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Read our November sky notes to find out what’s in the night sky this month!

Map

Constellations

These constellations are well placed in the evening this month, but many more can be seen. Check the star map for more.

Pisces is visible for most of the night this month, from sunset through to a few hours before sunrise, when it sets. At the beginning of the month, it sets around 05:30, but this becomes earlier as the month goes on. By the end of the month, it is setting about 03:30. See it moving across the southern sky close to the zenith.

Cepheus can be seen towards the north west this month, but close to the zenith. This is a circumpolar constellation and never sets below the horizon, so will always be visible.

Orion is becoming easier to observe as it rises earlier through the month. Look for it rising due east, and moving across the sky to set in the west. It’s visible from about 21:30 at the beginning of the month, and from about 19:30 at the end of it.

Planets

Mercury will be visible until near the end of the month, around the 24th. However, it appears extremely low above the eastern horizon just before sunrise. Best views will be on the 10th, when it reaches its highest point in the sky and its greatest western elongation. Mercury reaches perihelion on the 2nd, dichotomy on the 8th, and is in conjunction with the Moon on the 13th.

Venus can be seen bright in the eastern morning sky, rising later as the month goes on. Similarly to Mercury, it stays low in the sky and moves south throughout the night. Venus is in conjunction with the Moon on the 12th.

Mars is currently at one of its best positions for observing for a decade! Visible from sunset, it moves high across the sky for most of the night. It sets earlier throughout the month, setting around 03:00 by the end and fading in brightness. Mars is in conjunction with the Moon on the 25th.

Jupiter will be visible low on the south western horizon this month. It is highest and best seen near the beginning of the month, as it sets earlier as time goes on. Jupiter is in conjunction with the Moon on the 19th.

Saturn sticks particularly close to Jupiter this month, appearing low on the south western horizon, and noticeably fainter. It sets earlier as the month goes on. Saturn is in conjunction with the Moon on the 19th.

Uranus is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It will be in the sky most of the night, rising in the east. As the month goes on, it sets slightly earlier each day.

Neptune is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It appears fairly low above the southern horizon, moving east to west throughout the night. Neptune sets earlier each day, until by the end of the month it is setting about midnight.

Meteor Showers

The Northern Taurids reach their peak on the night of the 12th. The radiant (origin point) of the meteors is in the constellation of Taurus. Though meteors will be visible all night, best displays are likely to be around midnight, when Taurus is highest in the sky. You will be able to see about 4 meteors per hour. The Taurids are known for producing bright, slow-moving meteors.

The Northern Taurids’ radiant. (05:00 GMT).

The Leonids reach their peak on the night of the 17th. The radiant (origin point) is in the constellation of Leo. Meteors will be visible after around 22:14, when Leo rises above the horizon. It reaches its highest point after dawn, so best displays will be just before dawn. You will be able to see about 13 meteors per hour.

The Leonids’ radiant. (10:37 GMT).

The Alpha-Monocerotids reach their peak on night of the 21st. The radiant (origin point) is in the constellation of Canis Minor. Meteors will be visible after around 21:36, when Canis Minor rises above the horizon. Best displays are likely to be around 04:00, when it is highest in the sky. This is a variable meteor shower, so the number of meteors you will be able to see cannot be given.

The Alpha- Monocerotids’ radiant. (09:43 GMT).

The November Orionids reach their peak on the night of the 28th. The radiant (origin point) is in the constellation of Orion. Meteors will be visible after around 18:05, when Orion rises above the horizon. Best displays are likely to occur around 02:00, when it is highest in the sky. You will be able to see about 2 meteors per hour.

The November Orionids’ radiant. (00:45 GMT).

Moon

Last Quarter: 8th

New Moon: 15th

First Quarter: 22nd

Full Moon: 30th

The Moon reaches perigee, its closest point to the Earth, on the 14th and apogee, its furthest point on the 27th. This effect is not visually apparent.

The Moon will be at perihelion, its closest point to the Sun, on the and aphelion, its furthest point, on the 28th. This effect is not visually apparent.

Look out for Earthshine from the 9th to the 14th, and the 15th to the 21st.

Points of Interest

Asteroid 8 Flora is well placed in the constellation of Cetus when it reaches opposition on the 1st. Visible between 20:06 and 03:53, it can best be seen around midnight, when it reaches its highest point in the sky.

Asteroid 8 Flora (00:25 GMT)

Visit Spot the Station to find out when the ISS will be visible from your location.

Last updated: 20th October.

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