Column: What’s up for November

The moon passes three pretty star clusters, a close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, sparse meteorshowers and one comet

What’s up for November? The moon passes three pretty star clusters, a close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, sparse meteor showers and one comet.

Your binoculars will come in handy this month, to view the moon, star clusters and the close pairing of Venus and Jupiter.

You can’t miss bright Venus in the predawn sky. This month Venus pairs up with Jupiter on the morning of Nov. 13, as they did in 2015 and 2016 when the two planets appeared a little closer than this year.

You’ll have to be looking very low on the east-southeast horizon over Seattle early in the morning around 7 a.m., about 45 minutes before sunrise, but protect your eyes. Don’t aim your binoculars directly at the sun and don’t look at the approaching sunrise with your unaided eyes or binoculars or telescopes.

There are three meteor showers this month, but none will present high numbers of meteors at their peak.

The Leonids peak on a moonless Nov. 17. Expect no more than 10 meteors an hour around 3 a.m., the height of the shower.

The northern and southern sub-branches of the Taurid meteor shower offer sparse counts of about five meteors per hour, but slow, bright meteors are common.

The nearby November Orionids peak on Nov. 28. In contrast to the nearby Taurids, the Orionids are swift, but don’t expect more than three meteors per hour.

The moon glides by three beautiful star clusters in the morning sky this month and a pair of binoculars will allow you to see the individual stars in the clusters.

Aim your binocs at the Pleiades and moon on Nov. 5, Messier or M-35 cluster and the moon on Nov. 7 and the Beehive cluster and the moon on Nov. 10.

Meanwhile, at dusk, catch Saturn as it dips closer to the western horizon, over the Sooke Hills this month, and pairs up with Mercury on Nov. 24 through 28.

Comet ASASSN1, short for All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae, discovered only in July, came close to the sun in October, and should still be a binocular-friendly magnitude 7-8 greenish object in November. Use Polaris, the North Star as a guide. Look in the East to Northeast sky over Vancouver, in the late evening.

Hope you will explore this link timeanddate.com/astronomy/night/canada/victoria

which shows you the time each planet is Visible in the Night Sky in Oak bay, British Columbia, Canada.

Remember all planets walk from east to west during the night, just the same as the sun and moon, moving along an arc in the sky that we call “The Salish Walk of the Planets” – or the “ecliptic”.

All the rest of the stars and galaxies rotate around the North Star over #YYJ, the Victoria Airport.

As a last topic I’d like to encourage you to re-explore the Smartphone apps. Now in 2017 we have many great apps which instantly bring the night sky alive.

Check out this video, “Tom’s Guide” to see 15 of the best “space watching apps”

So if you have internet access with your phone from a place like Cattle Point Dark Sky Star Park, there is no better experience than exploring the night sky on a calm clear evening.

Try comparing the night sky (after your eyes have adjusted to the darkness) with the “visualization” of the stars, galaxies and constellations displayed on your Smartphone. For example you see a bright object over Vancouver then you point your phone towards it and the constellation image is named and re-displayed for you to compare with the wonder of the “real” sky.

It is brilliant to have this instant expert helping you name each object in the sky.

Should you wish to meet the RASCals of Cattle Point visit their page at facebook.com/groups/VictoriaRASCals/

Dark Skies to all friends of Cattle Point Star Park.

Summary by Bill Smith is from the transcript of “What’s Up in November 2017” by NASA announcer and astronomer Jane Houston Jones with specific permission for localization to Cattle Point Dark Sky Urban Star Park and the Oak Bay News.

You can subscribe to her weekly blog at solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/category/10things

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royal Athletic Park will not be a shelter site during COVID-19 crisis: Victoria mayor

Indoor sites to be coordinated with Island Health, BC Housing

BC Ferries further reduces sailings in response to COVID-19

Any sailing reservations cancelled due to schedule changes will be refunded

COVID-19: Saanich company joins nation-wide effort to produce 30,000 ventilators

StarFish Medical using a ‘purpose-driven design for rapid manufacturing,’ CEO says

Judge rejects pandemic as reason to grant bail to immunocompromised prisoner

Esquimalt man told there are more health risks for addicts on the street than there are in jail

Sidney senior welcomes outreach phone calls from charity

A long-time user of Sidney’s SHOAL Centre, praises Beacon Community Services

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

Most Read