Until November 23rd at around 09h, the Sun having passed through the
constellation of Libra, enters Scorpius for about a week, and enters the neighbouring constellation of Ophiuchus on the 29th at about 18h.
is at apogee, its furthest from the earth, at 00h00 on the 27th, when its diameter is 29 minutes of arc. Perigee (nearest to the Earth) occurs on the 14th at 12h00, diameter 32 minutes of arc.
Last Quarter is at 13h47
on the 8th, on the Cancer/Leo border.
The New Moon in November occurs on the 15th at 05h08 and is in the constellation of Libra, passing 1° north (above) the Sun
Quarter at 04h46 occurs on the 22nd in Aquarius.
Full Moon is on the 30th at 09h30 in the constellation of Taurus. It is a very high Full Moon as it crosses the meridian, around midnight. There is a penumbral lunar
eclipse, on this occasion, when the Full Moon’s northern hemisphere dips into the penumbral shadow of the Earth. The greatest eclipse is at 9h43 U.T. As with all penumbral eclipses, a slight darkening in the area where the penumbral shadow hits the Moon.
The eclipse is visible in the Americas, Pacifica, Australasia and eastern and central Asia. In the UK the eclipse begins at Moonset and nothing will be visible from here.
You may be able to glimpse Earthshine on the
night hemisphere of the waning crescent Moon from the 9th to the 14th, and on the waxing crescent from the 15th to the 21st.
Mercury is at greatest
western elongation (19°) on the 10th, when it shines at magnitude -0.7. It is visible for most of the month and is the best apparition of this elusive planet in 2020. It lies on the Virgo/Libra border. At 06h on the 13th there is a good opportunity (weather
permitting), to see the wafer thin crescent Moon, with earthshine on its night hemisphere, lying between Venus and Mercury in the increasing twilight of the ESE horizon. The Moon lies 8° to the upper right of Mercury and 4° to the left of Venus.
Venus at magnitude at -4.0 is in the constellation of Virgo and on the 13th of November lies 5° above the first magnitude star Spica (alpha Virginis), and may be seen rising in the ESE sky around 05h. On the 12th it may
be seen at that time 8° above the horizon. Some 10° to the upper right of the planet is the thin crescent Moon with earthshine, affording a good opportunity to image Venus and the Moon. The next day at the same time, the two are 5° above the horizon
and now being separated by just 4°. This will be a beautiful sight in binoculars if the sky in the region of the ESE horizon is clear of cloud or haze. On both occasions, the presence of earthshine on the Moon enhances the spectacle.
Mars is visible for most of the night, but at the end of the month sets at 03h in the western sky. As the month progresses, the planet fades from -2.0 to -1.0, a full magnitude. Nevertheless it is a conspicuous object in the constellation
of Pisces to the lower left of the Autumn ‘Great Square of Pegasus’. The major features including the south polar ice cap are still visible through small telescopes, even though the angular diameter shrinks from 19 secs to 15 secs of arc as the
distance increases once again during November. The waxing gibbous Moon may be seen 5° to the south of Mars, and the pair culminate on the south meridian at 21h on the 25th of the month.
Jupiter is visible low
in the SW sky for several hours after sunset during November. It is, as always, a conspicuous object shining at magnitude -2.1. On the evening of the 12th Jupiter is in conjunction with Pluto, Jupiter lying 0.7° to the north of Pluto at the time. In the
vicinity is Saturn, which lies some 3° to the left of Jupiter. All three planets are in Sagittarius near to this constellation’s boundary with Capricornus. On the evening of the 19th the broad crescent Moon passes approximately 3° to the south
of the planets. Do look for the Jovian satellites in their nightly dance around the giant planet.
During November, Saturn ‘s visual magnitude is +0.6 and lies, as mentioned above, in western Sagittarius, several
degrees east of the much brighter Jupiter and nearer to the Capricornus/Sagittarius border. Jupiter is approaching Saturn to a very close conjunction between the pair on December 21st
Uranus, in the constellation
of Aries, is visible for most of the night, opposition having occurred on October 31st. The planet's visible magnitude is +5.7, just about on the threshold of naked eye visiblity, and presents a disc 3.8 secs of arc in diameter.
For an accurate position of Uranus go to the Remote Planets page accessible from the Menu above. Although the planet’s magnitude is +5.7, and is theoretically visible to the unaided eye, it is far better to locate it using binoculars or a small
telescope. Through a telescope the planet presents a tiny greenish-blue disc.
Neptune lies to the lower left of the 'circlet' of stars marking the position of the ‘western fish’ of Pisces, yet remains
in the constellation of Aquarius. It has a visual magnitude of +7.8 and so requires binoculars or a telscope. With adequate magnification, it is possible to see this distant world as a tiny bluish grey disc. The angular diameter of the planet is just 2.4 secs
of arc. By the end of November, Neptune sets at astronomical midnight.
Again, in order to locate Neptune, you are encouraged to visit the ‘Remote Planet’ page via the Menu.
There are two interesting meteor showers this month, the first of these is the Taurid meteor shower consisting of slow moving shooting stars associated with Encke’s comet and peaking overnight on the 5th/6thand again overnight on the 12th to the
The Taurid shower is noted for producing bright slow moving events.
The Leonid shower peaks on the 18th at 05h, and so will be best seen in the hours before dawn on
this day. The normal zenithal hourly rate,when the constellation is at its highest and nearest to the zenith (the point overhead). Expect to see about 15 meteors an hour if conditions are favourable.. The next Leonid ‘storm’ is due to take place
towards the end of the 2020’s.
The parent body of this shower is comet Temple-Tuttle, which visits the earth about every 33 years.
The alpha Monocerotids peak on November
21st overnight. The number of meteors is variable, so no specific number can be given.
Conditions for seeing all the showers are favourable this year.
visible in the south around midnight, mid-month, are as follows: Eridanus, and the Pleiades in Taurus. Perseus is at the zenith embedded in a rich star field – take a look through binoculars and see!
All times are GMT 1° is one finger width at arm’s length.
The phenomena of the month : NOVEMBER 2020
Times are given in UT for SCARBOROUGH (0° 25' 0" W, 54° 16' 3" N, zone UT).
Date Hour Description of the phenomenon
yyyy mm dd hh:mm
The phenomena of the month : November 2020
Times are given in standard time for SCARBOROUGH (0° 25' 5" W, 54° 16' 30" N, zone Z).
Date Hour Description of the phenomenon
yyyy mm dd hh:mm
2020 11 01 16:07 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 01 17:42 Opposition of the asteroid 8 Flora with the Sun
(dist. to the Sun = 1.856 AU; magn. = 7.9)
2020 11 02 03:00 Mercury at its perihelion (distance to the Sun = 0.30750 AU)
2020 11 02 05:30 Maximum of the variable star delta
2020 11 03 18:52 Beginning of occultation of 102-iota Tau (magn. = 4.62)
2020 11 03 19:44 End of occultation of 102-iota Tau (magn. = 4.62)
2020 11 04 01:13 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 11 04 12:55 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 05 02:01 Close encounter between
the Moon and M 35 (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 0.3°)
2020 11 06 00:29 Beginning of occultation of 42-omega Gem (magn. = 5.20)
2020 11 06 01:38 End of occultation
of 42-omega Gem (magn. = 5.20)
2020 11 07 09:44 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 07 14:17 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 11 08 04:40 Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2020 11 08 13:46 LAST QUARTER OF THE MOON
2020 11 09 01:50 Maximum of the variable star
2020 11 10 06:33 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 10 18:00 GREATEST WESTERN ELONGATION of Mercury (19.0°)
2020 11 11 05:28 Beginning of occultation of 3-nu Vir (magn. = 4.04)
2020 11 11 05:28 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 11 11 06:32 End of occultation
of 3-nu Vir (magn. = 4.04)
2020 11 12 00:22 Meteor shower : N. Taurids (5 meteors/hour at zenith; duration = 51.0 days)
2020 11 12 20:37 Close encounter between Jupiter and
Pluto (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 0.7°)
2020 11 12 23:05 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 11 13 03:22 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta
2020 11 13 05:59 Close encounter between the Moon and Spica (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 5.8°)
2020 11 14 11:48 Moon at perigee (geocentric dist. = 357837
2020 11 15 05:07 NEW MOON
2020 11 16 00:11 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 16 19:00 Close encounter
between Venus and Spica (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 3.8°)
2020 11 17 05:53 Meteor shower : Leonids (15 meteors/hour at zenith; duration = 24.0 days)
18 07:52 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 11 18 09:43 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 11 18 20:59 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 19 05:25 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
2020 11 19 15:56 Close encounter between the Moon and Saturn (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 3.8°)
2020 11 21 03:15 Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2020 11 21 06:22 Meteor shower : Alpha Monocerotids (duration = 10.0 days)
2020 11 21 17:49
Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 22 04:45 FIRST QUARTER OF THE MOON
2020 11 22 22:11 Beginning of occultation of 71-tau2 Aqr (magn. = 4.05)
2020 11 22 23:15 End of occultation of 71-tau2 Aqr (magn. = 4.05)
2020 11 23 16:40 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 11 24 14:38
Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 25 13:58 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 11 26 01:49 Close encounter between the Moon and Mars (topocentric
dist. centre to centre = 4.9°)
2020 11 27 00:29 Moon at apogee (geocentric dist. = 405894 km)
2020 11 27 11:26 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 27 20:57 Close encounter between the Moon and Uranus (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 3.8°)
2020 11 29 01:28 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 11 29 08:59 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
2020 11 30 08:16 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 11 30 09:30 FULL
MOON (penumbral eclipse of the Moon partly visible in SCARBOROUGH)
Generated using COELIX software