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Sky Report

This is the monthly Griffith Observatory Sky Report.

A telescope at the Griffith Observatory.

November, 2021




This is the Griffith Observatory Sky Report for the period between November 1 and November 30, 2021. Here are the events happening in the sky of southern California.

Mercury starts November in the morning sky. On the 1st, Mercury rises at 5:53 a.m., PDT, and the sun rises at 7:13 a.m., PDT. On the 15th, Mercury rises at 5:46 a.m., PST, and the sun rises at 6:26 a.m., PST. For the rest of November Mercury will be too close to the sun for observation. Do not observe any planet when it comes close to the sun, for the danger to the eyes is great.

Venus is in the evening sky. The planet is low in the south-southwest. On the 1st, the sun sets at 6:00 p.m., PDT, and Venus sets at 8:33 p.m., PDT. On the 30th, the sun sets at 4:44 p.m., PST, and Venus sets at 7:32 p.m., PST. As Venus slowly approaches the earth, its size increases from 26 arcseconds on the 1st to 39 arcseconds on the 30th. The planet also grows brighter. On the same dates, the amount of its disk that is illuminated deceases from 48 percent to 29 percent and gradually thins into a crescent.

Mars starts November too close to the sun for observation. By mid-November, Mars starts to rise ahead of the sun. By the 30th Mars rises at 5:15 a.m., PST, and sunrise is at 6:40 a.m., PST.

Jupiter is in the evening sky after the sun sets.  The planet sets at 1:12 a.m., PDT, on the 1st and at 10:26 p.m., PST, on the 30th.  Jupiter is positioned in the south-to-southwest sky. A telescope capable of magnification 50x will show the Red Spot, and the four bright Galilean moons may be seen moving back and forth, roughly in a line centered on Jupiter.

Saturn is also visible in the evening sky after the sun sets.  The planet is west of Jupiter. Saturn sets at 11:54 p.m., PDT, on the 1st and at 9:06 p.m., PST, on the 30th.  Saturn is positioned low in the southwest. The rings and Saturn’s largest moon Titan may be seen with a telescope capable of magnification 50x.

Uranus is in the constellation of Aries the Ram and is available for observation most of the night. Uranus sets at 7:31 a.m., PDT, on the 1st, and at 4:32 a.m., PST, on the 30th. On the 15th Uranus is at Right Ascension 2h 38m 53s with a declination of +15° 2ʹ 27ʺ. Uranus is only 3.8 arcseconds wide, and so a telescope with a magnification of 150x is needed to show its diminutive disk.

Neptune is in the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer. On the 1st Neptune sets at 3:21 a.m., PDT, and on the 30th Neptune sets at 12:26 a.m., PST. On the 15th Neptune is at Right Ascension 23h 25m 41s with a declination of -4° 57ʹ 34ʺ. Neptune is only 2.3 arcseconds wide, and so a telescope with a magnification of 150x is needed to show the disk.

New moon occurs on the 4th, first quarter on the 11th, full moon on the 19th, and last quarter on the 27th.


Daylight Saving Time ends on Sunday, November 7th, at 2:00 a.m. All clocks must be set back one hour.

The Leonid meteor shower peaks on Tuesday night, November 16, and through to the morning of November 17. The shower is named after the constellation of Leo the Lion, where the meteors appear to originate. The Leonids usually produce ten to twenty meteors per hour with many bright meteors. The nearly full moon will interfere with observation this year.

A nearly full eclipse of the moon occurs on Thursday night, November 18. Only 97 percent of the lunar disk will be within the dark part of earth’s shadow, or umbra. The moon enters the umbra at 11:19 p.m., PST, and finally leaves the umbra at 2:47 a.m., PST. Maximum eclipse will occur at 1:03 a.m., PST.

Follow All Space Considered and Griffith Observatory on Twitter for updates on astronomy and space-related events.


Morning Sky

Evening Sky