Column: What’s up for November

The moon passes three pretty star clusters, a close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, sparse meteorshowers and one comet

What’s up for November? The moon passes three pretty star clusters, a close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, sparse meteor showers and one comet.

Your binoculars will come in handy this month, to view the moon, star clusters and the close pairing of Venus and Jupiter.

You can’t miss bright Venus in the predawn sky. This month Venus pairs up with Jupiter on the morning of Nov. 13, as they did in 2015 and 2016 when the two planets appeared a little closer than this year.

You’ll have to be looking very low on the east-southeast horizon over Seattle early in the morning around 7 a.m., about 45 minutes before sunrise, but protect your eyes. Don’t aim your binoculars directly at the sun and don’t look at the approaching sunrise with your unaided eyes or binoculars or telescopes.

There are three meteor showers this month, but none will present high numbers of meteors at their peak.

The Leonids peak on a moonless Nov. 17. Expect no more than 10 meteors an hour around 3 a.m., the height of the shower.

The northern and southern sub-branches of the Taurid meteor shower offer sparse counts of about five meteors per hour, but slow, bright meteors are common.

The nearby November Orionids peak on Nov. 28. In contrast to the nearby Taurids, the Orionids are swift, but don’t expect more than three meteors per hour.

The moon glides by three beautiful star clusters in the morning sky this month and a pair of binoculars will allow you to see the individual stars in the clusters.

Aim your binocs at the Pleiades and moon on Nov. 5, Messier or M-35 cluster and the moon on Nov. 7 and the Beehive cluster and the moon on Nov. 10.

Meanwhile, at dusk, catch Saturn as it dips closer to the western horizon, over the Sooke Hills this month, and pairs up with Mercury on Nov. 24 through 28.

Comet ASASSN1, short for All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae, discovered only in July, came close to the sun in October, and should still be a binocular-friendly magnitude 7-8 greenish object in November. Use Polaris, the North Star as a guide. Look in the East to Northeast sky over Vancouver, in the late evening.

Hope you will explore this link

which shows you the time each planet is Visible in the Night Sky in Oak bay, British Columbia, Canada.

Remember all planets walk from east to west during the night, just the same as the sun and moon, moving along an arc in the sky that we call “The Salish Walk of the Planets” – or the “ecliptic”.

All the rest of the stars and galaxies rotate around the North Star over #YYJ, the Victoria Airport.

As a last topic I’d like to encourage you to re-explore the Smartphone apps. Now in 2017 we have many great apps which instantly bring the night sky alive.

Check out this video, “Tom’s Guide” to see 15 of the best “space watching apps”

So if you have internet access with your phone from a place like Cattle Point Dark Sky Star Park, there is no better experience than exploring the night sky on a calm clear evening.

Try comparing the night sky (after your eyes have adjusted to the darkness) with the “visualization” of the stars, galaxies and constellations displayed on your Smartphone. For example you see a bright object over Vancouver then you point your phone towards it and the constellation image is named and re-displayed for you to compare with the wonder of the “real” sky.

It is brilliant to have this instant expert helping you name each object in the sky.

Should you wish to meet the RASCals of Cattle Point visit their page at

Dark Skies to all friends of Cattle Point Star Park.

Summary by Bill Smith is from the transcript of “What’s Up in November 2017” by NASA announcer and astronomer Jane Houston Jones with specific permission for localization to Cattle Point Dark Sky Urban Star Park and the Oak Bay News.

You can subscribe to her weekly blog at

Just Posted

Latitude 48 Paddling Club races through Victoria waters

Local team clinched victory in Nanaimo to kick off season that will see them compete in Hawaii

Greater Victoria police busy with St. Patrick’s Day calls

Victoria police respond to 82 calls for service

Royals gear up for WHL playoffs after suffering season-worst loss

Victoria has a solid 7-3 record this year against opening-round opponent Vancouver

Six stories a non-starter at Sidney’s Cedarwood Inn site

Site redevelopment plans go back to the drawing board

Central Saanich Police training a drug recgonition expert

Role needed as Canada nears cannabis legalization this year

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

America’s Musical Journey premieres at the IMAX

Enter to win tickets to an invite only concert at your community newspaper’s Facebook page

Anti-pipeline protestors block Kinder Morgan tanker near Seattle

Protest was spurred on by the 28 anti-Kinder Morgan activists arrested in Burnaby

Mount Douglas Mathletes enjoying success by the numbers

Saanich Grade 9s walk away with top five spots in Island math competition

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Most Read