November Moon & Planet data for 2014

The Solar System in November 2014

All dates and times are NZDT (UT +13 hours) unless otherwise specified. Rise and set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ.

On November 1 the Sun rises at 6.05 am and sets at 8.03 pm. On November 31 the times are 5.40 am and 8.38 pm respectively. Nautical twilight starts about 1 hour before sunrise in the morning and ends about 1 hour after sunset in the evening. Nautical twilight starts/ends when the Sun is 12 degrees below the horizon. The sky is then reasonably dark except for a near horizon glow in the direction of the Sun.

Phases of the Moon (times as shown by guide)

Full moon:     November  7 at 11.23 am (Nov  6, 22:23 UT)
Last quarter   November 15 at  4.16 am (Nov 14, 15:16 UT)
New moon:      November 23 at  1.32 am (Nov 22, 12:32 UT)
First quarter: November 29 at 11.06 pm (        10:06 UT)

The Planets in November

Two planets will be easily seen during November. Mars will be visible in the evening sky for two or three hours before it gets too low. Jupiter for a little longer in the morning sky after it rises and before dawn.

Mercury, Venus and Saturn are all close to the Sun during November with Saturn at conjunction on November 18. Observation of any of them will be problematical, to say the least.

MARS, PLANET OF THE EVENING SKY. Best viewed as the sky darkens following sunset.

MARS is the only planet really visible in the evening sky, it sets shortly after midnight, 12.40 am on the 1st and 12.09 am on the 30th. So it is best viewed an hour or so after sunset, when it will be almost due west all month, gradually getting a little lower as the month progresses.

The planet will be moving across Sagittarius and in the process pass close to some bright stars and clusters. On the 3rd it will, at its closest, be less than 3' (one-tenth of the full moon's diameter) from the centre of M28. By the time the sky darkens in NZ Mars will be slightly be about 5' from the centre. The following night the planet will be just over half a degree from lambda Sgr, mag 2.8. On the 6th and 7th it will be less than 1° from M22, the third brightest globular cluster, with Mars to the left of the cluster on the 6th and nearly above it on the 7th.

Mars then passes the “handle of the teapot” in Sagittarius, being just under 2° from Nunki, sigma Sgr, magnitude 2.1 on the 12th with the star to the upper left of Mars, magnitude 0.9. By November 17, Mars will be close to pi Sgr, magnitude 2.9, with the planet nearly 3° from the star, this time the star being to the lower right of Mars.

The crescent moon, 17% lit will be some 7° to the lower right of Mars on November 26.

Jupiter in the Morning Sky.

JUPITER rises 3 hours before the Sun on November 1 and about four and a half hours earlier on the 30th. Thus it will be a brilliant object visible fairly low to the northeast before sunrise. The planet will be in Leo all month, slowly moving towards Regulus which will be a few degrees to its right. An hour before sunrise Jupiter will be to the northeast on the 1st, rather further round towards the north on the 30th.

The moon, at last quarter, will be just over 4° above Jupiter on the morning of October 15. The two are closest just after 3am.

Jupiter's equator is currently nearly edge on as seen from the Earth. As a result a series of mutual events of the major satellites is is occurring. A number of these events are visible from New Zealand during November. Most are occultations when one moon will be seen to close in on and merge with another, the two separating again a few minutes later.

MERCURY, VENUS and SATURN, three planets lost in the Sun.

MERCURY is nominally a morning object, it rises 35 minutes before the Sun on the 1st. 20 minutes before the Sun comes up, the planet will be only 2° above the horizon and so not observable. On the 1st Mercury is at its greatest elongation 19° west of the Sun. During the rest of November it will get steadily closer to the Sun, rising only 15 minutes earlier on the 30th.

VENUS, having become an evening object at the end of October, sets just 6 minutes after the Sun on November 1. This increases to 44 minutes later by the end of the month. Hence, by then, it may be briefly visible, very low, 30° to the south of west shortly after the Sun goes down. It will then be in Ophiuchus.

SATURN sets just over an hour after the Sun on November 1. By the 18th it is at conjunction with the Sun. As “seen” from the Earth it will pass almost 2° north of the Sun but in reality it will be 9.95 Au 1488 million km, beyond it. The distance from Earth will be 10.934 AU, or 1636 million km. After conjunction, Saturn will rise before the Sun, but less than half an hour earlier by the 30th, so not observable.

Outer Planets

URANUS is in the evening sky at magnitude 5.7 to 5.8. It is in Pisces, highest and to the north at about 11.30 pm on the 1st and two hours earlier on the 30th.

NEPTUNE is also an evening object throughout November, setting after midnight. The planet is in Aquarius, magnitude 7.9. It is stationary mid month, so its position scarcely changes during the month.

PLUTO is in Sagittarius at magnitude 14.4. On the 11th, Mars will be less than 4° from Pluto, with the latter the opposite side of Mars to the star Nunki.

Brighter Asteroids:

(1) Ceres is an early evening object magnitude 9.0 to 8.8. At the beginning of November, it sets less than 2 hours after the Sun, by the end of the month only 25 minutes later. By late November Ceres will be in Ophiuchus and will be less than 1° to the lower right of Venus on the 26th. Twilight is likely to make it impossible to view the asteroid in binoculars.

(3) Juno brightens from magnitude 9.3 to 9.0 during November. The 244 km asteroid is a morning object rising a little after midnight in Hydra. It is less than 10" from eta Hya on the morning of the 12th.

(4) Vesta, magnitude 7.9, starts November in Ophiuchus. It moves into Sagittarius on the 27th. It is an evening object, setting just before 11pm on the 1st and a little after 10pm on the 30th.

(6) Hebe is at opposition on November 20 with a magnitude 8.1. Being some way south of the celestial equator at opposition it will rise before sunset and set after sunrise. The asteroid is in Eridanus and will be less than 1° from 3.5 magniutde delta Eri between November 21 and 25.

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 Mercury greatest elong W(19)
November 2 Neptune 4.4 degrees south of the Moon
Moon at perigee
November 4 Mercury 4.2 degrees north of Spica
Uranus 1.2 degrees south of the Moon Occn
November 6 Moon full
November 8 Aldebaran 1.5 degrees south of the Moon
November 9 Moon northern most declination (18.6 degrees)
November 10 Mars 3.7 degrees south of Pluto
November 13 Venus 1.5 degrees south of Saturn
November 14 Jupiter 5.0 degrees north of the Moon
Moon last quarter
November 15 Moon at apogee
Regulus 4.4 degrees north of the Moon
November 16 Neptune stationary
November 18 Saturn at conjunction
November 19 Spica 2.6 degrees south of the Moon
November 21 Mercury 1.9 degrees south of the Moon
November 22 Saturn 1.2 degrees south of the Moon
Moon new
November 23 Venus 3.9 degrees south of the Moon
November 24 Moon southern most declination (-18.6 degrees)
Venus 4.5 degrees north of Antares
November 25 Pluto 2.8 degrees south of the Moon
November 26 Mercury 1.6 degrees south of Saturn
November 27 Moon at perigee
November 29 Neptune 4.2 degrees south of the Moon
Moon first quarter
  • 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.
  • perigee: Nearest point in the orbit of a body orbiting the Earth