Night Sky Guide November 2014
Your guide to constellations, deep-sky objects, planets and events, Tonight’s Sky, Highlights of the November Sky
After the sky grows dark, look for ruddy Mars above the southwestern horizon.
A telescope might reveal the planet’s bright polar caps.
Constellations and Deep-Sky Objects
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 identified 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.
Jupiter rises in the east after midnight and stays up the rest of the night.
Use a telescope to admire its colorful bands.
Ever-elusive Mercury appears very low in the east before sunrise during the first half of the month.
Challenge yourself to find it in the morning twilight.
November boasts the Leonid meteor shower. This 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 on the evening of November 17th and early morning of November 18th, when the peak occurs. Expect to see as many as 40 meteors per hour in dark skies.
A relatively rare hybrid solar eclipse will darken areas of the mid-Atlantic ocean and central Africa. A hybrid eclipse can be either a total or an annular eclipse, depending on the observer’s location.
The night sky is always a celestial showcase. Explore its wonders from your own backyard.
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute, Office of Public Outreach
Starfield images created with Stellarium
Mythological constellation forms from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
Mars image courtesy of Matt Wedel
Triangulum Galaxy (M33) image courtesy of 2MASS/UMass/IPAC-Caltech/NASA/NSF
Jupiter image courtesy of Todd Gross
Mercury image courtesy of Mario Weigand
Narrated by Nancy Calo
Music written by Jonn Serrie
Lucy Albert, Greg Bacon, John Bintz, John Godfrey, and Vanessa Thomas