Sky at a Glance 2021 November 6 – 13

Photo showing the southern evening sky at 6pm with Jupiter, Saturn, the Moon and Venus to the southwest.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2021 November 6– 13 ~by Curt Nason

With the time change this weekend there will likely be much griping about the practice. There will be mention of the inconvenience of resetting old-fashioned clocks, driving home in the dark, increases in vehicle accidents and heart attacks, how smart Saskatchewan is, and what have you. Some people want to retain DST; others want to scrap it or remain on it all year. Recently Alberta held a referendum—Stay on DST year round? Yes or No—and No barely won, thanks to the “keep-its” and “scrap-its” being lumped together.

I checked out a reference to a study in the Southern USA that showed an increase in fatal vehicle accidents during the week after the time changes. There was about a 5% increase, but only for the spring change to DST and only in the morning; back to darkness just when people were finally getting daylight for commuting. Saskatchewan? The middle of that province is at longitude 105 degrees, what should be the middle of the Mountain zone but they stay on CST (aka MDT – why would they want double daylight?). Yes, you won’t drive home from work in the dark as much if we stay on DST throughout winter but you can’t have it both ways. On DST sunrise would be after 8 am from November through February, with two weeks of that after 9 am. Do your kids or grandkids take the school bus?

As an amateur astronomer I don’t enjoy waiting until very late evening in summer to share views through my telescope. However, most people love the extra hour of evening light during the outdoor months. Whereas the biggest beef against the time change is the temporary disruption of our biological clock, I suggest we start it at 2 am on the Saturday of the Victoria Day weekend to allow most people two or three days to adjust before returning to work or school. Saturday morning of Thanksgiving weekend is a logical time to fall back to Standard Time since summer activities have ceased.

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 8:07 am and sunset will occur at 5:57 pm, giving 9 hours, 50 minutes of daylight (8:10 am and 6:04 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:17 am and set at 4:49 pm, giving 9 hours, 31 minutes of daylight (7:20 am and 4:56 pm in Saint John). Our clocks revert to Standard Time this Sunday at 2 am.

The crescent Moon sits to the lower right of Venus on Sunday evening and to the lower left of Saturn on Wednesday. It is at first quarter Thursday, to the lower left of Jupiter, and telescope users can see the Lunar X around 7 pm. Also visible between 8 and 10 that evening will be Jupiter’s Red Spot. Mercury meets up with Mars Wednesday morning, rising an hour before sunrise. Early risers on Friday might catch a few shooting stars from the North Taurid meteor shower.

On Sunday evening at 8 pm, tune in to the Sunday Night Astronomy Show via the Facebook page or YouTube channel of Astronomy by the Bay.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason.

One thought on “Sky at a Glance 2021 November 6 – 13”

  1. I agree. When I was still working, making early calls after the time change in early March, I would see young children, waiting for their school bus, playing on the snowbanks on the side streets of Saint John. By March there is a lot of melt water on the streets later in the day leaving icy patches by the morning. A scary combination. Without the change, both commutes for most people would be in some reasonable light.

    For those that work outdoors or enjoy outdoor winter activities, an earlier start to the “day” means extra warmth.
    With the revert to DST in early March it’s warmest at quitting time. There is also the important issue of sky watching in the evening.

    Most people who want the extra evening light seem to be home watching TV or at the malls. Shake your head. I liked it when the clocks were changed just before Hallowe’en (who wants to go out T&T’ing in the light?) and in April. But I find Curt’s idea very intriguing. Worth considering.

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