Uranus Will Be Huge in November

The November night sky will delight lovers of the starry sky. A total lunar eclipse is ahead, a couple of meteor showers and the best view of Uranus of the year. Below are all the details so you can plan your skywatching schedule and manage your expectations.

November 4-5: Taurids meteor shower

The Taurid shower is an annual light show in which shooting stars form from the dust of two separate sources: asteroid 2004 TG10 and comet 2P Encke. However, this sounds more impressive than it might seem. This is a small storm during which we can expect five to ten meteors per hour at its peak on November 4th, but the moon will be nearly full so only the brightest meteors will be visible. For the best view of a pair of meteors, look towards the constellation of Taurus just after midnight – this is where many meteors seem to be born.

November 8: Full moon and total lunar eclipse.

Around 6 am on November 8, the moon will be at its fullest. The Beaver Moon in November 2022 will be more than just a full moon. It will be a “blood moon”, a total lunar eclipse in which the Earth’s shadow appears to bathe the Moon in a rusty red color. The blood moon will be visible across most of North America and will reach its peak around 6:00 am, just as the moon is about to set.

November 9th: Uranus bright.

On November 9, the planet Uranus will be as close to Earth as possible throughout the year, and its surface will be completely illuminated by the sun. At this time of the year, Uranus is so big and bright that people with good eyesight can see it without binoculars or a telescope, even when the moon is nearly full. For a better view look east at about 2am on the ninth. The blue-green dot of Uranus should appear next to the Pleiades star in the constellation Taurus.

November 17-18: Leonids meteor shower.

The Leonid meteor shower occurs from November 6 to 30, and at its peak can produce up to 15 meteors per hour. This year, the peak falls on the night of November 17 and the morning of November 18, when the Earth passes the middle of the dust trail left by comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonid meteors are bright enough that the light of the moon won’t drown out most of them. They are often colorful and sometimes unpredictable enough to surprise us with an exceptional show. For the best view, look east for the constellation Leo, although meteors will be visible in other parts of the sky.

About every 33 years, the Leonids meteor shower goes berserk and turns into a meteor storm , in which hundreds or even thousands of shooting stars can be seen an hour. The last Leonid “cyclonic peak” was in 2001, so mark 2034 on your calendars.

November 23: new moon.

After all the commotion of meteor showers and a lunar eclipse, the calm of a dark night sky with no moon in sight will give us all a chance to reboot and rest. This month, the new moon occurs on November 23rd. Dark skies make the 23rd an ideal night for observing more distant celestial objects such as galaxies and star clusters.


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