As the world’s 17th International Dark Sky Community, Fountain Hills is a unique dark sky oasis in the Valley of the Sun. Here are some things you can see in November 2022.
Mars (after 8:30 PM in the East), Jupiter & Saturn overhead, Venus (right after sunset in the West)
South Taurids: November 4-5
North Taurids: November 12
Leonids: November 17-18
FULL MOON & TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE
A total lunar eclipse can only happen on the night of a Full Moon when the moon reaches the exact opposite side of the Earth as the sun. Sometimes, the moon’s orbit takes it directly into Earth’s shadow, creating a partial or total eclipse. This month’s total lunar eclipse will reach totality (fully shadowed) at 2:17 AM and last until 3:42 AM.
These total lunar eclipses are referred to as Blood Moons. When the sun’s light hits Earth, the red part of the light spectrum bends the most, wrapping around Earth and reaching the moon’s surface. This gives the moon an eerie reddish color, earning the nickname of Blood Moon.
CONSTELLATIONS TO LOOK FOR
Many people mistake the Pleiades for the Little Dipper, but it’s far from the correct location of the real Little Dipper. The Pleiades is a small asterism within the larger constellation of Taurus, the bull. Many cultures call it the Seven Sisters, but we can only see six stars today. As a result, many cultures have “newer” stories about what happened to the one sister.
In the Nez Perce (Pacific Northwest) version, one sister falls in love with a human man. He dies, and she is overwhelmed with grief. Her sisters mock her for feeling sad over the death of a human. As her sadness grows, she feels ashamed and pulls the sky over her face like a veil to block herself from view.
Visit the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association website to learn more about dark sky preservation education and activities in our community. Become a member and get information about events like the Dark Sky Festival.
Visit the International Dark Sky Discovery Center website to learn more about the amazing facility planned for the heart of downtown Fountain Hills.
Visit the Night Sky Tourist website to learn more about naked-eye stargazing, great places to see the night sky, and fascinating cultural astronomy from around the world. Check out the podcast by Vicky Derksen, the president of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association and the editor of Desert Vibe.