November 2020 Celestial Calendar

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Dave Mitsky
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November 2020 Celestial Calendar

Post by Dave Mitsky »

November Celestial Calendar by Dave Mitsky

All times are UT (subtract five hours after DST ends and, when appropriate, one calendar day)

11/1 Daylight Saving Time (DST) ends today; asteroid 8 Flora (magnitude +8.1) is at opposition in the constellation of Cetus at 6:00; Mercury is 4.0 degrees northeast of the first-magnitude star Spica (Alpha Virginis) at 20:00
11/2 Mercury is at perihelion (0.3075 astronomical units from the Sun) at 3:00; the Moon is 5.8 degrees southeast of the bright open cluster M45 (the Pleiades or Subaru) in Taurus at 12:00; Jupiter and Saturn are at heliocentric conjunction (longitude 301.8 degrees) at 19:00; the equation of time is at a maximum of 16.49 minutes at 21:00
11/3 The Moon is 4.5 degrees north of the first-magnitude star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) at 6:00; Mercury is stationary, with prograde (direct) or eastern motion to resume, at 8:00
11/4 The Moon is at the ascending node (longitude 80.3 degrees) at 3:00; the Moon is 7.5 degrees south of the first-magnitude star Castor (Alpha Geminorum) at 15:00
11/5 The Moon is 0.2 degrees north of the bright open cluster M35 in Gemini at 2:00; the peak of the Southern Taurid meteor shower (a zenithal hourly rate of 10 per hour) is predicted to occur at 6:00
11/6 The Moon is 3.8 degrees south of the first-magnitude star Pollux (Beta Geminorum) at 20:00
11/7 The Moon is 2.5 degrees north-northeast of the bright open cluster M44 (the Beehive Cluster or Praesepe) in Cancer at 22:00
11/8 Asteroid 3 Juno is in conjunction with the Sun at 9:00; Last Quarter Moon occurs at 13:46
11/9 The Curtiss Cross, an X-shaped illumination effect located between the craters Parry and Gambart, is predicted to be visible at 2:21; the Moon is 4.4 degrees north-northeast of the first-magnitude star Regulus (Alpha Leonis) at 14:00
11/10 Mercury is at greatest western elongation (19.1 degrees) at 17:00
11/12 The peak of the Northern Taurid meteor shower (a zenithal hourly rate of 15 per hour) is predicted to occur at 5:00; Mercury is at its northernmost latitude from the ecliptic plane (7.0 degrees) at 8:00
11/13 Mars and Uranus are at heliocentric conjunction (longitude 38.8 degrees) at 0:00; the Moon is 2.8 degrees north-northeast of Venus at 1:00; the Moon is 6.4 degrees north-northeast of Spica at 8:00; the Moon is 1.6 degrees northeast of Mercury at 23:00
11/14 The Moon is at perigee, subtending 33' 23" from a distance of 357,837 kilometers (222,350 miles), at 11:43
11/15 New Moon (lunation 1211) occurs at 5:07; Mars is stationary at 19:00
11/16 The Moon is 5.5 degrees north-northeast of the first-magnitude star Antares (Alpha Scorpii) at 9:00; Venus is 3.8 degrees north-northeast of Spica at 20:00
11/17 The Moon is at the descending node (longitude 260.1 degrees) at 0:00; the peak of the Leonid meteor shower (a zenithal hourly rate of 15 per hour) is predicted to occur at 12:00
11/19 The Moon is 2.5 degrees southeast of Jupiter at 10:00; the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn lie within a circle with a diameter of 3.8 degrees at 13:00; the Moon is 2.8 degrees southeast of Saturn at 16:00
11/21 Venus is at its northernmost latitude from the ecliptic plane (3.4 degrees) at 10:00; the Moon is at a maximum libration for the year (9.4 degrees) at 20:00; the Sun is at an ecliptic longitude of 240 degrees at 21:00
11/22 First Quarter Moon occurs at 4:45; the Lunar X (Purbach or Werner Cross), an X-shaped clair-obscur illumination effect involving various rims and ridges between the craters La Caille, Blanchinus, and Purbach, is predicted to occur at 14:54
11/23 The Sun enters the constellation of Scorpius (ecliptic longitude 241.1 degrees) at 0:00; the Moon is 4.2 degrees southeast of Neptune at 16:00
11/26 The Moon is 4.5 degrees southeast of Mars at 1:00
11/27 The Moon is at apogee, subtending 29' 26" from a distance of 405,894 kilometers (252,211 miles)
at 0:29; the Moon 3.1 degrees southeast of Uranus at 20:00
11/28 The Moon is 5.8 degrees southeast of M45 at 19:00; the Sun enters the constellation of Ophiuchus (ecliptic longitude 248.1 degrees) at 20:00
11/29 Neptune is stationary, with prograde or eastern motion to resume, at 9:00
11/30 A penumbral eclipse of the Moon begins at 7:32; Full Moon, known as the Beaver or Frost Moon, occurs at 9:30; the Moon is 4.5 degrees north of Aldebaran at 12:00

Edmund Halley, William Herschel, Harlow Shapley, and Edwin Hubble were born this month.

Copernicus observes a lunar eclipse on November 5, 1500. Wolfgang Schuler independently discovers Tycho’s Supernova on November 6, 1572. Cornelius Gemma independently discovers Tycho’s Supernova on November 9, 1572. Tycho Brahe observes Tycho’s Supernova on November 11, 1572. SN 1604 (Kepler’s Supernova) becomes visible to the unaided eye on October 9, 1604. Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc makes the first telescopic observations of M42 (the Orion Nebula) on November 26, 1610. Jan de Munck discovers Comet C/1743 X1 (the Great Comet of 1744) on November 29, 1743. Captain James Cook observes a transit of Mercury from New Zealand on November 9, 1769. William Herschel discovers the ring galaxy NGC 922 on November 17, 1784. E.E. Barnard discovers the emission nebula NGC 281 (the Pacman Nebula) on November 16, 1881. The first photograph of a meteor was taken on November 26, 1885. The minor planet/comet 2060 Chiron or 95P/Chiron was discovered by Charles Kowal on November 1, 1977.

The peaks of the Southern and Northern Taurid meteor showers take place on November 6th and November 12th respectively but will be severely compromised by bright moonlight. These streams form part of the complex associated with Comet 2P/Encke. The Leonid meteor shower occurs on the night of November 17th/18th. Leonid meteors are debris from the periodic comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, which last reached perihelion in 1998. Due to their high speed (71 kilometers or 44 miles per second), the fastest of any meteor shower, the Leonids produce more fireballs than most showers. Browse for information on the 2020 Leonids. An article on the Northern and Southern Taurids and the Leonids can be found on page 50 of the November 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope. The minor Alpha Monocerotid and November Orionid meteor showers occur on November 21st and November 28th respectively. See ... s-in-2020/ for information on 2020’s better meteor showers.

Information on passes of the ISS, the X-37B, the HST, Starlink, and other satellites can be found at

The Moon is 15.0 days old, is 100.0% illuminated, subtends 29.7 arc minutes, and resides in Aries on November 1st at 0:00 UT. The Moon reaches its greatest northern declination on November 6th (+24.8 degrees) and its greatest southern declination on November 18th (-24.7 degrees). Longitudinal libration is at a maximum of +7.5 degrees on November 20th and a minimum of -7.4 degrees on November 8th. Latitudinal libration is at a maximum of +6.8 degrees on November 24th and a minimum of -6.7 degrees on November 11th. Favorable librations for the following lunar features occur on the indicated dates: Lacus Veris on November 5th, Crater Shaler on November 8th, Crater Schickard on November 11th, and Crater Vestime on November 21st. The Moon is at perigee (a distance of 56.11 Earth-radii) on November 14th and at apogee (a distance of 63.64 Earth-radii) on November 27th. New Moon occurs on November 15th. Large tides will take place for several days thereafter. The fourth lunar eclipse of the year, the 58th of Saros 116, occurs on November 30th. This penumbral eclipse will be fully visible from northwestern Europe, the North Atlantic Ocean, most of North America, Central America, the Pacific Ocean, and parts of Asia. Greatest eclipse occurs near the Hawaiian Islands at 9:42:52 UT1. See page 48 of the November 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope and for additional information on the eclipse. Consult for information on lunar occultation events. Visit ... the-stars/ for tips on spotting extreme crescent Moons and for Full Moon data. Consult or download for current information on the Moon. Visit ... NWK1OLMxYk for a list of lunar maria and ... sof8HUNAKI for a simple map of the Moon showing the most prominent maria. See for a lunar phase and libration calculator and ... fI0yq8iioA for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) Quickmap. Click on for a lunar phase calendar for this month. Times and dates for the lunar crater light rays predicted to occur this month are available at

The Sun is located in Libra on November 1st at 0:00 UT. It moves into Scorpius on November 23rd and Ophiuchus on November 28th.

Brightness, apparent size, illumination, distance from the Earth in astronomical units, and location data for the planets and Pluto on November 1st: Mercury (magnitude +1.6, 9.0”, 14% illuminated, 0.75 a.u., Virgo), Venus (magnitude -4.0, 13.1", 81% illuminated, 1.27 a.u., Virgo), Mars (magnitude -2.1, 20.1", 98% illuminated, 0.47 a.u., Pisces), Jupiter (magnitude -2.2, 37.0", 99% illuminated, 5.33 a.u., Sagittarius), Saturn (magnitude +0.6, 16.3", 100% illuminated, 10.17 a.u., Sagittarius), Uranus (magnitude +5.7, 3.7", 100% illuminated, 18.83 a.u. on November 16th, Aries), Neptune (magnitude +7.9, 2.3", 100% illuminated, 29.51 a.u. on November 16th, Aquarius), and Pluto (magnitude +14.3, 0.1", 100% illuminated, 34.42 a.u. on November 16th, Sagittarius).

During the evening, Mars and Uranus are in the east, Jupiter and Saturn in the south, and Neptune in the southeast. Mars and Uranus lie in the southwest and Neptune in the west at midnight. Mercury and Venus are located in the east and Uranus in the west the morning sky.

A very thin crescent Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Spica form a trapezoid in the east-southeast on the morning of November 13th.

Mercury is visible in the eastern morning sky for the entire month. Northern hemisphere observers are favored. It brightens from magnitude +1.6 to magnitude -0.7 during November. The speediest planet increases in illumination from 14%, when it will appear as a tiny crescent, to 95%, while shrinking in apparent size from 9.0 to 5.0 arc seconds. Mercury shines at magnitude -0.6 when it attains greatest western elongation on November 10th and is at its greatest heliocentric latitude north on November 12th. The waning crescent Moon passes two degrees north of Mercury on November 13th. Mercury will rise almost an hour before the Sun as November ends.

Venus does not change much in brightness or angular size during November. The brightest planet lies just 20 arc minutes from the fourth-magnitude star Zaniah (Eta Virginis) on November 1st. The waxing crescent Moon passes three degrees north of Venus on November 15th.

As the Earth pulls away from the Mars, it fades from magnitude -2.1 to magnitude -1.1, decreases in angular size from 20.1 to 14.8 arc seconds, and changes in phase from 98% to 92% illumination. Mars continues to retrograde until it reaches its second stationary point on November 15th. The waxing gibbous Moon passes five degrees south of the Red Planet on November 25th. The next time that Mars will achieve an apparent diameter greater than 20.0 arc seconds will be in 2033. Articles on Mars appear on pages 44 to 47 of the October issue of Astronomy and pages 48 to 50 of the October 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope. See for more on the 2020-2021 Martian perihelic apparition. Click on ... s-visible/ in order to determine what Martian surface features are visible.

Jupiter dims from magnitude -2.2 to magnitude -2.0 and shrinks in angular size from 37.0 to 34.5 arc seconds over the course of November. The gap between Jupiter and Saturn decreases from 5.1 degrees to 2.3 degrees this month as the two gas giants head for a historic conjunction next month. The waxing crescent Moon passes two degrees south of Jupiter on November 19th. Information on Great Red Spot transit times and Galilean satellite events is available on pages 50 and 51 of the November 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope and online at ... ing-tools/ and

At midmonth, Saturn's globe subtends 16 arc seconds and its rings are inclined by 22 degrees. The waxing crescent Moon passes three degrees south of Saturn on November 19th. Eighth-magnitude Titan is due north of Saturn on November 3rd and November 20th and due south of the planet on November 11th and November 27th. Iapetus shines at magnitude +10.2 when it reaches greatest western elongation eight arc minutes due west of Saturn on November 4th. The peculiar satellite dims to almost eleventh magnitude on November 25th when it is at superior conjunction. For information on the positions of Saturn’s major satellites, browse ... hing-tools

On November 1st, Uranus is located three degrees southeast of the variable carbon star TX Piscium (19 Piscium). The ice giant is just one day past opposition on that date and is visible for the entire night. The gap decreases to 2.5 degrees by the end of the month. As Phil Harrington describes in the article appearing at ... anus-r3263, Uranus can be seen without optical aid from a dark site. The waxing gibbous Moon passes three degrees south of Neptune on November 27th. Visit for a finder chart.

Neptune is positioned less than one degree from the fourth-magnitude star Phi Aquarii in eastern Aquarius for the entire month. By November 29th, Neptune has moved to its stationary point just 44 arc minutes east-northeast of the star. The waxing gibbous Moon passes five degrees south of Neptune on November 23rd. Browse for a finder chart.

Finder charts for Uranus and Neptune are also available at ... Finder.pdf and an article on observing the ice giants is posted at ... nd-uranus/

The faint dwarf planet Pluto lies just 41 arc minutes south of Jupiter in northeastern Sagittarius on November 12th. Finder charts for Pluto can be found at pages 48 and 49 of the July 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope and on page 243 of the RASC Observer’s Handbook 2020.

For more on the planets and how to locate them, see

Comet 88P/Howell shines at ninth magnitude as it heads eastward through Sagittarius during November. It passes just south of the second-magnitude star Nunki (Sigma Sagittarii) on November 1st and north of the globular cluster M54 on November 1st and November 2nd. The periodic comet is located south of Jupiter on November 14th, south of Saturn on November 18th, and south of the globular cluster M75 on November 20th and November 21st. For additional information on comets visible this month, browse and

A list of the closest approaches of comets to the Earth is posted at

The dwarf planet/asteroid 1 Ceres shines at ninth magnitude as it travels north-eastward through southern Aquarius this month. It passes about a degree south of the large planetary nebula NGC 7293 (the Helix Nebula) on November 19th and lies within a degree of NGC 7293 from November 18th through November 24th. Asteroid 8 Flora (magnitude +8.1) lies approximately one degree west of Gamma Ceti (magnitude +3.5) when it reaches opposition on November 1st and glides westward through Cetus for the remainder of the month. Asteroid 51 Nemausa (magnitude +10.8) is at opposition in Taurus on November 25th. For information on this year’s bright asteroids and upcoming asteroid occultation events respectively, consult and

A wealth of current information on solar system celestial bodies is posted at and

Information on the celestial events transpiring each week can be found at and ... -a-glance/

Two stars with exoplanetary systems, Upsilon Andromedae (magnitude +4.1) and 51 Andromedae (magnitude +5.5), can be seen this month without optical aid.

The famous eclipsing variable star Algol (Beta Persei) is at a minimum, decreasing in brightness from magnitude +2.1 to magnitude +3.4, on November 1st, 4th, 7th, 10th, 13th, 16th, 18th, 21st, 24th, 27th, and 30th. Consult ... ing-tools/ and page 50 of the November 2020 issue of Sky & Telescope for the times of the eclipses. Algol is at minimum brightness for observers in North America for about two hours centered at 12:11 a.m. EST on November 13th and at 9:00 p.m. EST on November 15th. The chance of seeing Algol at least one magnitude fainter than normal on a random night is about 1 in 30. For more on Algol, see and

Free star charts for the month can be downloaded at and ... Star-Chart and

Data on current supernovae can be found at

Finder charts for the Messier objects and other deep-sky objects are posted at and and ... r-december

Telrad finder charts for the Messier Catalog and the SAC’s 110 Best of the NGC are posted at and ... guesac.pdf respectively.

Information pertaining to observing some of the more prominent Messier galaxies can be found at ... tronomers/

Author Phil Harrington offers an excellent freeware planetarium program for binocular observers known as TUBA (Touring the Universe through Binoculars Atlas), which also includes information on purchasing binoculars, at

Stellarium and Cartes du Ciel are useful freeware planetarium programs that are available at and

Deep-sky object list generators can be found at and and

Freeware sky atlases of varying "depth" can be downloaded at and and ... tar-atlas/

Seventy binary and multiple stars for November: Otto Struve 514, Alpha Andromedae (Alpheratz), Struve 3, h1947, Struve 19, Struve 24, 26 Andromedae, Struve 40, Pi Andromedae, Delta Andromedae, Struve 47, Eta Andromedae, Struve 79, Beta Andromedae (Mirach), Struve 108, Struve 179, South 404 (Andromeda); 1 Arietis, Struve 178, Gamma Arietis, Lambda Arietis (Mesarthim) (Aries); Struve 3053, Struve 3057, Struve 16, Struve 30, Otto Struve 16, Alpha Cassiopeiae (Schedar), Struve 59, Eta Cassiopeiae, Burnham 1, Struve 70, Otto Struve 23, h1088, Struve 163, Struve 170, Struve 182 (Cassiopeia); 34 Piscium, Struve 8, 35 Piscium, Struve 15, 38 Piscium, 42 Piscium, 49 Piscium, 51 Piscium, 55 Piscium, 65 Piscium, Psi Piscium, Otto Struve 22, Struve 98, Otto Struve 26, Phi Piscium, Zeta Piscium, h636, Otto Struve 30, Struve 122, Struve 132, Otto Struve 31, 100 Piscium, Struve 145, 107 Piscium, h644 (Pisces); h5440, Kappa-1 Sculptoris, h1949, h3442, h3379, Tau Sculptoris, Epsilon Sculptoris (Sculptor); Struve 143, Struve 183 (Triangulum)

Notable carbon star for November: Z Piscium

Seventy deep-sky objects for November: M31, M32, M110, NGC 252, NGC 404, NGC 752 (Andromeda); NGC 680, NGC 691, NGC 697, NGC 772 (Aries); Cr 463, IC 1747, K14, M103, NGC 129, NGC 133, NGC 146, NGC 185, NGC 225, NGC 281, NGC 278, NGC 381, NGC 436, NGC 457, NGC 559, NGC 637, NGC 654, NGC 659, NGC 663, Tr 1 (Cassiopeia); NGC 40, NGC 188 (Cepheus); NGC 151, NGC 175, NGC 178, NGC 210, NGC 227, NGC 245, NGC 246, NGC 247, NGC 274, NGC 337, NGC 578, NGC 584, NGC 596, NGC 615, NGC 636, NGC 681, NGC 720, NGC 779 (Cetus); NGC 7814 (Pegasus); M76, St 4 (Perseus); M74, NGC 128, NGC 194, NGC 488, NGC 524 (Pisces); NGC 24, NGC 55, NGC 134, NGC 150, NGC 253, NGC 254, NGC 288, NGC 289, NGC 439, NGC 613 (Sculptor); M33, NGC 672 (Triangulum)

Top ten binocular deep-sky objects for November: M31, M33, M103, NGC 225, NGC 288, NGC 253, NGC 457, NGC 654, NGC 663, NGC 752

Top ten deep-sky objects for November: M31, M32, M33, M76, M103, M110, NGC 40, NGC 253, NGC 457, NGC 752

Challenge deep-sky object for November: IC 59 (Cassiopeia)

The objects listed above are located between 0:00 and 2:00 hours of right ascension.
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