Aug 31

Sky Report August 31 – September 6

The moon is full on the 1st – if you live in Utah. It’s full on the 2nd if you live in Chicago. Why the difference? Start by asking “for how long is the moon full?” The answer is the same as for the question “how long is it noon” – just an instant. The […]

Aug 22

Sky Report August 24 – August 30

M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

As the sky is growing dark the planet Jupiter appears in the southeast, followed soon after by Saturn a short distance to the left. These planets are 8° apart this month, but that gap will narrow dramatically in months to come until they’re almost touching (as your eye sees them) in late December. Note their […]

Aug 15

Sky Report August 17 – August 23

M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

This week and the next two months are a great time to watch the planets since the four brightest are out at one time or another although not all together. Here’s where they are this week. Jupiter and Saturn appear low in the southeast as the sky grows dark, which is around 9 PM. Jupiter […]

Aug 10

Sky Report August 10 – August 16

Photo: Meteors radiate from the northeast but appear all over the sky. THE event this week is the annual Perseid Meteor Shower which peaks on the evening of Tuesday the 11th. Meteors, also called “shooting stars” are the flash of light you see when a piece of dust from outer space falls through our atmosphere. […]

Aug 4

Sky Report August 3 – August 9

M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

Comet NEOWISE amazed everyone as the brightest comet in two decades, and it remains visible although now you’ll need both binoculars and a dark sky to see it – and a good finding chart. It’s fading as it heads back to the outer solar system whence it came. This week it’s in the early evening […]

Jul 26

Sky Report July 27 – August 2

M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

Comet NEOWISE remains visible in the early evening sky to the left of the Big Dipper. It was closest to the sun on July 3 and closest to the earth on the 23rd, and it’s now fading as it leaves the earth and sun behind. According to predictions, it might still be visible to the […]

Jul 20

Sky Report July 20 – July 26

M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

This spring two comets that were expected to become bright failed us, but a third comet discovered only in late March snuck up on us and put on an unexpectedly great show in the morning sky during the first week of July when it was easily visible to the naked eye. Named Comet NEOWISE, it […]

Jul 13

Sky Report July 13 – July 19

M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

This week Jupiter and Saturn lie exactly opposite the sun, Jupiter on the 14th and Saturn on the 20th. Being opposite the sun, they rise in the southeast as the sun sets in the northwest. Look for them beginning at about 10 PM as a pair, Jupiter being the brighter of the two. They’re visible […]

Jul 5

Sky Report July 6 – July 12

M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

Summer is definitely here, and so is the summer Milky Way. Most people who live in the United States never see it except when on vacation in dark areas, but some of us lucky ones see it nightly. This month it arcs across the eastern sky as darkness falls, but it rises higher as the […]

Jun 28

Sky Report June 29 – July 5

M83 - Southern Pinwheel Galaxy

There are four bright planets in the sky tonight, two rising shortly before midnight, one a few hours later, and one rising just before the sun. Jupiter and Saturn come up together and they’re low in the southeast at 11 p.m. Jupiter is the brighter of the two while Saturn is a few degrees to […]