What's Up - November 2023
What are some skywatching highlights in November 2023? The Leonid meteors peak, Saturn sits in the celestial sea, and Venus and Jupiter are visible on opposite sides of the sky.
What's Up for November? Venus and Jupiter on opposite sides of the sky, the Leonid meteors return, and the celestial "sea" surrounding Saturn.
This November, Jupiter is up in the sky all night and sets just before sunrise, while Venus rises in the early morning hours. This means you can see them on opposite sides of the sky if you happen to be up before dawn. You may recall that these two planets appeared super close together just a few months ago, back in March.
On the morning of November 9, find the crescent moon hanging just beneath Venus in the early morning sky before sunrise. Then on the 17th, look for a beautiful crescent moon sitting low in the southwest all by itself in the twilight following sunset. Thanks to the Moon illusion, which causes the rising or setting Moon to look larger, a crescent moon low near the horizon often appears extra captivating.
Then, after sunset on November 20, look toward the south to see the first quarter moon just below Ringed Planet Saturn. The pair are joined by bright stars Fomalhaut and Altair. And then on the 24th, look for the nearly full moon close to giant Jupiter in the east after sunset. Some binoculars will be able to capture both of them in the same field of view.
Finally, in the last few days of November, you'll notice Venus is rising in the morning with a bright star very close by. That star is Spica, which is actually two massive stars that orbit around each other every 4 days.