Yes, the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping, but that’s no reason not to get bundled up for a night of stargazing in Washington during November. If watching the night sky is a hobby of yours, there are four noteworthy celestial events you should put on your calendar for the month.

The southern Taurids meteor shower

Meteor shower

November kicks off with the southern Taurids meteor shower on Sunday, November 5th through Monday, November 6th. You can expect about 5-7 meteors an hour, which is not a lot compared to other events throughout the year but still something worth getting out of the house to see. Maybe sip some hot cider or wine while bundling up on the lawn furniture you haven’t put away yet.

The northern Taurids meteor shower

If the southern Taurids shower wasn’t enough, no worries, the northern Taurids meteor shower will show up November 11th through the 13th, however, you’ll have to stay up late for this one – optimal viewing time is after midnight because the moon will only be about 2% - leaving a fairly dark sky.

The Leonids meteor shower

According to cosmic experts, the best night to experience the Leonids meteor shower will be late night November 17th until dawn on November 18th.  Yep, that’s a late night/early morning, but again if you’re a hardcore stargazer you don’t care, right? You can expect to see approximately 10 to 15 meteors an hour.

What is a Beaver Moon?

Beaver Moon, hunting

Why is November’s full moon called the ‘Beaver Moon’ or the ‘Frost Moon’? According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the month of November is when beavers are finishing their shelters and storing food for the winter. Fur traders and Native Americans set beaver traps in mid to late November. The beaver fur was used to keep warm and to sell. It’s also known as the ‘Frost Moon’ signifying the first sign of winter and snow. The Full Beaver Moon happens on November 27th.

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