All information presented here is taken from my 74 page book NightScenes 2017.

Nightscenes 2018 is now available to order!

Click on the monthly image to get a larger high resolution view of the night sky set for 53° N (Horncastle, England) but is usable for the UK and Eire.  All charts are set for the 1st of the month at 22:00 GMT (10pm) and can be used on the other dates and times shown in each corner of the chart.

November 2017

Solar System quick summary

For most charts see the buttons at the top for various planets etc.. Charts & images in the text can be clicked to give a larger view.

Venus lines up with Vesta and Spica on the 2nd in the morning twilight then on the 13th has a close conjunction with Jupiter in bright twilight as Jupiter emerges out of the solar glare. Saturn remains viewable in the evening twilight whilst Neptune and Uranus continue to be well placed to view in the evenings under dark skies. Pallas lies low in the sky in Fornax at 23:00 GMT mid month. Ceres now rises by 22:00 GMT but better viewed later in the night. Mars is in conjunction with Spica on the 28th and both lie in the morning sky as twilight commences. Mercury is back in the evening twilight but very low in the SW. It lies south of Saturn on the 27th. The moon occults Gamma Tauri, Theta1 Tauri and Aldebaran on the 5th/6th. The Leonids Meteor shower peaks on the 17th with no moonlight to spoil them.

Main events

Nov-Mars-ven-vest-jup.jpgNestled in the morning twilight sky we find the continuing saga of Venus and Mars. Venus is now descending rapidly back into the brighter part of morning twilight so leaves Spica and Vesta behind but as it does so it encounters Jupiter as it emerges out of the morning twilight on the 13th. Venus and Jupiter converge for a stunning conjunction shown on the upper right chart set for ESE and 06:30 GMT but what a view! They will be separated by approximately ¼° so about half the size of the moon in the sky. The Nov-Mars-ven-jup-mn.jpginset close up view is what the authors Equinox 80ED refractor and a 10mm eyepiece should show. However in the bright sky it is difficult to know how easy it will be to spot Jupiter's four moons shown in the inset. Meanwhile the planetary duo form a shallow triangle with Spica and Mars adding to the naked eye view.  Don't think it is over - a few days later the moon gets in on the act as it passes Mars then moves down to form a great view with Venus and Jupiter as shown at right from Nov 15th to 17th at 06:30 GMT.

Time now for the early evening twilight sky and Saturn is sliding down into the bright twilight and will shortly be lost Nov-mn-sat-merc.jpgto view. As it does so, towards the end of the month it meets up with Mercury which has one of its poorer evening apparitions. Mercury remains very low so reasonably challenging, but slightly brighter than Saturn (-0.4 compared with 0.5 for Saturn). The slim crescent moon lies above Mercury and to the right of Saturn on the 20th helping you to find both planets in the bright evening twilight, look around half an hour after sunset towards the SW but be quick as Mercury sets very quickly. Mercury is at Greatest Eastern Elongation (GEE) from the Sun on the 24th. They both then descend into the twilight to be lost to view in the first few days of December (5th on the chart). Saturn will be gone now until early next year but Mercury will have an early morning reprise by the end of 2017.  


      Finally conditions are almost ideal for the Leonids Meteor shower peak this year on the 17th / 18th. The only downside is the predicted time of peak is late afternoon and the radiant in Leo doesn't actually rise until after 22:30 GMT! Still with the Moon at New the next day the sky will be dark once the radiant does rise so early morning of the 18th is probably best time to try for them. The Leonids vary in how many meteors are produced and every 33 or so years there is a 'storm' but we still have a few years yet to wait for that to happen. The dust that form the meteors is ejected from Comet Tempel -Tuttle as that has been identified as the source comet. The drift of the Radiant is shown on the chart and it is possible to spot Leonids from Nov 6th until 30th although the most meteors always occur on the peak date.

Also look out for the following:

Nov   2nd  Moon lies south of Uranus (evening)

Nov   9th  Almost last quarter Moon lies near M44, Beehive cluster (evening)

Nov 11th  Moon lies to upper right of Regulus (morning)

Nov 12th  Moon lies to lower left of Regulus (morning)

Nov 22nd  Crescent Moon lies in the Teaspoon asterism (evening)

Nov 25th  Moon forms close triangle with Gamma and Delta Capricorni

Nov 28th  Mars lies north of Spica (morning)

Nov 30th  Moon lies near to Uranus (evening)

  Clear skies and happy sky watching.


The UK & Ireland Night Sky for 2017 AD


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