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Sky Guide: November

Southern Cross

Welcome to the Sky Guide, your monthly guide to what's happening in the heavens!
Check out the printable version here:  November-Sky-Guide.pdf






3rd Quarter

New Moon

1st Quarter

Full Moon



Thursday 1

Thursday 8

Friday 16

Friday 23



Thursday 1

Thursday 15

Friday 30)












Planets Whetū Ao:






Early November before 10.38pm

Mid November before 10.43pm

Late November not visible



Early November before 3.47am 

Mid November before 3.08am

Late November 2.27am



Early November before 10.08pm

Mid November before 9.29pm

Late November  before not visible



Early November before 1.03am

Mid November before 12.13am

Late November before 11.20pm

On Scorpius-Ophiuchus border

In Aquirius

On Libra-Scorpius border

In Sagittarius








In Greek mythology, the Cetus constellation represents a terrifying sea monster sent by the sea god Poseidon to attack Ethiopia. Poseidon was angry because Cassiopeia, the queen of Ethiopia, had boasted that her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than all the sea nymphs.

To placate Poseidon, Cassiopeia and her husband chained their daughter to a rock as a sacrifice to the monster. Just as Andromeda was about to be devoured, the great hero Perseus stumbled upon the scene. Perseus saved Andromeda – some say by using the head of Medusa to turn the monster to stone – and married her.

Cetus was often depicted by the Greeks as a hybrid creature with a scaly body and forefeet, and huge jaws. To find Cetus, first look for Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus. Travel west from Alderbaran to find the head of Cetus.




Image: The Cetus constellation from Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius. Public Domain Mark.


Aries and Pisces

The Aries constellation represents a flying, golden-fleeced ram. Retrieving the ram’s shining fleece was the goal of the Greek hero, Jason, and his companions the Argonauts.

Pisces is said to represent Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and Eros, the god of attraction, who is known as Cupid in Roman mythology. The couple transformed themselves into fish to escape another terrible monster, Typhon, tying themselves together with rope to ensure they would not lose each other.

To find Aries, look for its brightest star Hamal which is one of the more dazzling stars in the night sky. Travel south-west from Hamal to the ecliptic line to find Pisces. Pisces is part of “the sea” where many water-themed constellations, such as Cetus, Eridanus and Aquarius, can be found.


Eridanus and Achernar

The Eridanus constellation is known as “the river” and is linked to the story of Phaethon. One day, Phaethon asked his father, the sun god Helios, if he could drive his chariot across the sky. Unable to maintain control of the horses he plunged close to Earth, scorching the plains of Africa. Zeus was so angry with the destruction that he struck Phaethon with a thunderbolt, sending him crashing into the Eridanus River.

Eridanus is most easily found by locating the star Achernar, known as “the mouth of the river”. This bright star is the least known spherical star in the Milky Way galaxy. Called a “pumpkin star” it spins so quickly that it bulges out at the equators, giving it an oblate shape.

Achernar can also be used to find the south celestial pole (SCP). This is the point in the southern hemisphere that stars appear to rotate around during the night, and also acts as a good reference point to find south. To locate the SCP, first find the Southern Cross by lining up the two southern pointer stars (look for Rigil Kentaurus on the star chart), then place your right hand on the star Gacrux. Next, put your left hand on Achernar and clap your hands together. Where they meet in the middle is the SCP.


Top image: Southern Cross. By Naskies. CC BY-SA.