The November night sky will have many highlights, including a total eclipse of the Moon, two meteor showers, and many stargazing opportunities! See our calendar with details and links to more information below.
All times and positions for the next 30 days are listed in Eastern Time (Eastern Daylight Time from November 1-5 and Eastern Standard Time for the remainder of the month), 40 degrees north of the equator.
Please also note that any mentions of sunrise, midnight, and sunset are true for every time zone in the United States. If the time is designated as “local,” it is also true for every time zone.
For explanations of degrees (length in space) and magnitudes (brightness of stars) see our chart and footnote at the bottom of this page that shows you how to measure distances using your outstretched hand.
Bookmark this page now (Press command+D on your keyboard) so you can easily refer to it over the next few weeks. If you’re interested in locating particular planets in the sky throughout the year, take a look at our visible planets guide.
November 1 – First Quarter Moon, Venus, And Saturn
Use binoculars and look just above the west-southwest horizon shortly after sunset this month to catch Venus as it leaves the Sun’s glare and floats into view. It shines at magnitude -3.9 but appears much fainter than that in the bright twilight. (You’ll be able to see Venus hanging here just after sunset all month long—about five degrees above the horizon. That’s about the width of three finger put together. See our “handy chart” at the bottom of this page.)
The Moon arrives at half, or First Quarter phase at 2:37 a.m. EDT on November 1. After sunset this evening, you’ll see a bright golden-yellow star positioned about five degrees to the upper right of the Moon. That will be Saturn.Through November, the ringed planet will appear moderately high in the south after sunset. At magnitude 0.7, it’s easily identifiable as the brightest star in the southern sector of the early evening sky. The bright star typically associated with the fall season is Fomalhaut, a bright star currently twinkling noticibly 25 degrees to Saturn’s lower left. (This is about the distance of your outstretched pinky and thumb.)
November 4 – Jupiter And The Moon
Check out the waxing gibbous Moon this evening and hovering three degrees above it will be Jupiter. The bright planet is easily detectable as soon as the Sun sets, and grows prominently as the sky darkens.
Jupiter is currently near the border of Pisces and Aquarius, and is superbly placed in the south by mid-evening or earlier. It is best observed through a telescope from dusk to midnight as it marches high across the sky from southeast to southwest.
The giant planet grows a little smaller and fainter throughout November, but it still beams around magnitude -2.7 and appears large enough to show a wealth of detail in telescopes.
November 5-12 – The Taurid Meteor Shower
This meteor shower is active this week. It usually consists of a a sparse shower of slow meteors with a large percentage of fireballs. They radiate from a spot near the Pleiades with a maximum hourly rate of about 15. Unfortunately, the Moon will be within several days of full during this same week, lighting up the sky and squelching all but the brightest meteors.
November 6 – Daylight Saving Time
This is the date that most of us change our clocks back 1 hour from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time. (Fall back. It officially happens at 2 am.)
November 8 – Full Beaver Moon And Total Lunar Eclipse
November’s Full Beaver Moon is at 6:02 a.m. EST. Learn more about it in the video below:
On this morning, the year’s second total lunar eclipse occurs in the November night sky. This eclipse is most observable by our readers west of the Mississippi, including the Hawaiian Islands, eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and the eastern half of Australia. (Along the Atlantic Seaboard, the Moon will set while it begins to emerge from total eclipse.)
As was the case with the total lunar eclipse this past May, the Moon will pass to the north of the center of the shadow and totality will be unusually long, lasting 85 minutes. As a consequence, we might expect a moderately dark eclipse, possibly featuring a brownish hue across the lower part of the Moon, contrasted by a brighter coppery red upper rim.
LUNAR ECLIPSE TIMETABLE:
|Moon Enters Umbra: 4:09 a.m. EST|
|Total Eclipse Begins: 5:16 a.m. EST|
|Middle of the Eclipse: 5:59 a.m. EST|
|Total Eclipse Ends: 6:41 a.m. EST|
|Moon Leaves Umbra: 7:49 a.m. EST|
Mercury Superior Conjunction
In addition to the full Moon and total lunar eclipse on November 8, Mercury reaches superior conjunction. It passes behind the Sun’s disk, an event that’s rare but completely unobservable. Fun fact: This means that Mercury, the Sun, the Moon, and Earth will be aligned.
November 10 – The Waning Gibbous Moon And Mars
During the late evening hours, the waning gibbous Moon will be accompanied by Mars, shining brilliantly to the Moon’s lower left. Mars still takes a little while to come into good view after dusk.
At the start of November, Mars doesn’t rise until nearly an hour after the end of evening twilight, and then it requires another two hours or so to attain an altitude of some 20 degrees for observers at mid-northern latitudes. At the end of November, Mars does everything about two and a half hours earlier, so it’s already shining a dozen degrees above the east-northeast horizon as twilight fades.
The red planet is currently performing its retrograde loop, the slow, back-and-forth path it traces around opposition, between Zeta (ζ) Tauri and El Nath, the two stars that mark the tips of the horns of Taurus the Bull. Mars was situated a few degrees forward (east) of these stars at the beginning of the month. It will be exactly aligned with them on the 13th, and by month’s end it will be situated a half dozen degrees to their right (west).
As Mars continues to approach Earth is will get noticeably brighter. Over the course of the November it will get six million miles closer to Earth (from 57 million miles away to 51 miles away) and will increased in brightness by magnitude -.5 (from -1.3 to -1.8) completely overpowering the nearby stars Aldebaran and The Pleiades.
November 16 – Last Quarter Moon
The last quarter Moon is at 8:27 a.m. EST.
November 18-19 – The Leonid Meteor Shower
The Leonid Meteor Shower is due to peak during the overnight hours. Ultrafast meteors appear to radiate from the Sickle of Leo. Look northeast around midnight local time and high in the southeast sky toward the break of dawn.
The Leonids are an extremely variable shower. A dense swarm returns about every 33 years (the Leonids’ orbital period), and if it crosses the Earth’s orbit during November an intense meteor storm is seen. The Leonids produced spectacular displays in 1799, 1833, 1866, 1966, 1999 and 2001. Naturally, the Leonids of 2034 are eagerly awaited!
In 2022, however, some reputable meteor shower experts predict that Earth might encounter a brief surge of activity around 1 a.m. local time that could result in dozens of meteors within an hour’s watch. But they are always somewhat unpredictable.
The Leonids have been weak in recent years. Usually observers see only about 10 meteors per hour. Furthermore, light from the Moon (just past last-quarter) may obscure the view.
November 23 – New Moon
The new Moon is at 5:57 p.m. EST.
November 28 – “Scope It Out” with Saturn And The Crescent Moon
A five-day old crescent Moon sits seven degrees to the lower right of Saturn this evening. A telescope will reveal Saturn’s rings tilted near their maximum for the year. Look now because by next June the rings won’t be as visible!
Since Saturn is at east quadrature on November 11, you’ll find both the planet’s shadow cast prominently on the rings and the ring’s shadow crossing the planet. The combination of these two shadow phenomena makes Saturn appear three-dimensional in telescopes.
November 30 – First Quarter Moon
The first quarter Moon is at 9:36 a.m. EST. Here’s a challenge: 15 minutes after sunset, use binoculars and scan very low near the southwest horizon to catch a glimpse of Venus. Then, look five degrees to the left of the planet and see if you can also pick out Mercury.
The innermost planet is shining at a respectably bright -0.6 magnitude, but the bright twilight sky will make this a very difficult sighting to accomplish.
Join The Discussion!
Did you see the last total lunar eclipse in May? Will you be watching for November’s?
What are you looking forward to seeing in the November night sky?
Will you try to catch a shooting star?
Let us know in the comments below!