Jeffers Foundation



November, 2018

November has one of the year's best meteor showers: the Leonids. The term means "children of Leo," referring to the shower's radiant; meteors will seem to emanate from this point in the sky. Though a waxing gibbous Moon will wash out the mid-evening sky, it will be setting at 2 am when the meteor shower begins to peak. The best meteor watching will be during pre-dawn hours.

Morning Sky

Unlike its tour through last month's evening sky, Venus's orbit is extremely tilted (nearly 60 degrees) relative to the morning horizon. This makes Venus appear to leap into the morning sky. At the end of the month, it's a full 23 degrees above the horizon an hour before sunrise. Jupiter spends the entire month lost in the glare of the Sun, finally moving into the morning sky on November 26.

Evening Sky

On November 6, Mercury reaches Greatest Eastern Elongation at 23.3 degrees from the Sun, though the low angle of the ecliptic leaves it less than seven degrees altitude at sunset, making it difficult to spot. True to its namesake, it hustles over to Inferior Conjunction a mere ten days later, passing in front of the Sun and into the morning sky. Mars starts each night this month in nearly the same spot: 147 degrees azimuth at sunset. While Mars moves in its orbit, the ecliptic pushes south with the coming winter, making it appear to cancel Mars' westward motion in the sky. The Moon passes within one degree of Mars near midnight on November 17. Saturn begins each evening in the southwest, setting three hours after sunset in the beginning of the month and two hours before sunset by the end. It is joined by the Moon on November 11.

Sun Declination


4th, Central Standard Time resumes - 2:00 am

7th, New Moon Descending Cold (Ojibwe) - 10:02 am

14th, Moon apogee (251,245 miles) - 9:55 am

15th, First Quarter Moon - 8:54 am

16th, Moon near Mars in south - After sunset

17th, Leonids Meteor Shower peak - 10:27 am

22nd, Full Moon Hunter's Moon - 11:39 pm

26th, Moon perigee (227,807 miles) - 6:12 am

29th, Last Quarter Moon - 6:19 pm

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