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

Just Posted

Art takes a personal tone during the 110th anniversary of the Victoria Sketch Club

The 47th annual art show is taking place until March 24

How a scrawny kid from Oak Bay bulked into one of rugby sevens’ best

Doing it for Dylan, Oak Bay’s Connor Braid at the top of his game

Victoria BC Transit driver taken to hospital after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Royal Bay drama students help police train for emergency

Students helped train crisis negotiators by acting out scenarios

CRD’s 2019 financial plan includes 23 per cent increase for capital projects

Housing, health care and wastewater projects included in 2019 plan

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

Short list for new gnome home includes Parksville, Coombs

Five potential locations have been chosen by Howard’s owners who will decide Tuesday

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read