Don't Miss the November Sky Watchers 2021 Events

November promises to be a month filled with sky gazing fun, so get your new telescope figured out and put your order in for clear skies on the nights that count most. It’s going to be a blast!



November 4

The Night of the New Moon offers sky watchers in the northern hemisphere a chance to see the constellations Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Cepheus and Pisces; and for southern sky gazers look for Cetus, Hydrus, Phoenix, Sculptor and Tucana.


Northern Hemisphere - Cepheus and Cassiopeia never dip below the equator and can be seen year around far in the northern sky. Below them lies Andromeda, then Pisces. Within these constellations are hidden jewels of wonder for all to behold if one only looks.


For those viewing from the north, look for the Andromeda Galaxy, the Wizard Nebula, Herschel’s Garnet Star, Elephant’s Trunk Nebula, the Fireworks Galaxy, and more!


The Andromeda Galaxy can be seen with the naked eye, is one of the most famous objects in the sky, and is the closest galaxy to our own Milky Way. Look for this spiral galaxy between Cassiopeia’s W and the Pegasus constellation. Its brightest star, Alpheratz, is part of the Great Star of Pegasus.


Herschel’s Garnet Star (a red supergiant) lies within Cepheus, and is somewhere between 1,260 and 1,650 times the size of our Sun! The Garnet Star is visible without aid of binoculars or any other telescopic device. It can be found along the edge of the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula between Cassiopeia’s W and the Northern Cross of the Cygnus constellation.


After you’ve identified the Garnet Star, also look for the Bubble Nebula, Fish Nebula, and the Wizard Nebula all within Cepheus.


If star gazing south of the equator, look for famous galaxies within the Sculptor constellation including the Southern Cigar Galaxy, the Whale Galaxy, the Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy, and the Cartwheel Galaxy.


Find the Phoenix Cluster, the El Gordo Galaxy Cluster, and the dwarf barred spiral galaxy within Phoenix; the Small Magellanic Cloud within Tucana; and the White Rose Galaxy and Beta Hydri - the yellow subgiant - within Hydrus.



November 4 & 5

The Taurids Meteor Shower only produces 5-10 meteors per hour, but with its peak happening the same night of the new moon, sky watchers have a perfect night for viewing so long as skies remain clear and they watch from a dark location.


These showers can happen anywhere in the sky but radiate from the constellation Taurus – an equatorial constellation.


November 5

Uranus will be closest to Earth on this night and will be visible all night long. Look for the tiny blue-green dot through a powerful telescope as it will be hard to spot. To find it, look for the 5-star pentagon that makes up the head of the whale in Cetus which will be southeast of Uranus. The brightest object in the sky – the Pleiades star cluster – will be directly across from the whale’s head to the southwest.



November 7

Don’t forget to set your clocks back! Daylight Savings Time ends on this day, and you’ll be gaining one hour as you ‘fall back.’


November 17 & 18

Leonids Meteor Showers runs annually from November 6 through the 30th, peaking on the night of the 17th and morning of the 18th. Meteors can appear anywhere in the sky but radiate from the constellation Leo. The full moon will make viewing a little more difficult except for the brightest meteors, but since they will be falling at a rate of 15 meteors per hour, those who watch are sure to find some to wish upon.



November 19

The moon will be at its fullest at 3:59 am this month for Michigan sky watchers. Referred to as the Beaver Moon by Native Americans since it’s a busy time of year trappers, it has also been called the Frosty Moon and the Dark Moon.


November 19

A Partial Lunar Eclipse of the full moon will begin at 1:02 am, reach its maximum magnitude at 4:02 am, and will end at 7:03 am offering sky watchers in Michigan a full 6 hours and 2 minutes of viewing pleasure. The moon will turn a deep red color as it passes through the Earth’s shadow.


You will want to be sure to take some shots during the partial lunar eclipse! Needing some moon photography tips using a DSLR? Read “Quick and Easy Moon Photography Tips” for a quick reference beforehand.


Want to try and capture the view with your iPhone? Here are a few tips to help you capture a photo in low light.







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References


Farmer’s Almanac, 2021, Full Moon Dates For Detroit, MI, https://www.almanac.com/astronomy/moon/full/MI/Detroit


NASA/esa, November 17, 2017, Hubble’s View of the Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy (pointing 1), https://esahubble.org/images/heic1719a/


Mathewson, Samantha, January 19, 2018, Enormous ‘El Gordo’ Galaxy Cluster Captured in Hubble Image, https://www.space.com/39424-el-gordo-galaxy-cluster-hubble-image.html


McClure, Bruce & Byrd, Deborah, July 30, 2021, EarthSky’s 2021 meteor shower guide, https://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/earthskys-meteor-shower-guide/


Redd, Nola Taylor, December 13, 2018, Small Magellanic Cloud: A Satellite Dwarf Galaxy Neighbor, https://www.space.com/42732-small-magellanic-cloud.html


Star Facts, March 30, 2020, Mu Cephei, https://www.star-facts.com/mu-cephei/


Star Facts, November Constellations, https://www.constellation-guide.com/constellations-by-month/november-constellations/


The Sky, 2021, Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events for Calendar Year 2021, http://www.seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-2021.html


Time and Date, 2021, Eclipses in Michigan Center, Michigan, USA, https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/@5001813


Time and Date, 2021, Time Change 2021 in the United States, https://www.timeanddate.com/time/change/usa


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