Now that the clocks have gone back it is dark early and you don’t have to stay up late to go out and observe the sky. Given that it is November, it will be cold and you will need to wrap up warm or your night outside will quickly become very unpleasant.
Mars is approaching opposition next month and this means that it’s now rising earlier and will be prominent and bright in the south before bedtime. The Leonid meteor shower also takes place this month and peaks on 17/18 November. However the moon will be quite bright and probably outshine the dimmer meteors.
Sun and Moon
|Date||Sunrise (Irish Time)||Sunset (Irish Time)|
Mercury isn’t well placed for observation during November.
Venus is poorly placed during November making observation difficult.
Mars is approaching opposition next month and so is well placed this month. It rises around 7pm. It will be very bright and will stand well against the rest of the stars in the area with a salmon colour. Look for it in hight in south. If you need help to find it, look for it next to the Moon on 11th November.
Jupiter remains in the sky in November and is high in the south as darkness falls. It will be very bright and will be the brightest object in the sky except for the Moon. It will be close to the Moon on the nights of 4/5th November.
Saturn is visible close in the south. It is lower and a lot dimmer than Jupiter but it should be easy enough to pick out as the sky next to it doesn’t have a lot of bright stars. If you need help finding it, you have two opertunities to see it close to the Moon. The first occurs on the night of 1st November. The second is on 29th November.
Stars and Constellations
The above sky chart, from heavens-above.com is for 23:00 on 15/11/2022. You can click on the chart to open a new tab and bring you to Heavens Above. On this website you can generate a custom chart for the time and date you wish. The summer constellations are gone and the winter constellation are appearing on the eastern horizon after sunset.
High overhead are Cepheus (the house), Cassiopeia (the queen), Andromeda and Pegasus (the flying horse). Andromeda is the location of the Andromeda galaxy which is the furthest object that can be seen with the naked eye. Although, you will need very dark skies to see it. Andromeda and the Milky Way galaxy are headed for a collision and will collide in an estimated 4.5 billion years.
In the south at this time of year, is the constellation of Pisces (the fish) and Aquarius (the water bearer). Mars is also in this area of the sky. Over in the east we have the winter constellations rising. You will see Taurus (the bull) which has a distinctive “V” shape and beside it the Pleiades or M45. Also visible will be Orion (the hunter). Most people are somewhat familiar with this constellation and will be able to pick out Orion’s belt. You may also be able to pick out the Orion nebula just below the Orion’s belt. This is a star forming region, 1,344 lightyears away.