In November, skywatchers are in for a delightful celestial treat as two remarkable events coincide in the night sky, with a slim moon providing an unobstructed view of these celestial wonders.
The Pleiades, a majestic star cluster visible to the naked eye, have captivated humanity throughout history.
Also known as the Seven Sisters, Messier 45, or Mul Mul in ancient Mesopotamia, it is a celestial jewel found inlaid in gold on the Nebra Sun Disk from around 1,600 BCE.
This renowned deep-space object is located approximately 440 light-years away in the Taurus constellation and comprises thousands of stars, with seven stars being particularly prominent.
On the night of November 18th, the Pleiades will grace the sky in a prime position, positioned directly overhead, especially if you are near the equator.
Depending on your local light pollution, you may even be able to admire this stellar spectacle without binoculars, although using binoculars will reveal the Seven Sisters in their full glory.
On the same night, Earth will reach the peak of the Leonid Meteor Shower, named after the constellation Leo.
Leo will be visible in the northeastern sky for most observers, and if you can locate the Big Dipper or Plough, you're in the right part of the sky to witness these shooting stars.
Approximately 15 meteors per hour are expected during the Leonid Meteor Shower, which is a noteworthy rate.
While the night may be quite chilly, the lunar phase will be favourable with a young moon, just 6 days old, providing minimal interference.
Mark your calendars for the night of November 12th when the Taurid Meteor Stream will reach its peak, with an anticipated rate of around 10 meteors per hour.
This event coincides with a New Moon, offering optimal conditions for astrophotography in complete darkness.
Lastly, on November 27th, a full moon, often referred to as the "Frost" or "Beaver" moon, will reach opposition at 4:16 a.m. US Eastern Time.
Among the Anishinaabe People of the Northern US and Canada, this moon is known as the "Little Spirit Moon" and is traditionally associated with a time of healing and reflection.