Celestial Events in November 2023: Calendar of Space Events
In this article, you'll find the astronomical events visible in the sky in November 2023. We also provide a description of the planets' visibility and a forecast of the comets and meteor showers that can be seen this month. Let's get started!
- Astronomical events in November 2023
- Planets in November 2023
- Jupiter at opposition
- Lunar occultation of Venus
- Full Beaver Moon
- Meteor showers in November 2023
- Comets in November 2023
- How to navigate the night sky?
- Bottom line: space events in November 2023
Astronomical events in November 2023
Note that we provide the event dates in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). For your location, the dates may differ due to the different time zones. Learn the exact time and dates of all the events for your time zone with the help of the Sky Tonight app.
- November 3: Jupiter (mag -2.9) at opposition 🌟; Moon passes 1°24' from Pollux (mag 1.2).
- November 4: Saturn ends retrograde motion.
- November 5: Last Quarter Moon.
- November 6: Southern Taurids’ peak (ZHR = 5-10); Moon passes 4°12' from Regulus (mag 1.4).
- November 9: Moon passes 1°0' from Venus (mag -4.4); lunar occultation of Venus visible from Europe, western Russia, Greenland, Africa, and Asia. 🌟
- November 10: C/2023 H2 (Lemmon) makes its closest approach to the Earth. 🌟
- November 11: Moon passes 2°24' from Spica (mag 1.0).
- November 13: New Moon; Northern Taurids’ peak (ZHR = 5); Uranus (mag 5.6) at opposition.
- November 14: Moon passes 1°37' from Mercury (mag -0.4) and then 0°54' from Antares (mag 1.1).
- November 16: Mercury (mag -0.4) passes 2°30' from Antares (mag 1.1).
- November 18: Leonids’ peak (ZHR = 10-15) 🌟; Mars in conjunction with the Sun.
- November 20: First Quarter Moon; Moon passes 2°42' from Saturn (mag 0.8).
- November 21: Alpha Monocerotids’ peak (ZHR = variable).
- November 25: Moon passes 2°48' from Jupiter (mag -2.8).
- November 27: Full Beaver Moon 🌟; Moon passes 1°6' from Pleiades (mag 1.2).
- November 28: November Orionids’ peak (ZHR = 3).
- November 29: Venus (mag -4.2) passes 3°54' from Spica (mag 1.0).
*The highlighted events are the most spectacular events of the month.
Planets in November 2023
Mercury (mag -0.6) can be found very low above the southwestern horizon in the evening, passing through the Libra, Scorpius, and Ophiuchus constellations. Venus (mag -4.4) is visible above the southeastern horizon in Virgo in the morning. Jupiter (mag -2.9) is visible throughout the night, beginning the month in Aries and then moving to Aquarius. Observe Saturn (mag 0.9) in Aquarius starting from the evening. Grab a pair of binoculars or a telescope to view Uranus (mag 5.5) — it's visible all night in Aries. Neptune (mag 7.9) can be seen in the evening and night in Pisces.
Mercury (mag -0.6) is visible low on the southwestern horizon in the evening, passing through the Libra, Scorpius, and Ophiuchus constellations. Venus (mag -4.4) can be seen low above the eastern horizon in the morning for no more than an hour in Virgo. Jupiter (mag -2.9) can be seen all night in Aries. Saturn (mag 0.9) is visible in the evening in Aquarius. Use binoculars or a telescope to spot Uranus (mag 5.5) in Aries (visible all night). Even fainter Neptune (mag 7.8) is visible in Pisces, starting in the evening.
Jupiter at opposition
On November 3, 2023, at 10:44 GMT, Jupiter will be in opposition, which means it will be on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun. The time around opposition is the best time to observe a planet; at this time, Jupiter, fully illuminated by the Sun, will shine brighter than at any other time of the year. The planet will also be visible throughout the night.
Take advantage of this time to observe or photograph the planet and its four largest moons, which appear as bright spots on either side of the planet. Although Jupiter will still appear as a bright star-like dot to the naked eye, use binoculars or a telescope to see it and its moons more clearly.
Uranus will also be at opposition in November. But even then, it won't be visible to the naked eye. Find out when Uranus and other planets will reach opposition in our dedicated article.
Lunar occultation of Venus
On November 9, bright Venus (mag -4.4) will be passing behind a thin lunar crescent. This event will be visible from Europe, western Russia, Greenland, Africa, and Asia.
Observers from other locations will see a close approach of the Moon and the planet. Both objects will be visible to the naked eye in the morning, a few hours before dawn. Look for them in the constellation Virgo.
Lunar occultations are location-dependent events. Because our natural satellite is very close to our planet, the exact position of the Moon varies by a few degrees around the world. To find out the exact location of the Moon, stars, and planets, use a mobile stargazing app such as Sky Tonight.
Full Beaver Moon
On November 27, 2023, at 09:16 GMT, the Full Moon will occur. At this time, our natural satellite will be located in the constellation Taurus.
You may have heard that the Full Moon in November is called the Beaver Moon. This name was given by the Native Americans a long time ago. The thing is, they used to name all the Full Moons after the peculiarities of a particular calendar month. November is the month when beavers begin to seek shelter in their lodges; in North America, people used this time to set traps for beavers (because of their thick, warm fur).
To learn more about the names of the Full Moons, check out the infographic (a picture of a cute beaver included).
Meteor showers in November 2023
Five meteor showers will reach their peaks this month. Those are the Southern Taurids, Northern Taurids, Leonids, Alpha Monocerotids, and November Orionids, where the most prolific one is the Leonid meteor shower.
The two Taurid branches reach their highest rates around November 5 (Southern Taurids) and November 12 (Northern Taurids), respectively. On these nights, the light of the Last Quarter Moon won't interfere. The slow and bright meteors of the Taurids make them a perfect target for observation, although both streams produce only 5 meteors at their peak.
A week later, the Leonids will be at their peak, with up to 18 meteors per hour. Best seen from the Northern Hemisphere, they will be visible from about 22:00 GMT on November 17 until dawn on November 18. There is another predicted peak of activity on November 21 at around 12:00 GMT. During this peak, ZHR may increase by another 10-15 meteors per hour. These meteors will also be brighter than usual.
Comets in November 2023
Here are some of the comets best visible this November. Unfortunately, none of them is visible to the naked eye, so use a pair of binoculars or a telescope to see them. To locate them in the sky, use the Sky Tonight stargazing app.
The long-period comet C/2023 H2 (Lemmon) is the most promising comet in November 2023. It has already reached perihelion on October 29 and is now heading for its closest approach to the Earth on November 10. At that time, it may reach a magnitude of 6.3, which would make it a great binocular object. C/2023 H2 is visible from both hemispheres in November but rises slightly higher in the Northern Hemisphere. The comet will be visible in the evening sky, moving across the Hercules, Aquila, Capricornus, and Piscis Austrinus constellations.
The short-period comet 103P/Hartley has already passed perihelion and its closest approach to the Earth and is now moving further away from our planet. Throughout November, it will have a magnitude of about 10 and will only be visible through telescopes. The comet will be visible from both hemispheres until December, although it will be higher above the horizon for Northern Hemisphere observers. Look for the comet during the night and in the morning.
The long-period comet C/2020 V2 (ZTF) is gradually fading on its way away from the Solar System but is still observable via telescopes. In November, it will have a magnitude of 10-11, visible from the evening. This comet favors the Southern Hemisphere, while in the Northern Hemisphere, it will barely rise above the horizon.
How to navigate the night sky?
One of the easiest ways to find celestial objects in the sky is to use the Sky Tonight astronomy app. It is an interactive map of your sky on your device, overlaid on the real image of the sky. Its database contains thousands of celestial objects — stars, planets, comets, galaxies, nebulae, and more. Best of all, they are all free.
Just open the Sky Tonight app and point your device (phone or tablet) at the sky to activate live mode. Tap on any object you're interested in to see its name. Tap again to get more information about it. The app also includes a handy astronomy calendar so you can plan your observations in advance! Watch our tutorial to learn how it works.
Bottom line: space events in November 2023
In November 2023, don't miss Jupiter shining at its best, the prolific Leonid meteor shower, and the lunar occultation of brilliant Venus. At the end of the month, the sky will be graced by a beautiful Full Beaver Moon. Observers with binoculars will be able to catch a glimpse of comet C/2023 H2 (Lemmon), which will make its closest approach to the Earth this month. To navigate the sky and locate all the beautiful celestial objects, use the Sky Tonight astronomy app.
We wish you clear skies and happy stargazing!