Bright planets are putting on a stargazing show in the predawn sky, and evenings feature a mythical horse flying upside-down across the sky.
The return to standard time in the U.S., Canada, and Europe means that evening’s twilight comes early — and you can sneak in a little stargazing before dinnertime.
Saturn has ended its long run in the evening sky, so planet-watchers will have to get up early to see the show that continues in predawn skies.
In early November, Jupiter rises after 3 a.m. (sooner later in the month), and it's followed about a half hour later by brilliant Venus and diminutive Mars. The latter two shine within 1° of each other from the 2nd to 5th, but Venus is much, much brighter. Watch for a thin crescent Moon entering the scene, pairing closely with Jupiter before dawn on the 6th and with Venus and Mars on the 7th.
After evening twilight ends, look high in the southeast for a giant diamond in the sky: the Great Square of Pegasus, the flying horse. The horse is flying upside down; its front legs extend from the top star toward upper right, while its neck and head stretch out and up from the diamond’s right corner.
Keep an eye out for “shooting stars” from a meteor shower known as the Taurids. Usually they’re few and far between, at most a few per hour from dusk to dawn, but many of them create spectacular fireballs. In fact, this year there’s a chance you’ll see a fair number of fireballs throughout the first week of November.
There's lots more to see by eye in the November evening sky. To get a personally guided tour, download our 6½-minute-long stargazing podcast below.
There's no better guide to what's going on in nighttime sky than the November issue of Sky & Telescope magazine.