May 23

Sky Report: May 24 – May 30

This week’s main event is a total eclipse of the moon on the morning of Wednesday, May 26. A total eclipse of the moon happens when the full moon moves through the shadow of the earth and grows dark. Everyone on the side of the earth that faces the moon can watch the eclipse simultaneously. […]

May 17

Sky Report: May 17 – May 23

This is the final week that all five planets are visible. Mercury is low in the west after sunset, where it has been all month, but this week it leaves us. A few weeks ago Mercury was on the far side of the sun and approaching us in a big arc. On the 27th it’s […]

May 9

Sky Report: May 10 – May 16

This is the best week of the entire year to see the elusive planet Mercury as it achieves it’s greatest angular distance from the sun, 22°, on the 17th. You should easily see it without binoculars, but you do need a low northwestern horizon, important to see Mercury but essential to see Venus just below. […]

May 2

Sky Report: May 3 – May 9

This week and the next two all five naked eye planets are visible at one time or another, beginning with Venus and Mercury. Both are very low in the west-northwest at sunset, and the trick is that 1) you need to look immediately after sunset, 2) you need a flat, low horizon, and 3) binoculars […]

Apr 25

Sky Report: April 26 – May 2 I always emphasize the planets because they’re what changes the quickest in the sky, and for the next two weeks all five naked-eye planets are visible at one time or another. Venus has been behind the sun since late last year, but it’s starting to peek out to […]

Apr 18

Sky Report: April 19 – April 25

Venus is starting to return to the evening sky. You might see it extremely low in the west a few minutes after sunset, especially if you use binoculars and have a flat horizon. Mercury joins it next week, and more on it then. Orange Mars is half-way up the western sky as darkness falls. It’s […]

Apr 12

Sky Report: April 12 – April 18

This is a quiet week, astronomically speaking, so let’s look at where the moon is each night. On the 12th the moon is one day past new and you won’t see it, but can you see it the following evening? On the 13th it will be the slimmest of crescents barely above the western horizon […]

Apr 5

Sky Report: April 5 – April 11

I always begin with the moon and planets because they’re what changes the fastest in the sky. That’s true for the moon this week which passes near Saturn and then Jupiter on the mornings of the 5th, 6th, and 7th. You’ll need to be up early to see them – a half hour or so […]

Mar 28

Sky Report: March 29 – April 4

This remains true for at least a month: there are three planets out tonight, Mars after sunset and Jupiter and Saturn before sunrise. Look for Mars halfway up the western sky as the sky is growing dark. It’s 10° — the width of your fist held at arm’s length – directly above the star Aldebaran […]

Mar 21

Sky Report: March 22 – March 28

Three planets are out tonight, one in the evening and two in the morning. The evening planet is Mars, which has been in the news because Perseverance recently landed on it and is beginning to go to work exploring its landing site and eventually looking for signs of ancient life. Mars is halfway up the […]