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Astronomy Essentials

Self-portrait by Dan Bush
Science Wire | Jul 06, 2015

EarthSky’s top 10 tips for super stargazers

Here are 10 simple tips that can help you connect with the night sky, and have fun.

Closest and farthest moons
Blogs | Jul 03, 2015

Moon at perigee, nearest to Earth, on July 5, 2015

The intriguing cycle of closest and farthest moons. Includes dates for 2015’s 13 perigees (closest points) and 13 apogees (farthest points).

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.
Tonight | Jul 01, 2015

July 2015 guide to the five visible planets

Venus and Jupiter! Wow! And there’s so much more to come …

Image via Wikipedia. Sizes of planets are to scale but not the distances. Click here for relative distances.
Science Wire | Jun 30, 2015

When will all five visible planets appear simultaneously?

All five visible planets will appear together in the morning sky early next year – from about January 20 to February 20, 2016. That hasn’t happened since 2005.

Moon shot with blue filter via our friend Jv Noriega
Science Wire | Jun 24, 2015

When is the next Blue Moon?

The moon will be full on July 2, to stage the first of two July 2015 full moons. The second of two full moons in a calendar month is often called a Blue Moon.

sunset_white_rock_lake_Dallas_Lucy_Bee
Tonight | Jun 20, 2015

Everything you need to know: June solstice 2015

It’s that beautiful time of year again in the N. Hemisphere, when the June solstice – your signal to celebrate summer – is upon us.

ocean-currents-perpetual-cp
Science Wire | Jun 08, 2015

Video: Perpetual ocean

In honor of World Ocean Day on June 8, a beautiful video visualization of ocean currents around the world.

Photo by Justin Ng
Tonight | May 22, 2015

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2015

With little or no moon to ruin the show, this is a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower. It’ll peak on the mornings of August 11, 12 and 13.

saturn_rings_300
Tonight | May 21, 2015

Give me five minutes and I’ll give you Saturn in 2015

Best time to see Saturn in 2015 is here! Instructions for finding this beautiful golden planet … here.

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, Paul Stansifer
Science Wire | May 08, 2015

How far is a light-year?

Light is the fastest-moving stuff in the universe. It travels at an incredible 300,000 kilometers (186,000 miles) per second. So, in a year, light travels far.

2013 Eta Aquarids.  Composite image by Colin Legg.
Tonight | May 05, 2015

Everything you need to know: Eta Aquarid meteor shower

Eta Aquarid going on now. Good for both the northern tropics and Southern Hemisphere. How to watch, history, radiant point, here.

meteor_shower_300
Tonight | Apr 19, 2015

EarthSky’s top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

You might see a lot or you might not see many, but if you stay in the house, you won’t see any.

Lyrids and others via NASA/MSFC/D. Moser
Tonight | Apr 18, 2015

Everything you need to know: Lyrid meteor shower

Awesome Lyrid prospects this year! You might see 10 to 20 meteors per hour at the peak on the mornings of April 22åç and 23, with the nod going to April 23.

April 17, 2015 old moon via Irenilda M Neves
Blogs | Apr 18, 2015

Shortest lunar month of 2015 starts April 18

The shortest lunar month of 2015 starts with the April 18 new moon and ends May 18. Learn about the varying lengths of the lunar months, here.

Moon eclipse - October 2014 - by John W. Johnson.
FAQs | Mar 31, 2015

How to watch a total eclipse of the moon

The April 4, 2015 total lunar eclipse comes in the morning for North America, and in the evening for Eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia. Here’s what to look for.

Oct 23, 2014 partial solar eclipse by Mikael Linder
Blogs | Mar 21, 2015

Dates of lunar and solar eclipses in 2015 and 2016

Upcoming eclipses.

solar-eclipse-annular-cp
Blogs | Mar 18, 2015

Is it possible to have three eclipses in one month?

Three eclipses in one calendar month are rare. Three eclipses in one lunar month are more common. From 2000-2050, it happens 14 times.

earth_lighting_equinox_300
Tonight | Mar 17, 2015

Everything you need to know: Vernal equinox 2015

Happy equinox, everyone! The 2015 vernal or spring (or fall) equinox comes on March 20 at 22:45 UTC (5:45 p.m. CDT).

eclipse-solar-2006-Fred-Espenak-composite
Blogs | Mar 13, 2015

March 20 eclipse and the Saros

There are currently 40 different Saros series in progress, each with its own assigned number. The total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 belongs to Saros 120.

Photo Credit:  A. Dupree, R. Gilliland, NASA
Blogs | Feb 10, 2015

How far is Betelgeuse?

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.

Circumpolar stars, via Wikimedia Commons
FAQs | Feb 03, 2015

What are circumpolar stars?

From Earth’s North and South Poles, all the stars appear as circumpolar. No star rises or sets. At Earth’s equator, no star is circumpolar. And in between?