxing gibbous Moon.
November 23 — The full Beaver Moon at 12:39 a.m. In this phase, the visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Although 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. Actually, this Moon has two names. Learn about them in this short Farmers’ Almanac video:
November 26 —High overhead at around 8 p.m. this week is a star configuration that people unfamiliar with the sky often mistake for the Big Dipper. The bowl is composed of the four stars of the Great Square of Pegasus, the Flying Horse. The handle is composed of four bright stars belonging to the constellations Andromeda and Perseus.
November 29 — Last Quarter Moon, 7:19 p.m. In this phase, the Moon looks like a half-Moon in the sky. One-half of the Moon is illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing, on its way to the new phase.