What’s Up in the sky : November 2018


Saturn shines clear above the southwest horizon at nightfall.
Watch as it shifts lower in the sky each
night, preparing to depart the evening sky.
Small telescopes show off its rings.


Red Mars retains its position in the south as it moves into Aquarius, recedes, and dims.
Backyard telescopes still show a tiny disk, but surface features may be difficult
to resolve.


Venus pops back into the predawn sky in November, spending the month in the vicinity of the bright star
Spica in Virgo, especially around mid -month.
Modest telescopes will reveal its crescent moon like phase.


Some fish, a ram, and a triangle can all be found in the November night sky.
Pisces, in ancient mythology, are twin fish tied together. They represent two Greek gods fleeing fire.
Look for the circlets of stars high in the southern sky.
Just to the east of Pisces lies Aries, the golden ram of the Greek gods. It is a dim constellation.
Pisces and Aries are in the zodiac, the band of sky through which the Sun appears to travel.
Triangulum, a simple geometric constellation, has been ident
ified since ancient times. Look for it next to
the Ram and the Fish.


The lovely Triangulum Galaxy resides here. It belongs to the same cluster of galaxies that includes our
own Milky Way. Also known as M33, the galaxy is about 3 million light years distant. It can be seen in a
dark sky with binoculars.

Galaxy M33 at a distance of 3 million light years.



Shooting Stars, Taurids, November 2018


November boasts two meteor showers.
-The Taurid meteor shower, spread over weeks, features 5 to 10 meteors per hour on its peak night of
November 5 to 6. The meteors will streak across the sky from the direction of Taurus the bull, in the eastern sky at
While the shower is fairly minor, it is known for bright fireballs, and the sky will be dark with the Moon
out of the way.

Leonids shooting stars

-The Leonid meteor shower is the result of Earth’s annual passage through the dust trails left by Comet

Tempel Tuttle, which returns to the inner solar system every 33 years.
Look for meteors radiating from the constellation of Leo the lion in the evening of November 17 and
early morning of November 18.
The night sky is always a celestial showcase. Explore its wonders from your own backyard !