November Moon & Planet data for 2013

The Solar System in November 2013

All dates and times are NZDT (UT + 13 hours) unless otherwise specified.

Phases of the Moon (times as shown by guide)

New moon:      November  4 at  1.50 am (Nov  3, 12:50 UT)
First quarter: November 10 at  6.57 pm (        05:57 UT)
Full moon:     November 18 at  4.16 am (Nov 17, 15:16 UT)
Last quarter   November 26 at  8.28 am (Oct 25, 19:28 UT)

At the new moon in November there will be an annular/total eclipse of the Sun. The eclipse starts as annular in the Atlantic Ocean some distance to the east of Florida. At the start of the eclipse it is annular, but rapidly becomes total and remains so for the rest of the eclipse. Its path is to the south east across the Atlantic and enters Africa close to the equator. The eclipse ends at sunset just short of the east coast of Africa.

Almost all of Africa will see some part of the eclipse as will southern Europe. No part is visible from Australia or New Zealand.

The Planets in November

Venus is in the sky throughout the evening and, for most of NZ, does not set until after midnight.

Jupiter rises soon after midnight, Mars 2 to 3 hours before the Sun, so both planets are visible in the pre-dawn morning sky.

Both Mercury and Saturn are too close to the Sun to observe throughout November.

VENUS, the evening planet.

Venus is at its greatest elongation, 47° east of the Sun on November 1. It is also some 3.5° south of the ecliptic. As a result the planet will be high in southern skies and set late. For most of New Zealand, Venus will set shortly after midnight (NZDT) throughout November. In the north, as at Auckland, it will set two or three minutes before midnight for much of the month, about slightly earlier at the end of the month.

So it will remain a brilliant object, magnitude -4.5, some 30° up to the west shortly after sunset. At its highest in the afternoon, between 4 and 5 pm, the planet will be around 70° above the horizon so almost overhead.

Venus will be just over 30% lit as seen from the Earth, so viewed through a small telescope will appear as a brilliant, broad crescent.

JUPITER and MARS in the morning sky.

Both these planets are only visible in the morning sky before sunrise. Jupiter comes up first, between 1 and 2 am NZDT early in November and the better part of 2 hours earlier at the end of the month. By then it will rise shortly before midnight in all but the extreme south of NZ.

Mars rises some two and a half to three hours after Jupiter, two to two and a half hours before the Sun.

Jupiter is over 20° north of the equator so remains low in NZ skies, especially in the south, at a similar altitude to the Sun near mid winter. Mars is not as far north but is still quite low while it is visible before sunrise.

The moon will be to the south of Jupiter on the mornings of the 22nd and 23rd of November. The two will be just over 7° apart on both mornings with the moon to the upper left of Jupiter on the 22nd and to its upper right on the 23rd.

The moon will be closest to Mars on the 28th. The planet, magnitude 1.3, will be 5° to the lower left of the 32% lit moon.

MERCURY and SATURN, two planets not observable in November.

Mercury is at inferior conjunction between the Earth and Sun on November 2 (NZ time). The planet will then be just over 100 million km from the Earth and 48 million from the Sun. As seen from the Earth the planet will pass about 1 solar radius south of the Sun.

After inferior conjunction Mercury becomes a morning object. By November 18 the planet will have swung as far out from the Sun as it will get this cycle, some 19° west of the Sun. At its best the planet will rise little more than half an hour before the Sun, so will not be visible.

Saturn is at conjunction with the Sun on the 6th. This will mark its move to the morning sky. By the end of November it will rise nearly an hour before the Sun, but is not likely to be visible in the brightening sky.

On the morning of the 27th, the two planets will be only 1° apart in the eastern sky, but will be too low in the dawn sky to see.

Outer Planets

Both Uranus and Neptune are evening objects during November. Uranus at magnitude 5.7 is in Pisces very close to its border with Cetus. Neptune is at magnitude 7.9 and is in Aquarius. Both set well after midnight.

Brighter Asteroids:

(1) Ceres and (4) both remain as low objects in the dawn sky, magnitudes about 8.8 and 8.2 respectively. The two asteroids are about 7° apart with Vesta to the upper left of Ceres as seen in the morning sky. They are to the lower right of Mars. The two asteroids are in Virgo all month.

(2) Pallas is in Hydra and brightens slightly during November from 8.8 to 8.5. It rises just before 1 am at the beginning of November and soon after 11 pm by the month’s end.

(20) Massalia was at opposition on the last day of October at magnitude 8.8. The asteroid is in Aries, about 10° to the upper right of the second magnitude star Hamal, alpha Ari. During November it fades steadily, back to 9.5 by the 30th.

Events Diary

The follwing table lists various solar system object events during November. A list of astronomical terms used in may be found after the table.

November 1 Venus greatest elong E(47)
Mercury inferior conjunction
November 2 Spica 0.8 degrees south of the Moon Occn
November 3 Mercury 0.0 degrees north of the Moon Occn
Moon new Eclipse
Saturn 1.6 degrees north of the Moon
November 6 Moon southern most declination (-19.6 degrees)
Moon at perigee
Saturn at conjunction
November 7 Jupiter stationary
Pluto 1.7 degrees south of the Moon
November 10 Moon first quarter
Mercury stationary
November 11 Neptune 5.4 degrees south of the Moon
November 13 Neptune stationary
November 14 Uranus 3.2 degrees south of the Moon
November 17 Moon full
November 18 Mercury greatest elong W(19)
Aldebaran 2.7 degrees south of the Moon
November 19 Moon northern most declination (19.6 degrees)
November 22 Jupiter 5.0 degrees north of the Moon
Moon at apogee
November 25 Regulus 5.3 degrees north of the Moon
Moon last quarter
November 26 Mercury 0.3 degrees south of Saturn
November 27 Mars 5.3 degrees north of the Moon
November 29 Spica 0.9 degrees south of the Moon Occn
  • apogee: Furtherest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth
  • conjunction: Two astronomical objects are 'lined up' (have the same right ascension) when viewed from Earth
  • declination: 'Latitude' for celestial objects. The distance in degress above (north) or below (south) the celestial equator.
  • inferior conjunction: Conjunction where a solar system object is between the Earth and the Sun
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth