The constellations Orion, Canis Major, Taurus, and Auriga dominate the northern sky this month, while southern observers see these same groups along with Puppis, Carina, and Vela, constellations which harbor some of the best sights the night sky has to offer. No matter where you live, grab a telescope or binoculars and head out to take a look. This February is also a slightly unusual month because there’s no full Moon. January had two, the last of which happened on the final day of the month along with a spectacular lunar eclipse that coincided with the Moon’s closest approach to Earth. The video above shows a splendid summary of the event made by Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. And if you enjoyed waking early to see the planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in January, then you’ll have even more fun this month as each slowly grows bigger and brighter in the pre-dawn sky. Here’s what to see in the night sky this month. [Read more…] about The Sky This Month – February 2018Share This:
Happenings in the night sky and information about astronomical events.
Happy New Year! 2018 begins with a busy month of stargazing. January brings several bright planets back to the sky, especially in the pre-dawn hours. There are two full Moons this month, the second of which is completely eclipsed for a short time for observers over half the planet. And telescopic observers get to see three separate double-shadow transits across the face of Jupiter. Here’s what to see in the night sky this month… [Read more…] about The Sky This Month – January 2018Share This:
For better or worse, the year 2017 finally comes down to its last month. Our planet, to be sure, has had better years. But the heavens, as always, offer respite.
This month has many beautiful sights and events for attentive sky watchers. The Moon acts as your guide in December to the planets and bright stars along the ecliptic, especially the brightening planets Mars and Jupiter in the pre-dawn sky. Saturn finally disappears westward into the Sun for the year after a fine apparition in 2017, while Venus disappears eastward into the Sun’s glare by mid-month. There are two fine meteors showers in December. And the seasons change once again as winter begins in the northern hemisphere and summer begins in the south. Here’s what to see in the sky this month… [Read more…] about The Sky This Month – December 2017Share This:
November has fallen fast upon us. That’s good news for southern-hemisphere stargazers who now enjoy warmer nights. But it’s also good for northern stargazers who enjoy earlier sunsets and longer stargazing sessions. For deep-sky observers, there are plenty of open star clusters in Cassiopeia and Perseus, and lots of galaxies in Pegasus, Sculptor, and elsewhere. There are congregations of bright planets in the morning sky, and a few planetary stragglers in the evening sky as well. Not to mention two overlapping meteor showers that offer a chance for you to see a few bright, slow-moving fireballs, and two occultations by the Moon of first-magnitude stars. Here’s what to see in the night sky this month…
[Read more…] about The Sky This Month – November 2017
If the weather holds, October is a lovely month for stargazing. The Milky Way still lingers in the west along with stars that were prominent in the northern summer. The autumn stars dominate overhead, and the northern winter stars are starting to poke above the eastern horizon. Best of all, you can get in a good night of stargazing without staying up too late. Early this month, there’s a wonderful pairing of planets in the eastern sky before sunrise, two meteor showers, a dramatic occultation of a bright star, another chance to see the ‘False Dawn, and your best chance of the year to see an ‘ice giant’ in the the outer solar system. Here’s what to see in the night sky this month…
[Read more…] about The Sky This Month – October 2017