Partial Lunar Eclipse, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter — November 2021 Sky Observation Tips from NASA

What’s up for November? Sunset planets, partial lunar eclipse, and the return of winter stars.

From November 6 to November 11, watch the moon slip VenusAnd Saturn, And Jupiter After sunset in the south/southwest. In particular, if you go out for a look on November 7, you’ll find the four-day-old crescent moon about two degrees from Venus. It must be really beautiful, so don’t miss it.

Sky chart for November 7 After sunset, Venus appears only two degrees from the crescent in the southwest. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

And between now and early December, you’ll find Jupiter and Saturn getting a little closer to Venus every night.

A partial lunar eclipse is on the way, occurring overnight on November 18-19, when the moon slips into the Earth’s shadow for a few hours. Weather permitting, the eclipse will be visible from wherever the moon appears above the horizon during the eclipse. Depending on your time zone, it will happen early or late in the evening for you.

November 2021 partial view of the lunar eclipse

Map showing the visibility of the partial lunar eclipse on November 18-19. Dark areas indicate greater visibility. Check local details for visibility near you. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Now this is a huge area of ​​the planet that will be able to see at least part of the eclipse, including North and South America, East Asia, Australia and the Pacific region. So check when they see it for your area.

For observers of the East Coast of the United States, the partial eclipse begins shortly after 2 a.m., and reaches its maximum at 4 a.m. For observers on the West Coast, this translates to starting just after 11 p.m., with a maximum of 1 a.m.

Partial lunar eclipses may not be quite as spectacular as total lunar eclipses — where the moon is completely covered by the Earth’s shadow — but they happen frequently.

And that means more opportunities to watch subtle changes in our solar system sometimes happen right before our very eyes.

Throughout the month, if you are late and look east, you will notice that some familiar comrades have begun to get up late at night. Familiar stars return in the northern winter sky, rising late at night and sitting high in the south at dawn.

trojan asteroids sky chart

The sky chart shows the locations of several Trojan asteroids that will be visited by NASA’s recently launched Lucy spacecraft, too faint to see without a large telescope, but their locations in the sky are near the Pleiades star cluster. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

You’ll find the constellation of Pleiades stars leading the constellations Taurus the Bull and the hunter Orion, followed by the brightest star in the sky, Sirius — all coming back to keep us company for the long winter nights here in the Northern Hemisphere. (And for those in the Southern Hemisphere, they keep you company for shorter nights as spring gives way to summer there.)

A fun note about the Pleiades this month is that many of the eight asteroids that NASA’s Lucy mission will visit are in that part of the sky.

Lucy spacecraft launch

The Lucy spacecraft launches from Space Launch Complex 41, Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The Lucy spacecraft launched on October 16 on its 12-year mission to visit a group of special asteroids called the Trojans. They share the orbit of Jupiter, with one group leading the planet, and another group following it.

Lucy will be the first space mission to explore this unique group of asteroids, providing new insights into the formation and early history of our solar system.

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Olga Dmitrieva

Любитель алкоголя. Возмутитель спокойствия. Интроверт. Студент. Любитель социальных сетей. Веб-ниндзя. Поклонник Бэкона. Читатель

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