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5 Sky Events This Week: Orion’s Meteors, Hidden Sun, and Zodiacal Light

October’s skies delight the eyes, for stargazers this week.

Sky Events This Week: Green Giant, Blood Moon, and Dragon Spits Fire

    Amid excitement over a total eclipse, stargazers also can look forward this week to some starry surprises and a minor meteor shower. As always, the skies offer plenty of sights worth staying up to see. Uranus Opposition.   Uranus officially reaches opposition on Tuesday, October 7. That means the outer planet will be…

4 Sky Events This Week: Cosmic Dumbbell and Lunar Lineup

Moonless nights bring deep sky delights for skywatchers this week.

Watch What Could Be This Summer’s Best Meteor Shower

A July meteor shower promises a chance to catch a shooting star.

5 Sky Events This Week: Jupiter Sinks, Mercury Rises, and Venus Snuggles With Luna

As three stellar jewels take their final bows in the evening sky, Mercury and Venus put on a splendid show for sky-gazers.  Cosmic Trio. On Monday, May 19, face the southwestern horizon just after nightfall, and gaze at three of the brightest stars of spring slowly fading away into the glow of twilight. Starting from…

Guide to Watching Aquarids Meteor Shower Tonight

Get set, skywatchers, for bits of Halley’s Comet to come raining down! If you have clear skies tonight, Monday, into the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, May 6, keep your eyes on the sky for a minor meteor shower with a famous pedigree. Known as the Eta Aquarids, this annual shooting-star show will peak in the early morning…

5 Sky Events This Week: Penguin Solar Eclipse, Comet Encounters Whirlpool

From an exotic solar eclipse to a comet buzzing a galaxy, a veritable cosmic buffet of celestial sights greets sky-gazers this week. Age of Aquarids. Starting Monday, April 28, the Eta Aquarid minor meteor shower will ramp up. Before peaking this week in the early morning hours of May 6, anywhere from five to ten…

5 Sky Events This Week: Ice Giant, Lunar Wonder, Ex-Comet Shower

Sky-watchers get a chance to see a giant lunar wall, hunt down a distant world, and the moon makes for a convenient guidepost in hunting down a distant planet. Green Giant. Late night on Tuesday, January 7, the seventh planet from the Sun, Uranus, will pass near the moon. The green giant will appear about 9 degrees…

Sneak-Peek: Top 5 Sky Events of 2014

  The New Year promises a pair of lunar disappearing acts and a potential surprise meteor shower, among other celestial delights. While scores of amazing astronomical phenomena are in the offing, here are our picks for sky-watching events worth circling on your calendar for 2014. 1. Total Eclipse of the Moon This year sky-watchers will…

5 Sky Events This Week: A Cosmic Blooming Flower and a New Year’s Shower

As festivities kick off the New Year, sky-watchers will revel in nights filled with shooting stars, the king of planets shining like a beacon, and grand planetary spectacles blooming in the heavens. Great Orion Nebula. With the moon reaching a new phase for New Year’s Eve, December 31, the dark skies are perfect for hunting…

5 Sky Events This Week: Moon Swims With Fishes, Meteors Fly, and Jupiter Rises

Sky-watchers this week can follow Earth’s lone natural satellite as it glides across the sky and poses with some of the most well known celestial treasures. Moon and Pisces.  After nightfall on Monday, December 9,  look for the first quarter moon to hang just below the “Circlet,” the most easily recognizable part of the constellation…

5 Sky Events This Week: Partial Lunar Eclipse, Halley’s Shooting Stars

Mars and Regulus. Looking high east at dawn on Wednesday, October 16, check out Mars as it pairs up with Regulus, the lead star of the constellation Leo the lion.  The contrast in color between the orange-hued planet and the sparkling white, 79-light-year distant star is particularly striking with the naked eye or binoculars. What…

6 Sky Events This Week: Dragon Spits Fire and Jupiter’s Moons Play Tag

  Sky-watchers double down on shooting stars this week, while the largest planet in the solar system plays host to a rare triple play of tiny moon shadows racing across its face. Moon joins Venus. After sunset on Monday, October 7, and again the next evening, watch for the thin crescent moon gliding past the…

Tips for Enjoying the Perseid Meteor Shower

Look Up! Perseid meteors have started to rain down around the world. According to early global observation reports over the weekend, pre-peak Perseid numbers are starting to ramp up, with some skywatchers already seeing as many as 30 shooting stars per hour. (see also: A Guide to Watching the Spectacular Perseids) With the moon out…

Look Up for Halley’s Comet Shower this Weekend

Halley’s comet glides across the starry skies back in March 1986, shedding particles that will eventually approach Earth as Eta Aquarid meteors. Credit: NASA   Halley’s Comet won’t swing by Earth for another  48 years, but you won’t have to wait that long to watch bits of the iconic comet zip across our skies. That’s…