What's In The Sky - November 2020
Clear November night skies offer incredible celestial sights for stargazers to be thankful for, so bundle up and get outside for stargazing fun!
November is sometimes called "the month of the Pleiades," since the star cluster is visible all night long for observers in the Northern hemisphere. From a dark sky site, M45 is easy to see with the unaided eye and resembles a small "teaspoon" pattern in the sky. Use astronomy binoculars for immersive views of this open star cluster, or use a telescope with a lower-power eyepiece for a closer look at the Seven Sisters.
Mars & The Moon
On November 25th, the Moon passes close by Mars, making them a great observing target! The pair will be separated by approximately 5.5 degrees, which is unfortunately too far apart to be viewed simultaneously at high magnification, but both could be observed together with wide angle astronomy binoculars.
November 14th will be the best time of the month to observe the fainter deep-sky objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
Leonids Meteor Shower
Bundle up and get outside after midnight on November 17th to see the peak of the Leonids meteor shower as "shooting stars" appear to radiate outwards from the constellation Leo. The shower peak is very close to the New Moon, which should present little light pollution. Estimated peak rate is approximately 14 meteors per hour.
Double Cluster in Perseus
Use a pair of big binoculars or a shorter focal length telescope with a wide-field eyepiece in November to seek out the sparkling Double Cluster in Perseus - two side by side open star clusters NGC 884 and NGC 869.
All objects described above can easily be seen with the suggested equipment from a dark sky site, a viewing location some distance away from city lights where light pollution and when bright moonlight does not overpower the stars.