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See all 5 bright planets after sunset

Three of the 5 planets are easy to see. Two aren’t so easy. Charts and info here that can help you see all 5 planets together in late July and early August, 2016.

Photo by Jack Fusco

Perseid outburst expected in 2016

Outburst – perhaps 200 meteors an hour – predicted for 2016 Perseid meteor shower. Peak night August 11-12, but watch on the nights leading up to the peak, too.

David S. Brown caught this meteor on July 30, 2014, in southwest Wyoming.

Watch for Delta Aquarid meteors

Delta Aquarid shower officially began mid-July. Nominal peak July 28 or 29. The shower is long and rambling. If you watch the Perseids in August, you’ll see Delta Aquarids then, too.

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Moon shadow in 2017 eclipse

Fly along with Earth’s shadow in a video depicting the path of the August 21, 2017 total eclipse of the sun, first eclipse over the continental U.S. since 1979.

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Watch Mercury and Venus set

What are the odds? Peter Lowenstein caught Venus and Mercury on the evening of their conjunction – July 16, 2016 – setting through a thin break in the clouds.

The large yellow shell depicts a light-year; the smaller yellow shell depicts a light-month. More details about this image at Wikimedia Commons.

How far is a light-year?

How can we comprehend the distances to the stars? This post brings the scale of light-years down to the scale of miles and kilometers.

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See it! Young moon near Jupiter

The waxing crescent moon swept near Jupiter this weekend as seen from all parts of Earth. Photos from EarthSky friends, here …

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Have you seen Venus yet?

Venus is returning to the west after sunset. We’re hearing reports of brief glimpses of it, low in the twilight. EarthSky community photos here!

Here are the moon and Jupiter on the night of June 10 ... plus a moondog, 22-degree halo and an upper tangent arc. From our friend Dee Hartin in Australia.

How to see Jupiter tonight

As the Juno spacecraft goes into orbit around Jupiter on July 4, amaze your friends by showing them Jupiter in the night sky.

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Astronomy 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 …

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.

July 2016 guide to the 5 bright planets

You might be able to see all 5 bright planets together – briefly – this month.

This still from Larry Koehn's recent video shows Venus and Jupiter in late, 2016, when these 2 brightest of planets will appear near each other in the west after sunset.  Visit Larry's website shadowandsubstance.com

Tracking Venus in 2016 and ’17

Looking for Venus? It’ll soon come into view in the west after sunset. This video tracks Venus from when it reappears again by mid-July, 2016 … to April, 2017.

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

2016 will be a great year for watching meteors in late July and early August. A dark sky is best … peak time is late night to dawn.

It's the first full moon June solstice since 1967, when many in the U.S. were celebrating the Summer of Love. Image via yoganonymous.com.

June solstice full moon in 2016

Celebrate a June solstice full moon on June 20, 2016. It’s the Northern Hemisphere’s first summer solstice full moon since 1967, aka the Summer of Love.

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Summer solstice tale of 2 cities

On the June solstice, the sun sets at the same time in New York City and St. Augustine, Florida. But New York has an hour more of daylight. How’s that happen?

From the December solstice to the June solstice, the sunset makes its way north, as illustrated in this photo composite by Abhijit Juvekar.  Thanks, Abhijit!

All you need to know: June solstice 2016

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

As the sun sets one the stark Martian landscape, stars come into view. Will future Mars colonists have a North Star to guide them? Image via NASA.

Does Mars have a North Star?

Earth’s north star – Polaris – is located nearly directly above Earth’s north pole. There’s a star above Mars’ north pole, too, but it’s very faint.

Sky wheeling around Polaris, the North Star.

Does the North Star ever move?

It’s a symbol for constancy, but, if you took its picture, you’d find that the North Star makes its own little circle around the sky’s north pole every day.

A geocentric - Earth-centered - plot of the orbit of Venus, 2016-2023, via Guy Ottewell.

Five petals of Venus

A word about the “pentagram” of Venus, a highly noticeable rhythm in the motion of Venus, as viewed from an Earth-centered perspective.

Comet C/2013 X1 (PanSTARRS) captured on June 7, 2016 by Efrain Morales of the Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe

Comet visible in binoculars, nearly closest

Comet C/2013 X1 (PanSTARRS) isn’t visible to the eye, but binoculars can pick it up. Charts and other info that can help you spot the comet in the coming weeks!