Nov 8

Sky Report: November 7-13

The highlight this week is a total eclipse of the moon, the second this year since the total eclipse on May 16. That eclipse happened in the early evening on a warm night and was widely observed; this eclipse happens early on the morning of Tuesday, November 8, when it is downright chilly, and it […]

Oct 29

Sky Report: October 31 – November 6

There are three bright planets in the evening sky, and this week and next the moon passes each one in turn. The first planet the moon visits is Saturn, on November 1, when the distant planet sits 5° straight above the moon. You’ll see both together in most binoculars. Binoculars will show a surprising amount […]

Oct 24

Sky Report: October 24 – 30

There’s a fine partial eclipse of the sun on the morning of the 25th – but you won’t see it unless you’re in Europe, the Middle East, or western Asia. The middle of the eclipse is at 4:49 a.m. MDT, but at that moment — when the moon is in front of the sun — […]

Oct 14

Sky Report: October 17 – 23

The highlight of this week is a modest meteor shower which peaks on the morning of the 21st. These meteors are debris shed by Comet Halley as the sun heats the frozen dirty iceball that is the comet, thaws it, and liberates dust particles mixed in with its ice. It’s called the Orionid Shower because […]

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 […]