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In the Sky This Month

Taurus reaches its highpoint around midnight on late November nights, so it’s in view all night, marked by Aldebaran, its bright orange eye. Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is at its best as well, shining from near the head of Cetus, the whale or sea monster. Auriga the charioteer is in view all night, too, led into the sky by its brightest star, Capella.

November 29: Hearth Fire

Orion climbs into good view in the east and southeast by about 8 p.m. In European mythology, Orion was a hunter. But to the Maya, those stars probably represented a turtle and the “hearth” of the heavens, corresponding to the central fire in a Mayan household.

November 30: Morning Glories

A couple of bright alignments greet early risers tomorrow. The Moon and the twins of Gemini are high in the west at dawn, while the planet Venus, which is the brilliant Morning Star, and the true star Spica are in the southeast.

December 1: Venus and Spica

Venus, the brilliant Morning Star, will stand almost side by side with Spica, the brightest star of Virgo, at first light tomorrow. Venus is sliding down toward the Sun, while Spica is slowly pulling away.

December 2: Moon and Regulus

Regulus, the brightest star of the constellation Leo, is easy to spot the next couple of nights. It is well below the Moon as they climb into good view tonight, before midnight, but much closer to the Moon tomorrow night.

December 3: Evening Jupiter

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is in the east at nightfall. It looks like a brilliant star, and is far brighter than any other object in the night sky other than the Moon and the planet Venus.

December 4: Survivor

Ursa Minor, the little bear, is in the north at nightfall. Some of its stars form the Little Dipper. The dipper is anchored by Polaris, the North Star or Pole Star, which forms the tip of the bear’s tail.

December 5: Earliest Sunsets

The shortest day of the year is the winter solstice, December 21. Yet the year’s earliest sunsets came a few days ago for those around the latitude of Miami. It will occur in a few days for those at the latitude of Dallas, and a few days later for those farther north.

Last quarterLast November 5, 2:37 am

New MoonNew November 13, 3:27 am

First QuarterFirst November 20, 4:50 am

Full MoonFull November 27, 3:16 am

Times are U.S. Central Time.

Apogee November 6

Perigee November 25

The full Moon of November is known as the Frost Moon or Snow Moon.