Taurus climbs high across the sky, reaching its zenith around midnight late in the month, marked by the bull’s ruddy eye, Aldebaran, and its shoulder, the little dipper-shaped Pleiades star cluster. Orion and Gemini climb skyward earlier each night, and by month’s end are in good view by the middle of the evening.
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In the Sky This Month
November 27: Camelopardalis
Camelopardalis, the giraffe, wraps around Polaris, the north star. Its main outline is in the north-northeast at nightfall. It stands high above Polaris around midnight, and whirls to the north-northwest at first light.
November 28: Moon and Spica
Spica, the brightest star of Virgo, rises far below the Moon in the wee hours of tomorrow, but will be closer to the Moon the following couple of days. It consists of two giant stars. The heavier one eventually will explode as a supernova.
November 29: Age of the Milky Way
The glowing outline of the Milky Way stands high in the sky this evening. After night falls, it arcs from Aquila, the eagle, in the west-southwest; to Cygnus, the swan, high in the west; to W-shaped Cassiopeia in the northeast.
November 30: Bellatrix
Harry Potter fans may boo when they hear its name, but Bellatrix is one of the hottest, brightest stars in the neighborhood. It forms one of the shoulders of Orion the hunter. It climbs into good view by 8 or 9 p.m., to the upper right of bright orange Betelgeuse.
December 1: Longer Arm
The bright star Deneb is high in the west-northwest at nightfall. It represents the tail of Cygnus, the swan. Under dark skies, you can see that it’s immersed in the glow of the Milky Way—the light of millions of stars outlining the disk of our home galaxy.
December 2: Aquila
Aquila, the eagle, is low in the west-southwest as darkness falls. Its brightest star, Altair, marks the left point of the bright Summer Triangle, which remains in view even as we head toward winter.
December 3: Bright Planets
Venus is at its brightest for its current “evening star” appearance the next couple of nights. It is more than 10 times brighter than the next-brightest pinpoint of light in the night sky, Jupiter, which shines far to the upper left of Venus.
New November 4, 4:15 pm
First November 11, 6:46 am
Full November 19, 2:57 am
Last November 27, 6:28 am
Times are U.S. Central Time.
Perigee November 5
Apogee November 20
The full Moon of November is known as the Frost Moon or Snow Moon.