First time we can see 5 planets at once since 2005. All 5 are up before dawn, still, and all 5 will remain visible until Mercury disappears in the dawn just after mid-February.
At west quadrature on February 7, 2016, the red planet appears 90% illuminated as seen through a telescope. Fantastic time to see Mars is just ahead.
You can see all 5 bright planets – Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter – together in the sky before dawn, through mid-February.
Finding star distances isn’t easy. Here’s how it’s done, and why astronomers recently modified the distance estimate to the famous star Betelgeuse.
Groundhog Day – a celebration with its roots in astronomy – comes every year on February 2. It’s the year’s first “cross-quarter” day.
Go ahead. Treat yourself to something beautiful, and hopeful: a glimpse of two stars that represented a Pawnee version of Groundhog Day.
Watch for the moon to pair up with Saturn on the mornings of February 3 and 4. And learn how to identify Saturn for the rest of 2016.
For both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, the full moons have names corresponding to the calendar months or the seasons of the year.
The next eclipse is a total solar eclipse – caused by a supermoon – on March 8-9, 2016.
Each calendar year has at least four eclipses – two solar and two lunar. Most years have four, but five, six or even seven eclipses are also possible.
Dates of major moon phases, conjunctions and oppositions of planets, meteor showers and other important dates in 2016, from astronomer Fred Espenak.
Happy New Year, everyone! Here’s a list of major meteor showers in 2016.
The 2016 Quadrantid meteor shower is likely to produce the most meteors before dawn January 4, with little disruption from the waning crescent moon.
This year’s 14 lunar apogees (far moons) and 13 lunar perigees (near moons). We also share a secret with you on the intriguing cycle of far and close moons.
December solstice 2015 was December 22. Earth will closest to the sun in 2016 on January 2. Coincidence?
Pretty much everything you want to know about the moon in 2016 – including phases, cycles, eclipses and supermoons – from world-renowned astronomer Fred Espenak.
Sirius might also be called the New Year’s star. It reaches its highest point in the sky around midnight on New Year’s Eve.
A wondrous star has grown to be a major symbol of Christmas around the world. But what was it, really?
On the December solstice, the sun rises at the same time in St. Augustine, Florida and New York, New York. But St. Augustine enjoys an hour more of daylight. Six months later, it’s the sunset that happens concurrently at both places, yet when New York City has an extra hour of sun.
Start looking for Ursid meteors this weekend. They’re active around this upcoming solstice. In 2015, a bright moon will diminish the visible meteors at the peak.