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5 Sky Events This Week: Ice Giant, Lunar Wonder, Ex-Comet Shower

Sky-watchers get a chance to see a giant lunar wall, hunt down a distant world, and the moon makes for a convenient guidepost in hunting down a distant planet. Green Giant. Late night on Tuesday, January 7, the seventh planet from the Sun, Uranus, will pass near the moon. The green giant will appear about 9 degrees…

Sneak-Peek: Top 5 Sky Events of 2014

  The New Year promises a pair of lunar disappearing acts and a potential surprise meteor shower, among other celestial delights. While scores of amazing astronomical phenomena are in the offing, here are our picks for sky-watching events worth circling on your calendar for 2014. 1. Total Eclipse of the Moon This year sky-watchers will…

5 Sky Events This Week: A Cosmic Blooming Flower and a New Year’s Shower

As festivities kick off the New Year, sky-watchers will revel in nights filled with shooting stars, the king of planets shining like a beacon, and grand planetary spectacles blooming in the heavens. Great Orion Nebula. With the moon reaching a new phase for New Year’s Eve, December 31, the dark skies are perfect for hunting…

5 Sky Events This Week: Moon Swims With Fishes, Meteors Fly, and Jupiter Rises

Sky-watchers this week can follow Earth’s lone natural satellite as it glides across the sky and poses with some of the most well known celestial treasures. Moon and Pisces.  After nightfall on Monday, December 9,  look for the first quarter moon to hang just below the “Circlet,” the most easily recognizable part of the constellation…

5 Sky Events This Week: Partial Lunar Eclipse, Halley’s Shooting Stars

Mars and Regulus. Looking high east at dawn on Wednesday, October 16, check out Mars as it pairs up with Regulus, the lead star of the constellation Leo the lion.  The contrast in color between the orange-hued planet and the sparkling white, 79-light-year distant star is particularly striking with the naked eye or binoculars. What…

6 Sky Events This Week: Dragon Spits Fire and Jupiter’s Moons Play Tag

  Sky-watchers double down on shooting stars this week, while the largest planet in the solar system plays host to a rare triple play of tiny moon shadows racing across its face. Moon joins Venus. After sunset on Monday, October 7, and again the next evening, watch for the thin crescent moon gliding past the…

Tips for Enjoying the Perseid Meteor Shower

Look Up! Perseid meteors have started to rain down around the world. According to early global observation reports over the weekend, pre-peak Perseid numbers are starting to ramp up, with some skywatchers already seeing as many as 30 shooting stars per hour. (see also: A Guide to Watching the Spectacular Perseids) With the moon out…

Look Up for Halley’s Comet Shower this Weekend

Halley’s comet glides across the starry skies back in March 1986, shedding particles that will eventually approach Earth as Eta Aquarid meteors. Credit: NASA   Halley’s Comet won’t swing by Earth for another  48 years, but you won’t have to wait that long to watch bits of the iconic comet zip across our skies. That’s…

Surprise Meteor Shower this Week?

While space experts are predicting a grand performance from the annual Geminid meteor shower this week– thanks in large measure to the moon being a no show  – there may be an extra skywatching surprise. Russian astronomer Mikail Maslov has come up with computer models that are predicting a never-before-seen meteor shower peaking the same…

Dragon Spits Shooting Stars

This long weekend skywatchers get to see the annual peak of the Draconid meteor shower. While not the most prolific cosmic fireworks show it reliably puts on a nice display and this year with the moon out of the way – sky conditions are set to be ideal. Like other meteor showers the Draconids get…

Meet the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower

While not as famous as some other annual meteor showers, the Delta Aquarids are a reliable sky show, and they are set to peak this weekend.  Skywatchers will have to be real night owls to get the most out of this celestial event. With the moon setting after midnight local time, the darkest skies and…

Watch Bits of Halley’s Comet Fall this Weekend

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is set to peak over the weekend of May 5 and 6 however even with the full supermoon’s glare to contend with there may end up being more to see than you think. Favoring southern hemisphere observers, from a dark sky as many as 20 to 30 shooting stars can…