Astronomical events of interest for November 2015

The name for November derives from the Latin word “novem” meaning nine. November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar. It kept the name after January and February were added to Roman calendar which made it the eleventh month.
The traditional full moon name for November is the “Beaver Moon”. It is also called the “Frosty Moon” or “Snow Moon”. To the Natchez it’s the “Autumn Time Moon”. The Lakota Sioux called it the “Moon of the Falling Leaves”. The Cheyenne named it “The Freezing Moon”. The Taos call it “The Corn Harvest Moon” and the Oto call it “Every Buck Loses His Horns Moon”. The Wisham called it “The Snowy Mountains in the Morning Moon”.
This year we have an exceptional display of planets in the pre-dawn sky. If you have never identified planets or watched them move, this is the month to watch.
Last Quarter Moon: November 3
Farthest from Earth: November 7 (252,103 miles mini-size moon)
New Moon: November 11
First Quarter Moon: November 19
Full Moon: November 25
Closest to Earth: November 27 (225,444 miles super-size moon)            
Planets Visible:
Early evening: No Planets visible
Morning before sunrise:
  • Jupiter, Venus and Mars are clustered in the eastern sky before dawn at the beginning of the month. By month’s end the three planets will be well separated. If you are an early riser this is an excellent opportunity to watch the planets move in their orbits. 
 Saturn and Mercury are too close to the Sun to easily observe.
November 1: Sunrise 6:27am MST, Sunset 4:58pm MST
November 22: The Sun enters the astrological sign Sagittarius.
November 23: Sun enters the astronomical constellation Scorpius.
November 30: the Sun enters the astronomical constellation Ophiuchus thirteenth constellation of the Zodiac.
November 30: Sunrise 6:59am MST, Sunset 4:36pm MST
November 1: The US returns to standard time from daylight saving time.
November 3: The equation of time is at maximum. Your sundial will be 16.48 minutes fast.
November 11: Martinmas (St. Martin’s Day) celebrated in Scotland as a cross-quarter day. In the US this cross-quarter day is celebrated on Halloween.
November 1-30:  The Taurids are active all month and unlike most meteor showers can be observed all night. Expect about six meteors per hour. Some of these can be exceptionally bright fireballs.
November 18: The Leonids are favorable this year, best observed arround 3am looking east. Expect up to 15 meteors per hour in dark skies.
Special Events:
November 1-5:  Morning just before sunrise look east. Venus (the brightest) and Mars will appear very close to each other. Above the pair is a bright Jupiter.
November 6: Morning just before sunrise look east. A thin crescent moon will be next to Jupiter.
November 7: Morning just before sunrise look east. A thinner crescent moon will be next to Mars and Venus.
November 8: Morning just before sunrise look east. A very thin crescent moon lines up below Mars and Venus, and Jupiter forming a line in the sky.
November 21: Chamberlin Observatory open house weather permitting. The observatory’s 20” telescope and telescopes belonging to members of the Denver Astronomical Society will be available for viewing. Click here for more information.
November 24: Morning just before sunrise look east. The distance between Mars and Venus has increased significantly. To the left of Venus in the bright star Arcturus. Arcturus is a red giant about 37 light years from Earth. Its light turned on the lights of the 1933 World’s Fair.
November 25: Early evening look east. Aldebaran the brightest star in Tarsus will rise with the full moon. Aldebaran will be below left of the Moon
November 26: 3:20am to 4:25am the Moon occults or passes in front of Aldebaran. Times are approximate. Aldebaran will disappear around 3:25am and reappear around 4:20am.
Historical Trivia
 November 15th, 1630 – Johannes Kepler who gave us the three laws of planetary motion dies.
November 20, 1998: First module of the International Space Station is launched.
Wishing you clear skies
Rick's Thought for the Day

Thought 11-27

Only in America do people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.

Author Unknown

Thought 11-26

The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.

H.U. Westermayer