01Jul2022

Star Colors

Most people believe that all the stars at night look white. But this not so. The sky is alive with color if you know where and how to look for it. And the month of July is an ideal time for viewing celestial hues with six of the brightest stars in the sky present.

01Jun2022

A “Supermoon” Full Moon

Due to the Moon’s elliptical orbit, in its monthly journey around the Earth it is sometimes closer to us and at others farther than its average distance of 239,000 miles. At those times when it’s closest and it happens to coincides with the Full Moon, it’s referred to as a Supermoon. The first of three of these that will occur in 2022 happens this month.

28Apr2022

A Total Eclipse of the Moon!

An eclipse of the Moon is either total, in which case our satellite is completely immersed in the Earth’s dark inner shadow or umbra—or it is partial, meaning that only part of the Moon is covered as it passes through the shadow. This month’s event is both total while the phases leading up to and following totality are partial. And the timing is ideal, occurring late on a Sunday evening into early Monday morning.

30Mar2022

Stargazing With Small Telescopes

Last month we discussed the joys of beginning your stargazing adventures simply using binoculars. Here we move on to that of owning a telescope to expand your explorations. And it doesn’t have to be large or expensive—even the smallest glass can provide a lifetime of viewing pleasure! In fact, they have some definite advantages over large ones.

25Feb2022

Stargazing With Binoculars

Mentioning stargazing typically brings to mind a telescope. And indeed, sooner or later anyone interested in viewing the wonders of the heavens must have one. (In next month’s issue we will discuss telescopes). But the best way to begin your exploration of the heavens is not with a telescope, but rather with a pair of binoculars.

02Feb2022

The Snow Moon

The various Full Moons throughout the year have a variety of popular names given to them, perhaps the best-known being the Harvest Moon which in times past helped farmers bring in their crops by providing needed illumination at night. Others are much less-obvious, but not so this month’s name!

31Dec2021

What On Earth Are The “Quadrantids”?

This month offers an opportunity to see a relatively unknown major meteor shower that radiates from a place in the sky that no longer exists! This will occur on the night of January 3rd into the morning of January 4th. Although considered by some skywatchers as one of the year’s best right alongside that of the Perseids and Geminids, few have actually seen it as explained below.

01Dec2021

Understanding the Winter Solstice

Of the four seasonal markers, this one seems to be the least understood (and for many the least welcomed with winter now ahead of us!). Contributing to this is a widely believed fact that not only is counter-intuitive—but is actually wrong!

01Nov2021

A Rare Nearly Total Lunar Eclipse

An eclipse of the Moon is either total in which case our satellite is completely immersed in the Earth’s dark inner shadow (the umbra)—or it is partial meaning that only part of the Moon is covered. But this month, we have a very unusual situation involving a judgement-call between these two events!

26Sep2021

The Radiant Evening “Star”

Although the ancient skywatchers knew the difference between stars (which are fixed relative to each other) and planets (which wander around the sky), they dubbed the planet Venus the “Evening Star” when seen after sunset (and the “Morning Star” seen before sunrise). As the third brightest object in the heavens after the Sun and Moon, it’s easy to see why they would.