Astronomical Diary
Calendar of Astronomical Events NOVEMBER 2021
Date Event Time
3 Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at perihelion
7 Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at its brightest
8 Moon passing 1◦61’ N of Venus 1:20 PM
10 Moon passing 4◦06’ S of Saturn 10:24 PM
12 Northern Taurid Meteor Shower (ZHR = 5 meteors 12:00 AM
13 Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at perigee
12 Moon passing 4◦21’ S of Jupiter 1:16 A.M. 1:16 AM
17-18 Leonid Meteor Shower (ZHR = 10 meteors) 11:47 PM
19 Partial Lunar Eclipse
20 Venus at its highest altitude in the night sky 5:23 PM
21 α-Monocerotids Meteor Shower 4:00 AM
28 November Orionid Meteor Shower (ZHR = 3 meteors) 2:00 AM
Moon Phases
New Moon
Nov 05 05:15 AM
First Quarter
Nov 11 10:42 AM
Full Moon
Nov 19 04:57 PM
Last Quarter
Nov 27 08:28 PM
Rise and Set Times of Planets
Date Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn
Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set
Nov 01 4:45 AM 4:36 PM 9:23 AM 8:27 PM 5:20 AM 5:00 PM 1:08 PM *12:43 AM 12:11 PM 11:33 PM
Nov 11 5:10 AM 4:49 PM 9:26 AM 8:30 PM 5:09 AM 4:44 PM 12:31 PM *12:06 AM 11:34 AM 10:55 PM
Nov 21 5:40 AM 5:06 PM 9:23 AM 8:29 PM 4:59 AM 4:29 PM 11:55 AM 11:27 PM 10:56 AM 10:19 PM
Nov 30 6:08 AM 5:25 PM 9:13 AM 8:22 PM 4:50 AM 4:16 PM 11:23 AM 10:57 PM 10:24 AM 9:46 PM

* = following day

Stars and Constellation

For the entire month of November, the southern part of the night sky will be dominated by the constellations that are related to water and aquatic life. Figure 1 shows the constellations that are observable in the southern portion of the night sky in Manila City during mid-November at 9:00 P.M [1]. The constellation Pegasus, the Winged Horse can be easily spotted high in the south for the entire month due to its prominent asterism called the Great Square of Pegasus, which comprises his body. Just directly below the Great Square of Pegasus lies the small pentagon of dim stars called the Circlet, which represents the head of the first fish in the constellation of Pisces, the Fishes. From the Circlet, following the long, dim arc of stars will lead to the point where it will meet the line of dim stars coming down from the second head of the Pisces. This intersection point is called “The Vee”. Again, having the Great Square of Pegasus as the reference, look past down the Circlet, a bright star named Fomalhaut can be found. Fomalhaut is the brightest star in the dim constellation of Piscis Austrinus, the Southern Fish, and the 18th brightest star in the night sky. Oftentimes, Fomalhaut is referred to as “the mouth of the Southern Fish”. Just above Fomalhaut lies the constellation Aquarius, the Water Bearer. To the lower right of Aquarius is where Capricornus, the Sea-Goat is located. Located in the lower left is the stretch of the constellation Eridanus, the River. Meanwhile, situated above Eridanus is Cetus, the Sea Monster (or Whale) [1].


Figure1
Figure 1: The view of the Southern portion of the sky on mid-November 2021 at 9:00 P.M. using Stellarium Application

Planetary Location

For the entire month of November, the planet Venus can be observed on the southwestern horizon at the constellation Sagittarius while the planets Saturn and Jupiter can be observed in the southern part of the sky at the constellation Capricornus moments after the sunset.

Several planetary conjunctions can be observed. On 8 November at 1:20 P.M., the waxing crescent Moon will be passing 1°06’ to the north of Venus. The exact moment of the Moon-Venus conjunction will not be observed since it will occur in the afternoon. However, the close pairing of the Moon and Venus can still be enjoyed after sunset, at around 5:41 P.M. as the pair will be visible at an altitude of 32° above the southwestern horizon (Figure 2) and will set at around 8:28 P.M. The magnitude of the Moon and Venus will be at mag -10.8 and mag -4.5, respectively. Also, Venus will reach its highest point in the evening sky-reaching 35° above the horizon on 20 November after sunset at around 5:23 P.M. shining bright at a magnitude of -4.4 [2].


Fig2
Figure 2: The view of the southwestern sky after sunset on 8 November showing the Moon-Venus Conjunction using the Stellarium application


Then on 10 November at 10:24 P.M., the 6-day old Moon will be passing 4°06’ to the south of Saturn (Figure 3). The magnitude of the Moon and Saturn will be at mag -11.7 and mag 0.4, respectively. The exact moment of the Moon-Saturn Conjunction may be difficult to observe since the pair are about to set at around 11:01 P.M., thus, their respective altitudes will be low. However, after sunset, at around 5:41 P.M. the pair will be at an altitude of around 55° above the southern horizon, so the view of the conjunction can still be enjoyed [3].


Fig3
Figure 3: The view of the southern sky after sunset on 10 November showing the Moon-Saturn Conjunction using the Stellarium application


After 2 days, the 7-day old Moon will then pass 4°21’ to the south of Jupiter on 12 November at 1:16 A.M. The magnitude of the Moon and Jupiter will be at mag -12 and mag -2.4 respectively. After sunset, the pair will be visible at an altitude of around 59° above the southern horizon at 5:41 P.M. (Figure 4). The pair will reach its highest point in the sky at 60° at 6:13 P.M. However, the exact moment of the conjunction cannot be observed since the pair will set at around 11:23 P.M. [4].

These Moon-planetary conjunctions can be seen through the naked eye or using a pair of binoculars. Please do note that the separation of the above-mentioned conjunctions are too wide to fit in the field of view of a telescope.


Fig4
Figure 4:
The view of the southern sky after sunset on 12 November showing the Moon-Jupiter Conjunction using the Stellarium application

Meteor Shower

Several meteor showers can be observed for the month of November. The summary of the observable meteor showers is presented in Table 1.

Meteor Shower Name Radiant Active Date Peak Date Zenithal Hourly Rate Best viewed time
Northern Taurids Taurus 20 October - 10 December 12 November 5 12:00 A.M.
Leonids Leo 06 - 30 November 17 - 18 November 10 11:47 P.M.
a-Monocerotids Canis Minor 15 - 25 November 21 November variable 4:00 A.M.
November Orionids Orion 13 - 06 December 28 November 3 2:00 A.M.

Northern Taurids will be visible once the constellation Taurus rises in the eastern horizon at around 5:57 P.M. until the dawn breaks at around 5:33 A.M. Taurids is best viewed when the constellation Taurus reaches about 82° at midnight as shown in Figure 5. During the peak activity, the First Quarter Moon will be located in the constellation Aquarius and will soon set at around 5:25 P.M. Thus, the Moon will not interfere with the meteor shower observation [5].

Fig5
Figure 5: The view of the sky during the peak of the Northern Taurid Meteor Shower on 12 November 2021 at 12:00 A.M. The red solid circle represents the location of the meteor shower radiant

Leonids is an annual meteor shower occuring when the Earth passes through the debris left by the Comet Tempel-Tuttle, a comet that takes about 33 years to make a complete revolution around the Sun. The view of the meteor shower can be enjoyed once the constellation Leo rises in the eastern part of the sky on the night of 17 November at around 11:47 P.M. until before sunrise of the following day at around 5:58 A.M. Figure 6 shows the view of the East Northeast portion of the sky on 18 November at around 5:20 A.M. when the constellation Leo is at an altitude of 69.18° [6, 7].

Fig6
Figure 6: The view of the East Northeast portion of the sky during the peak of Leonids on 18 November 2021 at 5:20 A.M. The red solid circle represents the location of the meteor shower radiant

α-Monocerotid meteors may be observed once the constellation Canis Minor rises above the eastern horizon. The number of visible meteor increases as the altitude of the radiant point increases in the sky. This meteor shower is best viewed when the radiant point, represented by the red solid line shown in Figure 7, is highest in the sky at 4:00 A.M. This shower will remain visible until the dawn breaks at around 5:36 A.M. On the night of the peak, the view of this shower can be significantly hindered by the presence of the waning gibbous Moon [8].

Fig7
Figure 7: The view of the sky during the peak of the α-Monocerotids on 22 November 2021 at 4:00 A.M. The red solid circle represents the location of the meteor shower radiant

November Orionids is best viewed when the radiant is at its highest in the sky about 88◦ at around 2:00 A.M. until the dawn breaks at around 5:39 A.M. The red solid circle seen in Figure 8 represents the location of the meteor shower radiant on 28 November, 2:00 A.M. The waning crescent phase of the Moon during the night of the peak will produce minimal interference [9].

Fig8
Figure 8: The view of the sky during the peak of the November Orionids on 28 November 2021 at 2:00 A.M. The red solid circle represents the location of the meteor shower radiant


Meteor showers can be observed through the naked eyed and there is no need to use special equipment such as telescopes or binoculars. However, clear sky condition and dark observation site away from the city lights are necessary to maximize the viewing experience. The altitude of the radiant point in the sky also affects the Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR), which corresponds to the number of meteors that can be observed.

Partial Lunar Eclipse

On 19 November, the Moon will partially pass through the umbra of the Earth’s shadow, thus, creating a Partial Lunar Eclipse. This eclipse will be visible in different parts of the world where the Moon is above the horizon including Oceania, the Americas, Eastern Asia, Northern Europe, and Indonesia.

In the Philippine setting, this eclipse will be difficult to observe because most of the major eclipse phases will occur below the horizon. The eclipse will begin at 2:03 PM and will end at 8:04 PM, however, the Moon is about to rise at around 5:22 P.M. This means that by the time the Moon reaches 19° above the horizon, the eclipse has already ended. Table 2 shows the list of times when each major phase of the eclipse will start while Figure 9 shows the simulated view of the eclipse [10, 11]. Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to watch and do not require the use of any kind of protective filters for the eyes. A pair of binocular may be also used to help magnify the view.
Phase Time Visible in Manila
Start of Penumbral eclipse 2:03 PM No, below the horizon
Start of Partial eclipse 3:20 PM No, below the horizon
Maximum Eclipse 5:04 PM No, below the horizon
End of Partial eclipse 6:47 PM Yes
End of Penumbral eclipse 8:04 PM Yes

Fig9
Figure 9: The simulation of what to observe during the Partial Lunar Eclipse on 19 November 2021 as seen from Manila, Philippines

Comet: the Distant Visitor

This month of November, a comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is forecasted to reach its closest approach to the Sun at the distance of 1.21 AU on 3 November. On 7 November, Comet 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko will be at its brightest while on 13 November, it will be at its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 0.42 AU. The comet will be situated in the constellation Gemini during nearly the first half of the month as it gradually progresses towards the constellation Cancer in the remaining half. The magnitude of this comet is expected to be mag 8.3. Though this comet is relatively dim to be seen by the naked eye, the use of binoculars or small telescopes may help to observe this comet [12, 13, 14].

Notes and References

References
[1] J. DeTray, “NIGHT SKY MAP FOR NOVEMBER 2021: CONSTELLATIONS IN THE WATER STARGAZING FOR THE NOVEM- BER NIGHT SKY.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20211112_10_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[2] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Venus at highest altitude in evening sky.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20211029_11_100, Last ac- cessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[3] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id= 20211110_20_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[4] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: Conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id= 20211111_20_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[5] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: Northern Taurid meteor shower 2021.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id= 20211112_10_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[6] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: Leonid meteor shower 2021.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20211117_10_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[7] Time and D. AS, “Leonid Meteor Shower 2021.” https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/meteor-shower/leonids.html, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[8] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: α-Monocerotid meteor shower 2021.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20211121_ 10_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[9] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: November Orionid meteor shower 2021.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id= 20211128_10_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[10] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: Partial lunar eclipse.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id=20211119_09_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[11] Time and D. AS, “18–19 November 2021 Partial Lunar Eclipse.” https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2021-november-19, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[12] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at perihelion.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id= 20211103_19_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[13] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reaches its brightest.” https://in-the-sky.org/news. php?id=20211107_19_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.
[14] D. Ford, “In-The-Sky.org Guide to the night sky: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at perigee.” https://in-the-sky.org/news.php?id= 20211113_19_100, Last accessed on 2021-10-14, 2021.

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