November 2013 Night Photography Events Calendar

Each month I post a monthly night photography events calendar on the first day of the month. (Obviously, I’m a little behind this month.) Events listed on the calendar are suitable for wide-field and moderate-telephoto astrophotography using DSLR cameras, as well as for general night photography. The calendar does not include events or subjects that are more suited to telescopes or extreme telephoto lenses. Unless otherwise stated, all events occur in the United States at mid-latitudes. Most of the events also occur at other locations, although some of them may require correction for latitude and longitude.

The position of the moon relative to the planets and stars changes throughout the night. Generally, when a position is given, it is for the period about 45 minutes after sunset or 45 minutes before sunrise.

If you sign up for my free Night Photography News eNewsletter, you’ll receive each calendar two weeks early, on the 15th of the preceeding month. This will give you more time to plan your night shooting.

Times are Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)

? Will we see Comet ISON this month? Certainly those who view through telescopes will see it, but the question for us is whether it will be bright enough to photograph with standard cameras and lenses. The best chance occurs from about the 20th to the 25th and then beginning again on the 30th. Look for the comet in the twilight sky, very low on the east-southeast horizon. It shares the sky with Saturn and Mercury, and Spica a little higher above. If the comet is bright enough, you can make a great composition that includes all of these elements. Stay tuned to the Digital After Dark blog and the NPN newsletter for updates.
All month Brilliant Venus (growing from magnitude -4.5 to -4.8) shines low in the dusk sky to the southwest. It will make a great complement to a twilight landscape scene.
All month Rusty-colored Mars rises an hour or two after midnight and shines high in the southeast sky at dawn, growing in brightness from about magnitude 1.6 to 1.2.
All month Jupiter rises in the east a couple hours before midnight during the first of the month and about three hours earlier at the end of the month. At dawn, it shines very high in the southwest sky. At about magnitude -2.5, it is the brightest object in the sky other than the moon and Venus.
All month Orion rises about 4 hours after sunset during early November and a couple hours afterward at the end of the month.
2nd half Mercury shines low on the horizon in the dawn sky, looking east-southeast. It grows in brightness from about magnitude 0.8 to -0.7.
Last week Saturn shines low on the horizon in the dawn sky, looking east-southeast. When it first becomes visible to the unaided eye, it is below Mercury and shining less brightly. Each morning, Saturn rises and Mercury lowers, with the two planets passing each other on the 26th.
1 The thin crescent moon shines in the dawn sky, looking east.
2 Daylight Savings Time ends at 2am. Most of the United States and Canada will set their clocks backward one hour.
2 A sliver thin and faint crescent moon shines very low on the horizon in the morning twilight sky, looking east.
2 – 15 The zodiacal light is visible in the east before sunrise from dark locations. See this blog post for more information.
3 New moon at 7:50am. Don’t forget, the best time to shoot the stars (either as pinpoints or star trails) is when there is no light pollution from the moon.
3 A partial solar eclipse occurs over much of the world. For viewers in the United States, the eclipse occurs at sunrise and will be visible only along the eastern seaboard. You’ll need a flat horizon so you can see the Sun immediately as it rises. Look for a slight shading on the lower left side of the Sun. You should always exercise caution when looking directly at the sun, even at sunrise and sunset. This isn’t a night-photography event, but it will be of interest to many photographers who are lucky enough to be in the path of the eclipse.
5 A very thin crescent moon shines low on the horizon in the dusk twilight sky, looking west-southwest. Venus lies to the upper left of the moon.
6 The thin crescent moon lies to the upper right of Venus in the dusk twilight sky, looking west-southwest.
7 The crescent moon lies to the upper left of Venus in the dusk twilight sky, looking west-southwest.
10 First quarter moon at 12:58am.
17 Full moon at 10:16am. Don’t forget, in addition to including the full moon as a complement to a landscape or urban scene, you can use the light from the full (or nearly full) moon to illuminate your scene.
17 The Leonid meteor shower peaks. Best viewing should be between midnight and dawn. Normal rates for the Leonids are around 20 per hour; however, the full moon will drown out all but the brightest meteors.    
25 Third quarter moon at 2:29pm.
28 The crescent moon shines in the dawn sky, looking east.
29 The thin crescent moon shines in the dawn sky, looking east. Spica shines to the lower left of the moon.
30 A very thin crescent moon shines low on the horizon in the dawn sky, looking east-southeast. Saturn lies to the lower left, with Mercury below Saturn.

Night sky illustrations produced by Stellarium software—www.stellarium.org

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