NASA’s skywatching tips for November include a meteor shower

NASA recently released its monthly video (above) with tips about what to look for in the skies in the coming weeks.

It remains quite busy, with November highlights including views of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, a beautiful crescent moon and the Leonid meteors.

First, you’ll be able to see brightly lit Jupiter easily during the night, provided the sky is clear. It sets just before dawn, right when Venus begins to rise, so if you’re up before dawn with a clear view of the horizon, you have a chance to see both planets on opposite sides of the sky .

On the morning of November 9, enjoy the sight of a gorgeous crescent moon hanging just below Venus in the morning sky before sunrise.

A week later, on November 17, you can see a crescent moon sitting – this time alone – in the southwest in the twilight after sunset. “Thanks to the moon illusion, which causes a rising or setting moon to appear larger, a crescent moon near the horizon often appears extra captivating,” NASA said.

Saturn will appear after sunset on November 20. Look south to see the planet just above a quarter moon, including the pair of bright stars Fomalhaut and Altair. Four days later, you’ll see a nearly full Moon close to Jupiter after sunset.

As November approaches, look for Venus rising in the morning with the bright star Spica (actually Spica consists of two large stars orbiting around each other).

This month is prime time for the annual Leonid meteor shower. The shower, which includes dust particles from Comet Tempel-Tuttle, peaks overnight on November 17, with the most meteors visible between midnight and dawn on November 18.

“The Leonids are bright, producing several long trains that persist for a few seconds after the initial flash of light,” NASA says, adding that for the best view, “see a safe, well-lit area away from bright lights.” Find a dark spot, lie down and look straight up.”

Final Tip: NASA recently released a new app for iPhone and Android that makes it easier than ever to view the International Space Station as it passes overhead at an altitude of about 250 miles. It’s packed with features and lets you set up notifications so you’ll know exactly when it’s coming to your neighborhood. And it is also easy to identify with the naked eye!

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