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 […]

Jul 24

Sky Report: July 25-31

Late-July through mid-August is the best time to watch for meteors, partly because it’s warm at night but mostly because there are two good showers, one long and one short. First of all, meteors are debris mostly the size of dust to sand, and mostly shed by comets, that encounter the earth and fall through […]

Jul 17

The Moon, the Planets, and Bikes: Yikes!

The Moon, The Planets, and Bikes; Yikes! By Rich Csenge, president, Stellar Vista Observatory Weather update!! Unfortunately, long awaited monsoon rains are causing cancellation of this event. But we’re grateful for rainfall to even slightly ease what scientists say is the worst drought in 1,200 years for the Western US. When sky conditions improve, we’ll […]

Jul 16

Sky Report: July 18-24

All the planets except Mercury are visible tonight. Saturn rises around 10 p.m. so it’s in the evening sky. You’ll find it low in the east-southeast at midnight. Saturn is in eastern Capricornus. Jupiter rises two hours later and follows Saturn across the sky. Being both larger and closer it’s much brighter — 16 times […]

Jul 10

Sky Report: July 11-17

The moon is full on Wednesday, July 13, at precisely 12:38:26 p.m. MDT. How long is the moon full? Just for that one instant. It’s full for as long as it’s midnight, or any other time – just for that moment. In practice we say the moon is full for that entire night. But what […]

Jul 2

Sky Report: July 4-10, 2022

There’s nothing to see, but the Earth at aphelion – its farthest point from the sun — at 1:10 am MDT on the 4th, when the distance from the center of the earth to the center of the sun is 94,509,598 miles. This is 3.4% farther than when we are closest to the sun in […]

Jun 25

Sky Report: June 27-July 3

How soon after sunset can you see stars with your eyes alone? Here’s a self-test to perform one evening: how soon can you see the star Arcturus after sunset? I picked Arcturus because it’s bright and nearly overhead. Find Arcturus one evening as the sky is growing dark approximately a half-hour after sunset and mentally […]

Jun 18

Sky Report: June 20-26

This is the best week to see all the planets, plus the moon, lined up in the morning sky. Astronomy blogs are making a big deal about it and I will too. The novelty is in seeing ALL planets at once, including Uranus and Neptune if you have at least binoculars, but additionally all the […]

Jun 11

Sky Report: June 13-19

How low is your southern horizon? At the latitude of southern Utah we can see far into the sky’s southern hemisphere, all the way down to the northern part of the constellation Centaurus. From the Southern Hemisphere this is a magnificent constellation with many bright stars, including Alpha Centauri, the closest star to our solar […]