We present you the astronomy calendar for November 2020. Astronomy is the foundation upon which astrology can operate. Actually, astrology and astronomy were treated together, under the Latin name of astrologia, being separated only by the Western 17th century philosophy. One thing is sure: a good astrologer needs to study astronomy.

Tuesday, November 10th: Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation

In astronomy, a planet’s elongation is the angular separation between the Sun and the planet, with Earth as the reference point. The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 19.1 degrees from the Sun. November 10th is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.

november 2020 astronomy calendar

Wednesday, November 11th, Thursday, November 12th: Northern Taurids Meteor Shower

The Taurids are an annual meteor shower. It produces only about 5-10 meteors per hour. It actually has two separate streams, with a Southern and a Northern component. The Southern Taurids comes from debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke. The Northern Taurids come from dust grains left behind by Asteroid 2004 TG10. Their name comes from their radiant point in the constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky. Because of their occurrence in late October and early November, they are also called Halloween fireballs. It peaks this year on the night of November 11th. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Taurus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Sunday, November 15th: New Moon

The New Moon is when the Sun and Moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the Moon. The new moon is the first lunar phase, when the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude. At this phase, the lunar disk is not visible to the unaided eye, except when silhouetted during a solar eclipse. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.


Monday, November 16th, Tuesday, November 17th: Leonids Meteor Shower

This is a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids get their name from the location of their radiant in the constellation Leo. The meteors appear to radiate from that point in the sky. The Leonids produce up to 15 meteors per hour at their peak, being an average shower. This shower has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years, where hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen. That last of these occurred in 2001. The Leonids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, discovered in 1865. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo, but can appear anywhere in the sky.

Monday, November 30th: Full Moon

The full moon is the lunar phase when the Moon appears fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective. This occurs when Earth is located directly between the Sun and the Moon (more exactly, when the ecliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180°). This means that the lunar hemisphere facing Earth – the near side – is completely sunlit and appears as a circular disk, while the far side is dark.

November’s full Moon was called the Beaver Moon by both the Algonquin tribes and colonial Americans, because this was the month to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Others say the name comes from the heavy activity of beavers building their winter dams. The November Full Moon was also called the Full Frost Moon or Frosty Moon, Deer-Mating Moon and Fur-Pelts Moon.


Monday, November 30th: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the Earth’s partial shadow, or penumbra. During this type of eclipse, the Moon will darken slightly, but not completely. The eclipse will be visible throughout most of North America, the Pacific Ocean, and northeastern Asia, including Japan.

This is the fourth and the last lunar eclipse in 2020. The others occurred on 10th/11th January, on 5th/6th June and on 4th/5th July.


November 2020 planetary overview