Late sunrises and early sunsets only mean one thing—winter season is about to get going! With cooler nights and foggy mornings ahead, stargazing will be much more manageable and enjoyable. Just a caveat: don’t forget to bundle up and be more careful with social gatherings when you go out and experience the night sky as the coronavirus pandemic is still upon us!
Wondering what’s going to be up in the sky for November? For starters, most of the bright planets, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, in particular, are expected to be seen early in the evening and are best observed using high-powered (8” and bigger) telescopes. Many brilliant prominent autumn and winter constellations and deep-sky objects will be seen during night time and early morning hours such as the Great Orion Nebula, Heart and Soul Nebulae in Cassiopeia, Triangulum Galaxy, and the brilliant open star cluster Pleiades known as the “Seven Sisters” in Taurus.
For this month, sunrise occurrences range between 6:29 AM and as late as 6:48 AM while sunsets shall happen between 5:42 PM to as early as 5:33 PM.
Read on below for more events! All dates and times were given in UAE Local Time.
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Take a peek at the Heart and Soul #nebulae, located about 6,000-7,500 light-years from Earth in the #Cassiopeia constellation. Both nebulae are massive star-churning factories stretching out nearly 580 light-years across, and make up a part of the #Perseus spiral arm of our #MilkyWay galaxy. Equipment used: RedCat, Canon Ra, with L-eXtreme filter, mounted on Lighttrack ii. 42x300secs unguided. Total 3.5 hours. 📷 @thabet_uae #astronomy #astrophotography #abudhabi #uae #ferventastronomy #universe #cosmos #space #deepsky #deepksyphotography
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Let your eyes feast on this image of the spiral galaxy M33 or the Triangulum Galaxy, which was taken using @vaonis’ #Stellina by @aldrinb.gabuya. The blue colored regions are actually the sites of rapid star births in M33. According to @NASA, Hubble’s observations say that the #TriangulumGalaxy’s star formation rate is ten times higher than the average found in the Andromeda galaxy! Another fun fact: Located 2.7 million light-years away from Earth, M33 is about half the size of our Milky Way galaxy! #abudhabi #uae #alsadeemobservatory #alsadeemastronomy #photooftheday #thenakedsingularity #universetoday #youresa #ferventastronomy #photography #space #cosmos #astronomy #galaxy #alsadeemastronomyobservatory #stars #astro #deepskyphotography #instagood #picoftheday #horizon #nightsky #nightphotography
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Stack of stacks ! As weather had been very anti astrophotography, I decided to stack all the stacks of Orion I had taken so far. I had 5 sets of different exposures, and figured it’ll be fun to see the outcome. So here it is! #abudhabi #uae #alsadeemastronomy #alsadeemobservatory #astronomy #opteam #universetoday #youresa
THE MOON THIS MONTH
NOVEMBER 15, 2020:NEW MOON
On this day, the moon will not be visible. With no moonlight glaring much of the night sky, this is the best time to observe the deep-sky objects throughout the night. It is predicted that the lunar phase will occur on this day. However, the month transition from Rabi al-Awwalto Rabi al-Akhir shall take place two days later (November 17) in accordance to the Hijri Calendar 1442.
NOVEMBER 30, 2020:FULL MOON
The moon will be fully illuminated (100%) on this day. For selenophiles—or those people who love the moon—this is the best time to observe all the surface features of this celestial object, including the craters and maria. It will start appearing at around 5:45 PM (at the eastern horizon) as it rises, and can be seen throughout the night until it sets at sunrise of the following day (December 1). Because of its full illumination during this phase, it will not be a good time for deep-sky observation with the entire moonlight glaring out most of the faint celestial objects (except for narrowband imaging).
NOVEMBER 17-18, 2020: THE LEONIDS
On the late evening hours of November 17 until the dawn of November 18, the peak of the average meteor shower known as the Leonids will take place. It is projected to bring up to 15 meteors per hour under completely dark, moonless, and cloudless skies. These meteors will seem to radiate from the constellation Leo (the lion) at the sky’s eastern portion but can be observed anywhere in the sky from around midnight all the way through dawn. This meteor shower is associated with the space debris from Comet 55P known as Tempel-Tuttle entering Earth.
With the moon on its waxing crescent phase, there will be no moonlight to interfere with the spectacular appearance of these meteors in the night sky as it will set much earlier in the night sky. A must-have in observing this astronomical phenomenon is patience and comfort.
GREAT WESTERN ELONGATION
Mercury, the smallest planet in the Solar System, will be at its greatest western elongation on November 10. It will appear at its highest point just a few moments before sunrise. In the UAE, the peak altitude of Mercury in which it would be visible will be at around 18° above the western horizon, particularly from around 5:20 AM until it fades from view at around 6:20 AM. Though it is moderately bright, observing it will be quite difficult since Mercury is very near the Sun in the sky by this time.
In the early morning hours of November 13, the bright “morning star” planet Venus and the Waning Crescent Moon will be in conjunction, to appear relatively close to each other in the sky before dawn. The conjunction pair is expected to be observed from 4:30 AM until sunrise.
On November 15, the gas giant Jupiter and dwarf planet Pluto will be in conjunction, which will be visible in the early evening hours—from 6:30 PM until the pair sets at around 9 PM. It is important to note that a large-aperture (10 inches and/or larger) telescope and most likely long exposure photography are necessary to be able to see these planets clearly and individually (especially Pluto).
On November 19, The Waxing Gibbous Moon and gas giants Jupiter and Saturn would appear close to each other, creating a “celestial triangle” in the sky, as seen from Earth. The appulse pair will be observed as the dusk fades at around 6 PM from the south-southeastern horizon until it sets at the southwestern horizon at around 9:30 PM.
On November 25, it’s the red planet Mars’ turn to appear close (appulse) with the Waxing Gibbous Moon as seen in the early evening sky. These celestial objects will be observed at the eastern portion of the sky right after dusk until around 3 AM on the next day. Mars would look like a “reddish unblinking star.”
Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sea and Sky: www.seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-2020.html
Calendar of Astronomical Events. (n.d.). Retrieved from In-The-Sky.org: http://in-the-sky.org/newscal.php?year=2020&month=11&maxdiff=5
Islamic calendar 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved from Calendar.sk: https://calendar.zoznam.sk/islamic_calendar-en.php
Sunrise and sunset times in Abu Dhabi, November 2020. (n.d.). Retrieved from timeanddate.com: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/united-arab-emirates/abu-dhabi?month=11&year=2020