What to see in the sky in November: Beaver Moon and the ISS

The International Space Station, photos taken in April. Photo: Mark Summers

The International Space Station, photos taken in April. - Credit: Mark Summers

Stargazers are in for a treat in November, with lots to look up at including the Beaver Moon, the International Space Station, and two meteor showers.

A nice moon over the ground during the Sky Bet Championship match at Kenilworth Road, LutonPicture

November's full moon is called the Beaver Moon - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The Moon

Phases for November are as follows:

  • New Moon - Thursday, November 4
  • First Quarter - Thursday, November 11
  • Beaver Moon - Friday, November 19
    • This full moon is named for the season in which beavers prepare their homes for winter. It is also the best time to set beaver traps before the water starts freezing.
  • Final Quarter - Saturday, November 27
M45 Pleiades

The Pleiades star cluster - Credit: Matt Wells

The Planets and Stars

November marks the return of the winter constellations. Orion will be rising in the east at around 10pm in the evening, made up of the stars Bellatrix and Betelguese. 

The Pleiades star cluster, also known as the seven sisters, will be visible even from areas with light pollution. It will rise from the east after dark and will sit high in the south.

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The International Space Station will also be visible from November 1 to 6 between 3pm and 6pm. As well as from November 22 to 30 between 5pm to 7pm. The station will come from the west/south-west.

Venus will be visible in the east before sunrise and in conjunction with the moon on November 12 and 13. Mercury may be visible during these conjunctions.

Mars will continue to shine brightly, high in the southern sky at 10pm, the planet will reduce in brightness. It will be in close conjunction with the moon on November 25.

Jupiter and Saturn will be bright in the southern sky after sunset. The moon will be visible between the two gas giants on November 19, low to the horizon.

perseid meteor 2021

The Perseid meteor shower 2021 - Credit: David Bryant

Meteor Showers

Taurids

Active between October 20 and December 10, this shower will peak on November 12. This shower is associated with Comet Encke and Asteroid 2004 TG, it has both a northern and southern component.

There will be around five meteors per hour, characterised by being very slow.

Leonids

Active between November 5 and 29, this shower will peak on November 17 and 18. This shower is associated with Comet Tepel-Tuttle and gets its name from the constellation Leo.

Ther will be upwards of 15 meteors an hour, characterised by fast, bright meteors with fine trains.

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