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Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of November 2018

Posted by Guy Pirro   11/01/2018 09:33PM

Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of November 2018

Perhaps the most famous star cluster in the night sky, the Pleiades can be seen without binoculars from even the depths of a light-polluted city. Also known as the Seven Sisters and Messier 45, the Pleiades is one of the finest examples of a reflection nebula associated with a cluster of young stars. The cluster is a group of many hundreds of stars about 400 light years away in the direction of the constellation Taurus. The actual number of Pleiades stars visible may be more or less than seven, depending on the darkness of the surrounding sky and, of course, the observer's eyesight. The nebulosity seen here is light reflected from the particles in the cloud of cold gas and dust into which the cluster has drifted. In western literature and legend, the stars bear the names of the Seven Sisters, the daughters of Atlas and Pleone. They were also half-sisters to the goddesses of the nearby Hyades (Caldwell 41). The delicate beauty of the stars has them identified as a group of women in many cultures, from Australian Aborigine to Native American. To the Japanese they are known as “Subaru,” a conglomerate or collection of stars. Some Chinese legends refer to the Pleiades as a swarm of bees. Maori and some Pacific Islands people call the Pleiades “Matariki,” the star cluster that heralds the start of the Maori New Year. (Credits: NASA and the Office of Public Outreach – STScI, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory - JPL) (Image Credit: Australian Astronomical Observatory - AAO, David Malin)



Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of November 2018

Welcome to the night sky report for November 2018 -- Your guide to the constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and celestial events that are observable during the month. Some fish (Pisces), a ram (Aries), and a triangle (Triangulum) are all found in the November night sky. Also be sure to catch the Taurid meteor shower, which features 5 to 10 meteors per hour on its peak night of November 5 to 6. In addition, meteors will be radiating from the constellation Leo on the evening of November 17th and the early morning of November 18th. The night sky is truly a celestial showcase. Get outside and explore its wonders from your own backyard.

Saturn shines clear above the southwest horizon at nightfall. Watch as it shifts lower in the sky each night, preparing to depart the evening sky. Small telescopes show off its rings.


Red Mars retains its position in the south as it moves into Aquarius, recedes, and dims. Backyard telescopes still show a tiny disk, but surface features may be difficult to resolve.


Venus pops back into the predawn sky in November, spending the month in the vicinity of the bright star Spica in Virgo, especially around mid-month. Modest telescopes will reveal its crescent moon-like phase.


As for constellations, some fish, a ram, and a triangle can all be found in the November night sky.


Pisces, in ancient mythology, are twin fish tied together. They represent two Greek gods fleeing fire. Look for the circlets of stars high in the southern sky.


Just to the east of Pisces lies Aries, the golden ram of the Greek gods. It is a dim constellation. Pisces and Aries are in the zodiac, the band of sky through which the Sun appears to travel.


Triangulum, a simple geometric constellation, has been identified since ancient times. Look for it next to the Ram and the Fish. The lovely Triangulum Galaxy resides here. It belongs to the same cluster of galaxies that includes our own Milky Way. Also known as M33, the galaxy is about 3 million light-years distant. It can be seen in a dark sky with binoculars.





November boasts two meteor showers. The Taurid meteor shower, spread over weeks, features 5 to 10 meteors per hour on its peak night of November 5 to 6. The meteors will streak across the sky from the direction of Taurus the bull, in the eastern sky at nightfall.


While the shower is fairly minor, it is known for bright fireballs, and the sky will be dark with the Moon out of the way.


The Leonid meteor shower is the result of Earth’s annual passage through the dust trails left by Comet Tempel-Tuttle, which returns to the inner solar system every 33 years. Look for meteors radiating from the constellation of Leo the lion in the evening of November 17 and early morning of November 18.


The night sky is always a celestial showcase. Explore its wonders from your own backyard.





The following Deep Sky Objects are found in constellations that peak during the month. Some can be viewed with a small telescope, but the majority will require a moderate to large telescope. The following is adapted from my personal viewing list: "The Guy Pirro 777 Best and Brightest Deep Sky Objects."


Constellation: Aries

NGC 772                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H112-1

     - NGC 770               Galaxy                              - Paired with H112-1

NGC 821                      Galaxy                         P234


Constellation: Cetus

IC 1613                        Galaxy                         C51

NGC 157                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H3-2

NGC 246                      Planetary Nebula           C56, Herschel 400 H25-5

NGC 247                      Galaxy                         C62, Herschel 400 H20-5

NGC 584                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H100-1

NGC 596                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H4-2

NGC 615                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H282-8

NGC 720                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H105-1

NGC 779                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H101-1

NGC 908                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H153-1

NGC 936                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H23-4

     - NGC 941               Galaxy                              - Paired with H23-4

NGC 1022                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H102-1

NGC 1042                    Galaxy                         P221

NGC 1052                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H63-1

NGC 1055                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H1-1

NGC 1068                    Galaxy                         M77 Cetus A Seyfert Galaxy


Constellation: Fornax

NGC 1097                    Galaxy                         C67

NGC 1201                    Galaxy                         P153

NGC 1316                    Galaxy                         P30 Fornax A Galaxy

NGC 1326                    Galaxy                         P154

NGC 1340                    Galaxy                         P83

NGC 1350                    Galaxy                         P155

NGC 1360                    Planetary Nebula           P84

NGC 1365                    Galaxy                         P51

NGC 1380                    Galaxy                         P85

NGC 1399                    Galaxy                         P32

NGC 1398                    Galaxy                         P33

NGC 1404                    Galaxy                         P86


Constellation: Leo

NGC 2903                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H56-1

NGC 2964                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H114-1

     - NGC 2968             Galaxy                              - Paired with H114-1

NGC 3190                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H44-2

     - NGC 3187             Galaxy                              - Paired with H44-2

NGC 3193                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H45-2

NGC 3226                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H28-2 Paired with H29-2

NGC 3227                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H29-2 Leo Seyfert Galaxy Paired with H28-2

NGC 3351                    Galaxy                         M95

NGC 3368                    Galaxy                         M96

NGC 3377                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H99-2

NGC 3379                    Galaxy                         M105, Herschel 400 H17-1

NGC 3384                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H18-1

NGC 3412                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H27-1

NGC 3489                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H101-2

NGC 3521                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H13-1

NGC 3593                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H29-1

NGC 3607                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H50-2 Paired with H51-2

NGC 3608                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H51-2 Paired with H50-2

NGC 3623                    Galaxy                         M65

NGC 3626                    Galaxy                         C40, Herschel 400 H52-2

NGC 3627                    Galaxy                         M66

NGC 3628                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H8-5

NGC 3640                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H33-2

     - NGC 3641             Galaxy                              - Paired with H33-2

NGC 3655                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H5-1

NGC 3686                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H160-2

NGC 3810                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H21-1

NGC 3900                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H82-1

NGC 3912                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H342-2


Constellation: Perseus

IC 348                          Open Cluster               P95

IC 2003                        Planetary Nebula          P237

NGC 650                      Planetary Nebula          M76 Little Dumbell Nebula

NGC 651                      Planetary Nebula          Herschel 400 H193-1 Part of M76

NGC 744                      Open Cluster               P96

NGC 869                      Open Cluster               C14a, Herschel 400 H33-6 Double Cluster (West)

NGC 884                      Open Cluster               C14b, Herschel 400 H34-6 Double Cluster (East)

NGC 957                      Open Cluster               P97

NGC 1023                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H156-1

NGC 1039                    Open Cluster               M34 Spiral Cluster

NGC 1220                    Open Cluster               P238

NGC 1245                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H25-6

NGC 1275                    Galaxy                        C24 Perseus A Seyfert Galaxy

NGC 1342                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H88-8

NGC 1444                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H80-8

NGC 1496                    Open Cluster               P174

NGC 1499                    Diffuse Nebula             P44 - California Nebula

NGC 1513                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H60-7

NGC 1528                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H61-7

NGC 1545                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H85-8

NGC 1582                    Open Cluster               P45

NGC 1605                    Open Cluster               P239

NGC 1624                    Open Cluster               P240


Constellation: Pisces

NGC 488                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H252-3

NGC 524                      Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H151-1

NGC 628                      Galaxy                         M74

NGC 676                      Galaxy                         P175


Constellation: Taurus

Messier 45                    Open Cluster               M45 Pleiades

Caldwell 41                   Open Cluster                C41 Hyades

IC 1995                        Diffuse Nebula              P64

NGC 1514                    Planetary Nebula           P120

NGC 1554                    Diffuse Nebula              P200 Von Struve’s Lost Nebula

NGC 1555                    Diffuse Nebula              P201 Hind’s Variable Nebula

NGC 1647                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H8-8

NGC 1750                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H43-8

NGC 1807                    Open Cluster               P65

NGC 1817                    Open Cluster               Herschel 400 H4-7

NGC 1952                    Diffuse Nebula             M1 Crab Nebula


Constellation: Triangulum

NGC 598                      Galaxy                         M33 Herschel 400 H17-5 Triangulum Galaxy

NGC 925                      Galaxy                         P66



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Northern Latitudes:


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