Huestis: What’s Up … in the Sky for November?
Saturday, November 03, 2018
Say goodbye to Jupiter for a while as he moves closer to the Sun in our sky in the first few days of the month. Just after sunset, if you have a dead horizon (down by the beaches), you’ll see him set in the south-southwest sky. You may even catch a glimpse of Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun. Mercury will be about five degrees to the lower left of Jupiter. First find Jupiter and then use binoculars to locate Mercury. A camera with a telephoto lens will definitely reveal the pair. Try various exposures.
Saturn is also nearing the end of its evening apparition. This beautiful ringed planet can still be found above the teapot asterism of Sagittarius. If you haven’t been able to locate Saturn in the sky, after sunset on November 11 take a look towards the southwest. Use the waxing crescent Moon as your guide. Saturn will be just less than three degrees (six full moon diameters) to the lower right of the Moon.
Once again, unless you have access to an unobstructed view of the south-southwest horizon, tree-lines will prevent observing Saturn much beyond mid-November. So if the weather permits make an effort to view this “lord of the rings” as soon as possible.
At midnight on the night of November 4-5 the Earth will pass through a stream of debris left in orbit by Comet Encke. The Taurids are fairly slow meteors that enter our atmosphere at approximately 17 miles per second. These often very bright yellow fireballs (meteors that explode and fragment into multiple pieces) comprise the Taurid meteor shower. You can expect no more than a half dozen shooting stars to emanate from the constellation Taurus. To locate Taurus find the V-shaped pattern that defines the bull’s face, or locate the Pleiades — the Seven Sisters. Luckily, a waning crescent moon rises around 3:50am locally and will not interfere with observing as many meteors as possible.
For the last few years our fickle New England weather has conspired to prevent us from enjoying many decent displays of shooting stars from the well-known major and minor meteor showers. We’ve got a couple more before the end of 2018, so let’s hope this intolerable pattern begins to change. On the night of November 17-18, the peak of the annual Leonid meteor shower occurs. A waxing gibbous Moon sets at 1:24am locally, so between then and dawn’s early light an observer in a dark-sky location can expect to see perhaps 15 meteors per hour.
These blue or green Leonids can blaze across the sky at around 44 miles per second as they hit the Earth’s atmosphere nearly head-on. The resulting display may produce many fireballs, with about half of them leaving trains of dust that can persist for minutes. The area of sky from where the meteors appear to radiate is in the Sickle (backwards question mark) asterism in Leo.
And finally, the Full Beaver Moon occurs on the 23rd , the day after Thanksgiving, at 12:39am, EST. Native Americans gave it this name because they harvested beaver pelts at this time of year for warmth during the long and cold winters. I’m hoping my down coat will not see frequent use this winter season!
Seagrave Memorial Observatory in North Scituate is open to the public every clear Saturday night. Ladd Observatory in Providence is open every clear Tuesday night. The Margaret M. Jacoby Observatory at the CCRI Knight Campus in Warwick is open every clear Thursday night. Frosty Drew Observatory in Charlestown is open every clear Friday night year-round.
Always keep looking up towards the night sky to behold the majesty of the heavens.
Clear skies for all your observing adventures.
Related Slideshow: 20 Things to Look Forward to This Fall in New England - 2018
Pumpkin Picking at Jaswell's Farm
The fall season signifies the return of pumpkins. Pumpkin beer, pumpkin pie and most of all pumpkin picking.
Pumpkin picking is a timeless event for families, especially those with young kids who will love to just run around and grab whichever pumpkin looks good to them.
Leaf Peeping at Green Mountain National Forest
One of the cool things about the fall season is the leaves on the trees and the colors that they change too.
According to smokeymountain.com, prime foliage season in New England is late September into early October.
Look forward to an enjoyable walk around the neighborhood and see how many different colors you can pick out, or just enjoy the beauty.
West Springfield, MA
The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts features a circus spectacular, Mardi Gras parade, agricultural competitions, arts & crafts, food contests, live music, and midway.
The Big runs from September 14 to September 30.
The Great Pumpkin Festival at the EcoTarium in Worcester is a must attend this fall in New England.
The event features more than 1000 carved pumpkins, live entertainment, family fun with trick-or-treating, displays and more.
Sam Adams Octoberfest Beer
Across New England
One of the fun things about the changing of seasons is the changing of beer flavors and with fall comes Sam Adams Octoberfest.
The Oktoberfest idea was born in 1810 when Munich celebrated the Crown Prince's wedding with a 16-day party with a special beer.
Sam Adams builds off of that idea with a beer that is perfect for the season.
The Phantom Gourmet Food Festival is an event to look forward too and it will be held on September 22 from 12- 4 p.m. on two streets next to Fenway Park.
Tickets are $40 in advance and online and will go up to $50 at the event.
The ticket includes sampling 100 of Phantom's foods from hot dogs and pizza to pulled pork and more. Beer and wine will be served on the street.
The New England Patriots Return
The NFL returns and that means that the New England Patriots are back.
The Patriots have won two of the last four Super Bowls and are among the favorites to win another one this season.
The Patriots kick off their season on Sunday, September 9 at 1 p.m. against the Houston Texans.
Apple Picking at Burtt's Apple Orchard
A great fall family event, especially those with young kids, is apple picking.
Nothing more fun than grabbing the nicest looking apple that you can find, giving it a quick wash off and then biting into it. Delicious.
Filled with great music and even better food, the Columbus Day Festival is a fall event to look forward to every season.
The feast will take place from October 6 through October 8.
Fall Boat Ride to Block Island
Block Island, RI
Though the summer weather is winding down, there is still great weather coming and great opportunities to get on the ferry and head over to Block Island for the day, or maybe even multiple days.
Fall trips to Block Island are something to look forward too.
Click here for more information.
For those nights, or days, where it's just a bit cooler out, there is nothing more comfortable than throwing on a fleece jacket and settling in for a fun day ahead.
The arrival of fall means it's time to start breaking those jackets out.
Drinking Apple Cider From Pippin Orchard
Can't you already taste it? The sweet taste of apple cider returns with the fall season.
Head over to your local market and buy some, or maybe you know how to make your own or have your own recipe. Either way, drinking apple cider is something to look forward too.
Attend Waterfire in Providence
Summer may be nearing the end, but Waterfire continues into the fall.
Waterfire is the premiere event in Providence and if you haven't gotten to one yet during the summer or fall season, now is the time to plan.
Waterfire is a great night out with different vendors, music and other entertainment lining the city streets while the river is lit up by the fire. For a really romantic and fun night, hop on a gondola ride.
The Return of Your Favorite TV Shows
One of the down sides of summer is that there is very little to watch on TV as far as new shows go. Thank goodness for Netflix and or HBO on demand.
However, the return of the fall season means the return of all the popular TV shows like Gotham, Game of Thrones, Arrow and several others.
Look forward to having something to watch at night after a long day at work.
Celebrating Halloween at Factory of Terror
Who isn't looking forward to celebrating the Halloween season at the Factory of Terror in Worcester?
The Factory of Terror consists of five different attractions including Dracula's HIdeaway, Phobia Mayhem, Zombie Alley and much more.
Fall Golf at Harbor Lights
The end of Summer does not mean the end of golf season.
The fall is a great time of year for golfing at Harbor Lights or any of the courses across the state.
The fall offers some of the best-golfing weather of the year, not too hot and not too cold.
Golf season has not left.
Harpoon Brewery will hold their 28th annual Octoberfest from September 28 through September 29.
The event will feature Harpoon brews, bratwursts, chicken dancing and German chocolate cake eating contests as well as Oompah music.
Harpoon Brewery is located at 306 Northern Ave in Boston.
Click here for more information or for tickets.
Elton John's Farewell Tour at TD Garden
Rock n' Roll legend Elton John is bringing his farewell tour to Boston's TD Garden on October 6.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to see one of the greatest of all time sing songs such as "Bennie & the Jets," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," and more.
PHOTO: David Shankbone/wikipedia
Dive into history at King Richard's Faire, New England's oldest and largest Renaissance Festival and most beloved annual fall event. Dress up, play games and learn a lot at a fair that is a great fall event for the entire family.
The Fair runs from September 1 through October 21.
What better way to spend a fall evening than strolling through Roger Williams Park Zoo and viewing some cool Jack-O-Lanterns.
The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular at Roger Williams Park is a Rhode Island and New England Fall staple featuring thousands of illuminated pumpkins from October 4 to November 4.
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