Mar 12

Sky Report: March 14-20

Around the new year we had an abundance of planets in the evening sky, but now all the action is in the morning. That won’t daunt true stargazers. And the action is pretty good. All is helped by the fact that we’re now on Daylight Time so just as the sun sets an hour later, […]

Mar 7

Sky Report: March 7-14

This week the moon crosses the winter Milky Way, unfortunately blotting it from view by its bright light, but in its journey it passes near some bright stars and several star clusters. On the 8th it’s precisely midway between the two most famous, and most easily visible, clusters: the Pleiades or Seven Sisters is to […]

Feb 27

Sky Report: February 28 – March 6

Once again the moon is near the planet Uranus. On the evening of the 6th the distant planet is 2½° (5 moon-diameters) straight above the crescent moon and you can see both together in binoculars. The other planets are in the morning sky. Venus is brilliant, low in the southeast before sunrise, far brighter than […]

Feb 19

Sky Report: February 21 – February 27

There are no bright planets in the evening sky (just Uranus, which is barely visible in binoculars) but Venus is brilliant in the morning sky and Mars is nearby. It’s still winter and the sun still rises late, so it’s not hard to spot them before breakfast. Venus is the brilliant “Morning Star” that rises […]

Feb 13

Sky Report: February 14 – February 20

Bright moonlight compromises stargazing this week. The moon doesn’t pass close to anything that would make an interesting conjunction, so it’ll be a slow week for stargazers. There is some interest in the morning sky where you can see three planets. Venus is the only one that is obvious, and it is obvious, shining as […]

Feb 5

Sky Report: February 7 – 14

All last autumn you could see brilliant Venus, very bright Jupiter, and bright Saturn, all lined up in the southwest in the evening sky. Now we’re down to Jupiter, and we lose it too this week. On the 7th it is 9° high 45 minutes after sunset and you’ll see it if nothing blocks your […]

Feb 2

Sky Report: January 31 – February 6

The sole planet in the evening sky is now Jupiter, which you’ll see low in the west shortly after sunset. Its great brightness lets you see it nearer to the horizon, when we’re looking through more layers of our atmosphere, than nearby stars, none of which are as bright. On the 31st Jupiter is 14° […]

Jan 23

Sky Report: January 24 – January 30

Jupiter is the sole planet in the evening sky (not counting Uranus and Neptune, both visible in a small telescope in Aries and Aquarius respectively), and you’ll see Jupiter low in the west-southwest as the sky is growing dark. Jupiter far outshines even the brightest stars and its great brilliance lets you see it down […]

Jan 15

Sky Report: January 17 – January 23

Jupiter is the sole bright planet in the evening sky. It sets 4 minutes earlier each night and we’ll lose it next month. You might see Saturn one-half hour after sunset only a few degrees above the west-northwest horizon at the 5 o’clock position from Jupiter, with binoculars, but it won’t be easy. That leaves […]

Jan 9

Sky Report: January 10 – January 16

With Venus gone but Mercury trying to take its place we’re left with three planets in the evening sky, but only Jupiter will be easy to spot. It’s the brightest thing in the sky, other than the sun and moon, and it’s low in the southwest after sunset, setting three hours after the sun. To […]