Skip to main content

Do look up to enjoy November’s space treats

What's Up: November 2022 Skywatching Tips from NASA

This month is an exciting one for skywatchers, with a total lunar eclipse, an enormous star, and a meteor shower three highlights to enjoy.

Total lunar eclipse

The total lunar eclipse — when Earth blocks all of the sun’s direct light from reaching the moon — takes place early on the morning of Tuesday, November 8, and will be visible to people in North America, the Pacific region, Australia, and East Asia.

Folks located in the Eastern time zone of the U.S. and Canada will have to crawl out of bed early to witness the celestial event, as it’ll begin just after 4 a.m ET.

The full eclipse will take place at about 5:15 a.m. ET, and after that, the moon will set with the eclipse continuing.

With the West Coast of North America three hours behind, the timings mean a late night on Monday as the eclipse will begin just after 1 a.m PT before reaching the full eclipse by around 2:15 a.m. PT.

Anyone with binoculars can enjoy a bonus event in the form of a view of the giant ice planet Uranus, which will be visible a mere finger’s width away from the eclipsed moon.

A view of the night sky featuring the moon and Uranus.


Spica is a giant star that has 10 times the mass of our sun while also being 12,000 times more luminous. “Fortunately for us, it’s located 260 light-years away,” NASA says.

Despite its vast distance from Earth, you can get a view of its light by gazing skyward in the hour before sunrise on Sunday, November 20. To spot it, look toward the southeast, locate what will be a slim crescent moon, and then look just below for the bright bluish star Spica.

Leonid meteor shower

The annual Leonid meteor shower comprises dusty bits of debris left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle as it orbits the sun.

It’s viewable throughout November, but the best time to take a look will be as it peaks after midnight on Friday, November 18.

NASA says you may be able to see as many as 20 meteors per hour streaking across the sky, but notes that the moon will be around 35% full that night so its light could interfere with your ability to see the fainter meteors.

However, it also says that Leonid meteors are often bright, with the streaks lasting several seconds, so there should still be plenty of viewable action.

To give yourself the best chance of spotting the Leonids, find a dark spot well away from any light pollution.

NASA advises: “While the moon will be rising in the east with Leo around midnight local time, it’s actually better to view the sky away from the meteors’ apparent point of origin, by lying back and looking straight upward, as any meteor trails you see will appear longer and more spectacular.”

If you want help identifying everything you see in the night sky, you can try one of these excellent astronomy apps for iPhone and Android.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
NASA eyes weather for Friday’s Crew-7 launch. Here’s how it’s looking
A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off on May 30, for the first crewed test flight of the Crew Dragon capsule. flight

NASA and SpaceX are about to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in the Crew-7 mission.

The crew comprises American Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency), Satoshi Furukawa of JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency), and Konstantin Borisov of Russia’s Roscosmos space agency. They'll spend six months living and working aboard the station orbiting about 250 miles above Earth.

Read more
How to watch NASA and SpaceX launch Crew-7 to the space station
SpaceX's Crew-7 astronauts.

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

NASA and SpaceX are making final preparations for the Crew-7 flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

Read more
NASA reveals new date for Crew-7 mission to space station
The International Space Station pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a fly-around of the orbiting lab.

The four crew members of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission inside SpaceX Hangar X at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. From left to right: Konstantin Borisov, Andreas Mogensen, Jasmin Moghbeli, and Satoshi Furukawa. SpaceX

UPDATE: NASA had moved the targeted launch date from August 17 to August 21. But it's now targeting Friday, August 25. This article has been updated to reflect the change.

Read more