Jeffers Foundation

PHENOLOGY & ASTRONOMY

Data from Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac (Jim Gilbert for Phenology and Rod Nerdahl for Astronomy)

Phenology

Phenology: Fourth Week of November

European starlings wear their winter dress, with speckled feathers and black bills. Hairy, downy, and redbellied woodpeckers visit feeding stations for suet, but will also take seeds. Juncos outnumber other birds at many feeding stations. The last rafts of American coots and flocks of Franklin's gulls on southern Minnesota lakes will soon leave as the water temperature drops to a uniform 39 degrees and ice covers form.

November 20, 2015: Temperature did not rise above freezing for the first time in autumn, killing blooming chrysanthemums, red salvia, and alyssum.

View the November Phenology Information from the Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac >>

Species of the Month

American pine marten (Martes americana)

American pine marten (<em>Martes americana</em>)
Mary Lynn Cervantes

The pine marten is a forest dweller whose range extends from far northern Canada into Minnesota's northeastern corner. An omnivore, it eats pine seeds and wild fruits but prefers small mammals such as squirrels and mice. Pine martens are roughly two feet long, including the tail and are adept at climbing trees. The fur on their head, usually gray, is lighter in color than their brown body.

When European explorers first arrived in Minnesota, the marten was a common animal in forested areas in the northern half of the state. By the late 1800s they became rare because their pelts were valuable and they were easy to trap. Today they are making a comeback in the Arrowhead region.

Astronomy: November

November 4-6 at 7:45 pm CST
November 4-6 at 7:45 pm CST
The stars in this illustration belong to the constellation Taurus. Taurus' brightest star, Aldebaran, is absent because the Moon will pass in front of it between 7:09 and 8 pm on the evening of November 5. This "occultation" of Aldebaran will be the last one visible in the Midwest until December 5, 2033!

Morning Stars

Venus is visible very low in the eastsoutheastern sky until just after mid-month when it disappears into the Sun's glare. Try to spot the very close conjunction (0.3 degrees separation) of Venus and Jupiter four-and-a-half degrees above the east-southeastern horizon 45 minutes before sunrise on November 13. Mars is visible all month long, about 23 degrees above the southeastern horizon one hour before sunrise. The Moon passes Mars on November 24. Jupiter is too close to the Sun to observe during the first ten days of this month. Thereafter it can be found about eight degrees above the southeastern horizon an hour before sunrise. The Moon passes Jupiter on November 16.

Evening Stars

Mercury is an evening star this month, but never rises high enough above the horizon to be seen. Observe the occultation of Taurus' brightest star, Aldebaran, by the Moon on November 5. The star will seem to disappear at 7:09 pm and reappear at 8 pm. Observe Saturn very low in the southwest one hour after sunset until Thanksgiving Day. The Moon passes Saturn on November 20.

Sun Declination

View the November Astronomy Information from the Freshwater Society Minnesota Weatherguide Environment Calendar and Almanac >>

LOOK FOR

Freeze-up for Lake Waconia (Carver County)
2015 December 19
2014 November 21
2013 November 27
2012 December 10
2011 December 6

TEACHER PHENOLOGY PREVIEW

TEACHER ASTRONOMY PREVIEW

November ASTRONOMY PHENOMENA

4th, Full Moon (Hunter's Moon) - 12:23 am

5th, Moon perigee; 224,583 miles - 6:20 pm

5th, Aldebaran 0.05 degrees north of Moon (Occultation 7:09-8:00 pm) - 7:35 pm

5th, Central Standard Time resumes - 2:00 am

10th, Last Quarter Moon - 2:36 pm

12th, North Taurid Meteor Shower peak - 4:39 am

13th, Venus 0.25 degrees north of Jupiter - 2:24 am

17th, Leonid Meteor Shower peak - 10:56 am

18th, New Moon Descending Cold (Ojibwe) - 5:42 am

21st, Moon apogee; 252,359 miles - 12:54 pm

23rd, Mercury at greatest eastern elongation (22.0 degrees) - 5:11 pm

26th, First Quarter Moon - 11:03 am

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