BINOCULAR HIGHLIGHTS


I always present viewing directions in the order you should look starting with West because objects are setting in that direction. I've also added viewing times that are reasonably early in the evening so you don't have to be a night owl to observe with your binoculars. I selected November 5 as an observing date instead of mid November because the Moon's glare will interfere during that time. You can use these charts near the end of November as well because the Moon won't be a factor then. The difference is all objects will be shifted more south and west near the end of the month.
The summer Milky Way has drifted away from South and is beginning to set vertically in the West. Jupiter and Saturn have set for the long winter ahead and two of the stars that make up the Summer Triangle (Altair and Vega) are making their last curtain call for 2018.
What a difference a month makes! The southern horizon has lost all its glitz leaving behind only two planets (Mars and Neptune) and one lonely bright star (Fomalhaut). Even though Neptune is visible in binoculars, I've never found it that way. You'll need a computerized telescope to zero in on the most distant major planet in our solar system.
The eastern horizon has the most interesting binocular objects to see in November. Capella marks the top of the "doghouse" pentagon of stars that make up the constellation Auriga The Sheep Herder. Taurus is pointing his bull horns at Auriga daring the Sheep Herder to try riding herd on him! Bright Orange-yellow Aldebaran marks Taurus' bulls eye with the large and cosmically close by star cluster (The Hyades) above it. The incredibly bright and compact "Tiny Little Dipper" shaped Pleiades star cluster marks the shoulder of the charging bull. Back to Auriga. Scan your binocs in the interior of the "doghouse" to see two dimmer but beautiful star clusters M 36 and M 38.