In Manx skies... November 2017 ~ compiled by Dave Storey


18th at 11.42h

First Quarter
26th at 17.03h

4th at 05.23h

Last Quarter
10th at 20.10h

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Note: All times are Universal Time (UT) = GMT = IoM local time.

There are no Lunar or Solar eclipses this month.


Solar activity is low with solar cycle 24 now in force.


Carrington's Solar Rotation number 2197 starts on the 6th at 07h16m29s.


Is east of the Sun and technically an evening object after sunset. It will however be difficult to spot due to its low altitude this month. It reaches greatest eastern elongation on the 24th when it will be 22° to the left of the Sun.


Will be found in the pre sunrise skies in the east shining at a brilliant magnitude of -3.9. The planet will be rising at 05.34h on the 1st , about 1¾ hours before sunrise. By the end of the month, it will rise 7.15h with the sun rising 55 minutes later. So by the end of the month, the planet will become difficult to spot. As Venus is moving towards the Sun, the planet Jupiter will be moving away from the Sun and so they will be seen approaching each other. They are in a close conjunction on the 13th and this should prove a very nice sight with the naked eye, binoculars and low powered telescopic views. They will be at their closest at 08.23h when the separation will be only 15.7 arc minutes. This would be a good opportunity to follow both planets into a daytime sky and see both planets in a blue sky!


Is in Virgo during the month, travelling prograde (west to east) and shines at magnitude +1.7.
The planet will be moving towards the brightest star in Virgo, Spica and will be around 3° distance from the 27th. On the morning of the 15th, Mars will be rising with the crescent moon and located 3° to the right of the Moon. This would be a lovely naked eye and binocular view.


Is in dawn skies, shining at magnitude -1.7 and will become better placed for viewing by the end of the month. It has a close conjunction with Venus on the 13th. See above.

As the moons orbit Jupiter, there are occasions when the shadow of the moons can be seen upon the surface of Jupiter and the moons can transit across Jupiter's disc. Also, the moons can be seen to be occulted or eclipsed by Jupiter. There are many events throughout the month. See periodicals such as the BAA Handbook, Astronomy Now and Sky at Night magazines for listings.

To help you identify the moons at any particular time,
Sky and Telescope have a Java tool that will plot the moon positions. Click Here.


Is very low down in the south west after sunset and will be lost to the bright twilight sky by the end of the month.


Taurid meteors are active from October 20th to November 30th with peak activity on the 5th and 12th. Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) is 10 meteors per hour. This shower can have some slow moving, bright events. Radiant of peak on the 5th is at RA. 03h33m Dec +13°. Radiant on the 12th is at RA. 03h54m Dec +22°.

Leonids are active from 15th to 20th with maximum due at 19h on the 17th. Rates (ZHR) of 20 meteors per hour may be seen with radiant within the backward question mark asterism that forms the lions head of Leo. RA. 10h16m Dec +22° The moon will be well out of the way this year, so viewing conditions should be excellent.

(Stars Brighter than Magnitude +6.0)

Date Time            ZC#    SAO#           Magnitude. P.A.  Type of event.    Notes

4th        21.57:38      491    93416        +6.0           250° RD                 D*
5th        23.44:29      667    92950        +5.0           281° RD                 75 Tau D*
6th        00.35:21      677    93975        +4.8           217° RD                 D*
6th        02.27:04      692    94027        +0.9           116° DB                 Aldebaran M*
6th        03.22:41      692    94027        +0.9           221° RD                 Aldebaran M*
6th        21.48:25      814    94554        +5.4           205° RD                 115 Tau M*
7th        00.17:38      832    94628        +4.3           297° RD                 119 Tau
7th        00.59:33      836    94649        +5.7           273° RD                 120 Tau
9th        04.53:51      1175  97221        +4.9           280° RD                 81 Gem D*
25th      20.09:50      3181    164612     +6.0           037° DD                 45 Cap M*

For very detailed list of occultations visible this month, click here. Data from Occult Software.

Times are UT as seen from IoMAS Observatory. Start to observe these events about 20 minutes before the above times to allow for differences in your latitude and longitude. This will give you time to locate the star that is about to be occulted.

ZC = Zodiacal Catalogue. Type of Event DD = disappearance at dark limb, DB= disappearance at bright limb. RD = Reappearance at dark limb. RB = Reappearance on bright limb.
PA = Position Angle around limb of the Moon, where 0 degrees is north, 90 degrees is east, 180 degrees is south and 270 degrees is west.
D* = Double Star M*=Multiple Star

The above predictions were calculated from Occult software by David Herald. More information regarding this software may be found at the web site.


This star drops from magnitude +2.1 to +3.4 in about 5 hours. Suitable events visible from the Isle of Man this month occur on 11th at 01.12h and 13th at 22.00h. Click here for a star chart for Algol.


There are no suitable place bright comets visible from Manx shores this month.


The international Space Station crosses the Manx skies on a regular basis. For the latest information on when the ISS is due to pass across the sky over the next ten days, visit the link below.

ISS transit Information from Heavens

Bibliography for Manx Night Skies

The Handbook of the British Astronomical Association 2017. BAA. 2016
Stargazing 2017. Heather Couper & Nigel Henbest. Philip's 2016
2017 Guide to the Night Sky. Storm Dunlop & Wil Tirion. Collins 2016
2017: An Astronomical Year (U.K. Edition) Richard J. Bartlett. October 2016
Yearbook 2017. Sky at Night. BBC. Immediate Media Company, Bristol. 2016
2017 Yearbook of Astronomy. Richard Pearson & Brian Jones. CPI Group (UK) Limited. 2017
Observer's Handbook Meteors. Neil Bone. Philip's 1993
Atlas of the Night Sky. Storm Dunlop. Collins. 2005
Constellations. Josef Klepešta and Antonin Rükl. Hamlyn. 1979
Brilliant Stars. Patrick Moore. The Book People Ltd. 1996
Complete Guide to Stargazing. Robin Scagell. Phillip's. 2006
Turn Left at Orion. Guy Consolmango and Dan M. Davis. Cambridge U.P. 2008
Norton's 2000.0 Edited Ian Ridpath. Longman Scientific & Technical. 1989

Planetary data derived from Guide 9 Software.
Picture graphics derived from Stellarium and Guide 9 Software.