Total eclipse on April 8 will be ‘unforgettable’

It’s here! Well, almost. On April 8, the moon will pass in front of the sun, eclipsing its luminous face and casting a 124-mile-wide shadow across North America from Mexico, the Midwestern United States and into eastern Canada. Millions of sky-watchers along this path will be able to witness daytime darkness for up to four […]

Daylight saving time returns March 10

February 2 marked the exact midpoint between the winter solstice (Dec. 22) and the spring equinox, which arrives on March 19. At noon on March 19 the sun will appear to rest on the celestial equator, some 50 degrees above the southern horizon. From then until June 21, the sun at noon will appear a […]

Backyard astronomy: Look up and have fun

Though sky-watchers often have to put up with freezing temperatures, fogged-up eyepieces and cloudy skies that hide events we are anxious to see, we find lots of enjoyment doing backyard astronomy. Some amateur astronomers have even gained fame by discovering comets or recording fluctuations in variable stars. But for the majority of us who watch […]

Skywatch: new year planets and stars

Looking back on December, we enjoyed presenting our annual planetarium Christmas program to record crowds — totaling 381 for six showings. Thank you all! Our new year of sky-watching begins with Jupiter and Saturn visible most of the evening, while Mercury, Venus and Mars show up in the morning sky before sunrise. Saturn will be […]

Skywatch: giant planets and winter stars

This year’s winter solstice, which marks the first day of winter, occurs on Dec. 21 at 10:27 p.m. Nighttime darkness is at its greatest this time of year, and we can begin to look for night sky sights at an earlier time. The December full moon is on the 26th, the day after Christmas. The […]

November sky: Jupiter on the rise

Jupiter climbs high to prominence in November as it reaches opposition on Friday, Nov. 3. Jupiter will be seen brightly in the eastern sky as darkness descends, and will be visible all night. Opposition means Jupiter appears opposite the sun in the sky to us on Earth. That is, Jupiter rises in the east as […]

Meteors and planets in the October sky

A nice meteor shower graces October skies as the peak on the overnight of Oct. 20-21. The debris field we pass through for the Orionids originated with the historic passes of the famous Halley’s comet through the inner solar system (most recently in 1986). The meteors appear to come from the sky where we see […]

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