Enjoying EarthSky? Subscribe.

221,553 subscribers and counting ...

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.

Late September-October planet guide

Use the moon to catch Mercury before dawn in late September, 2016. Then watch as Jupiter pairs with Mercury in the picturesque glow of dawn on October 11.

Image Credit: Esparta

All you need to know: September equinox

2016’s September equinox arrives on the 22nd. Happy autumn (or spring)!


Astro festivals, star parties, workshops

Looking for something to do on the weekends? At star parties, amateur astronomers with telescopes will show you the night sky. Find one near you …

January 1, 2015 sunset by Helio de Carvalho Vital.  Shot 3 of 6.

Day and night exactly equal at equinoxes?

On the day of the equinox, the center of the sun would set about 12 hours after rising – given a level horizon, as at sea, and no atmospheric refraction.

Moon Sept. 18, 2013 by Amy Simpson-Wynne

2016’s close and large Harvest Moon

This year’s Harvest Moon on September 16 happens to be an especially close and large full moon. Some will call it a supermoon. Notice that it’s very bright!


Sun enters Virgo on September 16

The sun will stay in front of the constellation Virgo until it passes in front of the constellation Libra on October 30.

The last eclipse of the Moon visible from the USA occurred on the night of Sept. 27/28, 2015. It was a total eclipse as the Moon passed completely inside Earth’s dark umbral shadow. ©2015 by Fred Espenak.

Supermoons and the Saros cycle

Here’s one you might not know … the intriguing relationship between supermoons and the famous 18-year Saros cycle of eclipses.


Heads-up on 2016’s Harvest Moon

A phenomenon known as a “minor lunar standstill” will cause a shift in characteristic moonrise times on the nights around this year’s Harvest Moon.

The zodiacal light is a diffuse cone-shaped light extending up from the horizon on the right side of this photo. Photo by Richard Hasbrouck in Truchas, New Mexico.

Watch for zodiacal light or false dawn

The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon. No matter where you are on Earth, springtime or autumn is the best time to see it.

M20, aka the Trifid Nebula, Credit Line & Copyright Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona, via Wikimedia Commons.

Find the Lagoon and Trifid nebulae

Take a dip in the Lagoon and Trifid nebulae on these September evenings, especially if you’re in a place where you can see the starlit band of the Milky Way.


How Earth looks from outer space

If you were looking with the eye alone, how far away in space would our planet Earth still be visible?


Photos and video of Venus and Jupiter!

August 27, 2016 was the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. Sky’s 2 brightest planets. Closest conjunction of any 2 planets in 2016.

Mars, Saturn and Antares on August 24, 2016 by Mohamed Laaifat Photographies in Normandy, France.

Mars and Saturn put on a show

See Mars, Saturn and the star Antares in a line on our sky’s dome. Photos here from the EarthSky community. Thanks to all who posted!

Hoax image via social media.

No double moon in 2016, or ever

We thought we might get through this summer without the dumb hoax about Mars as big as a full moon rearing its head. But, no.

Image via GreatAmericanEclipse.com

Best places to watch 2017 eclipse

Where’s the best place to see the August 21, 2017 eclipse? Here are 10 great viewing spots to gaze upon nature’s grandest spectacle, weather permitting.


Dates of lunar and solar eclipses in 2016

The next eclipse is an annular solar eclipse on September 1, 2016.

Total solar eclipse via Fred Espenak

How many eclipses in 1 calendar year?

Every calendar year has at least 4, but 5, 6 or even 7 eclipses are also possible. Why don’t we see them all?

Photo by Jack Fusco

Perseid meteors: All you need to know

Perseid meteor shower peak was predicted for the morning of August 12. If you missed it, watch for meteors in a country sky between midnight and dawn Saturday morning.

Taken during the 2015 Perseid meteor shower in August - at Mount Rainier National Park - by Matt Dieterich.  He calls the photo 'Skyfall.'

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2016

The Perseid meteor shower probably peaked on the night of August 11-12. Look for meteors tonight, too, and especially in the hours before dawn on August 13.

Photo taken August 4, 2016 by Yuri Beletsky in Chile's Atacama Desert.

Venus, Mercury and the moon!

Two photos of this week’s planet and moon spectacular, from a master sky photographer, from one of Earth’s most pristine skies.