Oct 1

Sky Report: October 3 – 9

This week we’ll focus on the planets. The brightest planet in the evening sky is the king of the planets, Jupiter. You’ll see Jupiter low in the southeast as darkness falls, and high in the south around 1 a.m. No star or other planet is brighter. This is a good week to look at Saturn […]

Sep 19

Sky Report: September 26-October 2

For a while last spring there were no planets in the evening sky. Now we have three: two that are out from sunset while a third rises before midnight. As the sky is growing dark notice Saturn, almost 1/3 of the way up the southeastern sky. Saturn is in Capricornus, in a section of the […]

Sep 18

Sky Report: September 19-25

First, a quick run-down of the three planets visible tonight. Saturn is already up when the sun sets, and at the end of twilight you’ll find it low in the southeast, where it’s noticeably brighter than any nearby star. Saturn is highest around 11 p.m., and that’s the best time to observe it with a […]

Sep 11

Sky Report: September 12-18

The moon rises late, leaving the evening sky dark, so this week and next is a great time to enjoy the wonders of the summer sky. There’s a lot you can see with your eyes alone, and of course more with binoculars. This week I’ll describe what you can see of the Milky Way, our […]

Sep 2

Sky Report: September 5 – 11

Four bright planets are out tonight, although not at the same time. In order of rising they are: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus. Mercury is between the earth and sun and can’t be seen. Saturn is everybody’s favorite planet when seen through a telescope. It’s low in the east as darkness falls. If you do […]

Aug 28

Sky Report: August 29 – September 4

Starting in the evening with the planets, you might look for Mercury low in the west immediately after sunset but you probably won’t see it, it’s so low. I mention it for completeness. On the evening of the 29th it’s 7° below the thin crescent moon and you might look for it then. Have a […]

Aug 20

Sky Report: August 22-28

The naked-eye planets are pretty much where they’ve been all month, but you might look for one “minor planet”. More on it momentarily. First, Mercury is making a poor appearance in the evening sky. You might see it in twilight slightly to the left of where the sun just set. Mercury is only about 10° […]

Aug 14

Sky Report: August 15-21

We seldom see a planet in the daytime, for good reason. Venus is surprisingly easy to see if you know exactly where to look, and that’s the trick – where in the sky is it, exactly? You can see Jupiter and sometimes Mars too, with greater effort, but again the trick is to know where […]

Aug 6

Sky Report: August 8-14

The good news is that the best meteor shower of the year happens this week. The bad news is that bright moonlight will ruin it. Every year the earth passes through a swarm of debris shed long ago by Comet Swift-Tuttle and we see a meteor shower as these sand-size debris particles fall through our […]

Jul 31

Sky Report: August 1 – 7

First, meteors. The Delta Aquarid meteors continue from July. A huge number of meteors fall in this shower but they’re spread over several weeks so the number per hour is only around a dozen. They radiate from the constellation Aquarius in the south in the morning. By far the most popular shower of the year […]