Stargazing Delight: Planets, Meteor Showers and More this November

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We may not have seen the most brilliant leaves this fall with all the dry weather, but clear skies make for some great solar viewing. There is definitely no shortage of amazing sites overhead this November. We can take a tour through space from the red planet to the Leonids meteor showers.  Here’s some of the action hitting our skies this month:

November 5 – Go Red with Mars and the Moon.

The moon can be seen hanging out with the Red Planet just after sunset on the 5th and 6th.  Mars can be seen siting just to the left of the Moon on Saturday November 5th. By Sunday November 6th, look for the Moon to slide above Mars. Make sure you are looking to the southeast.

Moon and Mars

November 11 – Run with Bulls.

Not the best meteor shower of the year, but not one to turn your back on either.  The Taurid Meteor Shower has two separate streams and peaks at two different times. The “South Taurids” peak on Friday November 4th, and the “North Taurids” peak a week later on Friday November 11th.  The first quarter moon will set just after midnight leaving dark skies for best viewing. So the early bird does get the worm, or the fireball in this case.  Watchers could see between 5-10 meteors per hour.  Look for the Taurus Constellation in the southern skies.

Taurids Meteor

November 14 – It’s a bird.  It’s a plane.  It’s a Super Moon.

Supermoon number 2 of 3 this year will light up our skies on Monday night November 14th. This month’s full moon will be the largest and closest to Earth since 1948. It will be about 30,000 mile closer to earth than normal. It's known by early Native American tribes as the Full Beaver Moon since this was the best time to set the beaver traps before the lakes and rivers froze. It's has also been call a Frosty Moon and a Hunter's Moon. The next time it will happen is 2034, so don't miss it!

Super Moon


November 16 – RRRRRoar!

If you are prowling the late night or early morning hours of November 16th and 17th, you will want to check out the Leonid Meteor Showers.  Cast your eyes to the east to catch as many as 10-20 meteors an hour.  Breaking from the comet Tempel-Tuttle, these meteors appear to originate from the constellation Leo.


(Photo: Maps by Stellarium)

November 18 – Bzzz, bzzz, bzzz.

You’ll need binoculars to see this one.  Messier 44 aka the Beehive, lives a mere 610 light years away.  Start at the moon, and let your eye drift to the up and right.  That’s where you’ll see this cluster of stars numbering more than one thousand.


(Skychart by A. Fazekas, SkySafari)

November 21 – This isn’t your regular old star

No need for the binoculars here.  Just find the moon and hold up your thumb so you see the moon on the right side.  Not only will you be giving this star your approval, but you’ll find Regulus.   This bright star stems from the heart of the constellation, Leo.


(Skychart by A. Fazekas, SkySafari)

November 25 – Jumping Jupiter

You will want to set your clocks early for this one. About an hour before sunrise on November 25th the largest of all planets can be seen just above the moon. Take a look to the southeast for the thin crescent moon, and less than 2 degrees above that you will spot Jupiter.