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The Skies of November, 2022

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November Skies

by Dick Cookman

November 4, 2022

Highlights: Comet Journal, Martian Landers, Meteor Showers, Planet Plotting, November Moon/Eclipse

Focus Constellations: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Camelopardalis, Auriga, Taurus, Aries, Pisces, Andromeda, Pegasus, Cygnus, Lyra

Comet Journals

Comet C/2020 V2 (ZTF) is in Camelopardalis near the tail of Draco and will cross into Draco and Ursa Minor in November. It is approaching 10th magnitude and should maintain that brightness until after it passes perihelion in May, 2023. It will be closest to Earth in September. 2023.Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is between Hercules and Bootes. It is currently at 10th magnitude, and is expected to reach naked eye visibility as a Christmas comet and achieve maximum brilliance when at perihelion on January 13 or when it is closest to Earth on the 2nd of February.

Mars Landers

Perseverance is continuing its examination of the foot of the 3.5 billion year old delta in Jezero Crater where it has collected four samples of sandstone and mudstone with organic molecules and sulfate minerals. A location called Three Forks which is is flat and free of obstacles has been chosen as an ideal spot for the future Mars Sample Return landing and pickup operations.

The Insight lander is in its final days unless a windstorm suddenly clears its solar panels which are now operating at 20% efficiency. Science measurements will continue until no longer possible.

Curiosity continued its investigation and challenging navigation between buttes separated by a mix of large rocks and sand on Mt. Sharp. It successfully drilled a target named Canaima in October.

Meteor Showers

The Taurid (11/4, 11/12) and Leonid (11/17) meteor showers are the best November northern hemisphere showers. The Southern Taurids could be quite good but the Northern Taurids will have to contend with the gibbous Moon. The Leonids may even produce a storm. To avoid the glare of the waning Crescent Moon in Leo in the southeastern sky during predawn best viewing times, observers of the Leonid shower should focus on the zenith and northwestern sky in order to see the brightest meteors in dark skies. Another outburst may occur in the predawn hours of the 19th.

  • November 4: Southern Taurids. Active September 10 – November 20, Radiant 3h20m +13°, ZHR 5, 27km/sec. Waxing Gibbous Moon. Progenitor: Comet 2P/Enke.
  • November 11-12: Northern Taurids. Active October 20 – December 10, Radiant 3h52m +22°, ZHR 5, 66km/sec. Waning Gibbous Moon. Progenitor: Comet 2P/Enke.
  • November 18: Leonids. Active November 6 – 30, Radiant 10h12m +22°, ZHR 10-15, 71km/sec. Waning Crescent Moon. Progenitor: Comet 55/Tempel-Tuttle

Planet Plottings

After sunset in early November, Saturn (+0.7 to +0.8) is in the south-southwest in Capricornus. It sets after midnight on the 1st with the waxing gibbous Moon and sets with the waxing crescent Moon in the late evening on the 28th. Neptune (+7.8 to +7.9) in Aquarius and Jupiter (-2.6 to -2.5) in Pisces are in the southern evening sky in November and set after 1:00AM EST. The waxing gibbous Moon is nearby on the 4th. Uranus (5.6) rises in the late afternoon in Aries and sets about dawn and can be found near the waning gibbous Moon on the 8th. Mars (-1.3 to -1.8) rises in Taurus in the early evening and sets after the Sun on the 1st. The waning gibbous Moon visits the red planet on the 11th. At month’s end, Mars rises as the Sun sets and sets at sunrise as it approaches one of its best oppositions in years on December 1st. Although this is not the closest opposition, it will produce better views than most because Mars is higher in the southern sky lessening the effects of the thick, turbulent air near the horizon.

Mercury (+1.1 to -0.5) and Venus (-3.8) are morning planets buried in the rising Sun’s glow as it moves through Libra and Scorpius in November. Mercury scoots through Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, and Ophiuchus while Venus visits Libra, Scorpius, and Ophiuchus. Mercury is at superior conjunction on the 8th.

PlanetConstellation(s)MagnitudePlanet PassagesTimeDate
SunLibra, Scorpius-26.5New Moon5:57PM EST11/23
MercuryVirgo, Libra, Scorpius, Ophiuchus-1.1 to -0.5Superior ConjunctionNoon EST11/8
VenusLibra, Scorpius, Ophiuchus-3.8   
MarsTaurus-1.3 to -1.8Closest to Earth 11/30
JupiterPisces-2.6 to -2.5   
SaturnCapricornus+0.7 to +0.8   
UranusAries5.6Opposition3:00AM EST11/9
NeptunePisces, Aquarius+7.8 to +7.9   

November Moon/Eclipse

The November 23rd New Moon in Scorpius at 5:57PM EST is the start of Lunation 1236 ending 29.47 days later with that of December 23rd in Sagittarius at 5:17AM EST. November’s “Frosty” or “Beaver” Full Moon occurs in Aries on the 8th at 6:02AM EST. The total eclipse starts at 3:02AM EST when the Moon begins to darken as it slips into Earth’s penumbra. The partial eclipse begins at 4:09AM as it moves into the umbra. Totality starts at 5:16AM and ends at 6:42AM. Sunlight bends around the Earth and has blue light removed as it passes through our atmosphere. When reflected off the shadowed Moon it is deep red or rust color. November’s Moon was the “Snow Moon” in Medieval England and for Celts it was the “Dark Moon”. Chinese call it the “White Moon” and Colonial Americans had the “Beaver Moon”. The 11th Moon is recognized as “Gashkadino-Giizis’ (Freezing Over Moon) or “Baashkaakodin-Giizis” (Freezing Moon) for Anishnaabe (Odawa and Ojibwe) first people. Earth Haven Farm in Ontario documents the cultural teaching which explains the cycle of life and nature of the 11th Grandmother Moon of Creation as follows: “this is a time when the Star Nation is closest to us. As every creature being prepares for the coming fasting grounds, we are reminded to prepare ourselves for our spiritual path by learning the sacred teachings and songs that will sustain us.”

During the November 14th Lunar Apogee at 1:40AM EST the Moon will be at its maximum distance of 251,606 mi. (63.49 Earth radii). Minimum lunar distance at perigee is 225,450 mi. (56.88 Earth radiil) on the 25th at 8:31PM EST. The waxing gibbous Moon passes Saturn on the 1st, and Neptune and Jupiter on the 4th. The waning gibbous Moon passes Uranus on the 8th and Mars on the 11th. On the 23rd, before New Moon, the waning crescent passes Mercury and then, a waxing crescent passes Venus. On the 28th, it passes Saturn.

PlanetConstellationMagnitudeMoon PassagesMoon PhaseMoon Age
SunScorpius-26.85:57PM EST, 11/23New0 Days
MercuryOphiuchus-0.60.92°S, 10:00PM EST, 11/23Waning Crescent29.80 Days
VenusOphiuchus-3.82.27°S, 7:00PM EST, 11/23Waning Crescent0.09 Days
MarsTaurus-1.52.0°N, 9:00AM EST, 11/11Waning Gibbous19.30 Days
JupiterPisces-2.62.0°S, 4:00PM EDT, 11/4Waxing Gibbous12.84 Days
SaturnCapricornus0.74.0°S, 5PM EDT, 11/1Waxing Gibbous9.75 Days
SaturnCapricornus0.84.0°S, Midnight EST, 11/28Waxing Crescent2.25 Days
UranusAries5.60.7°N, 8:00AM EST, 11/8Waning Gibbous16.38 Days
NeptuneAquarius7.83.0° S, 4:00AM EDT, 11/4Waxing Gibbous12.21 Days


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