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Astronomy Essentials

Giacobini-Zinner, parent comet of Draconids, via NASA
Tonight | Oct 09, 2015

Everything you need to know: Draconid meteor shower

The maximum number of Draconid meteors are expected to fall on the evening of October 8 and 9.

Photo by Justin Ng
Tonight | Oct 06, 2015

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2015

Draconids, in early October, are usually a sleeper, but watch out if the Dragon awakes! Then watch for Orionids before dawn on the mornings around October 22.

Comet Encke, parent of the Taurid meteor shower. Image credit: Messenger
Science Wire | Oct 06, 2015

Watch for South Taurid meteors in October

The long-lasting South Taurid meteor shower (September 10 to November 20) may produce a “swarm” of fireballs this month or early next month. Watch for them.

April 17, 2015 old moon via Irenilda M Neves
Science Wire | Oct 05, 2015

Longest lunar month of 2015 starts October 13

Longest lunar month of 2015 starts with the October 13 new moon and ends with the November 11 new moon. Learn about the varying lengths of lunar months, here.

Skywatcher, by Predrag Agatonovic.
Tonight | Oct 02, 2015

October 2015 guide to the five visible planets

Bright Venus and Jupiter – and fainter Mars – close together in east before dawn. Mercury joins in mid-month. Saturn is the lone evening planet.

Moon Sept. 18, 2013 by Amy Simpson-Wynne
Tonight | Sep 28, 2015

Everything you need to know: Super Harvest Moon of 2015

It’s the year’s closest supermoon. It’ll undergo a total eclipse. And, for the Northern Hemisphere, the full moon of September 27-28, 2015 is the Harvest Moon.

Closest and farthest moons
Science Wire | Sep 27, 2015

Intriguing cycle of close and far moons

This is why the moon is so ‘super’ tonight. This post explains lunar perigee and includes dates of all closest and farthest moons for each month of 2015.

Moon eclipse - October 2014 - by John W. Johnson.
Science Wire | Sep 27, 2015

How to watch a total eclipse of the moon

Are you planning on watching the September 27-28 eclipse outside? Here are some tips.

Sep 25, 2015

Does a supermoon have a super effect on us?

Closest supermoon of 2015 coming up. Its pull of gravity will create higher-than-usual tides. But gravity doesn’t affect a human body as much as an ocean tide.

Image Credit: Esparta
Tonight | Sep 23, 2015

Everything you need to know: September equinox

September equinox is Wednesday, September 23 at 8:21 UTC. Autumn (or spring) is here!

Harvest Moon on September 29, 2012, as seen by our friend Suzanne Dos Passos in Oregon.
Science Wire | Sep 20, 2015

Minor lunar standstill lessens impact of 2015 Harvest Moon

The shallower inclination of the moon’s orbital plane, relative to the plane of the Earth’s equator, reduces the phenomenon of the Harvest Moon in 2015.

Total solar eclipse via Fred Espenak
Blogs | Sep 11, 2015

How many solar and lunar eclipses in one calendar year?

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.

Zodiacal light
Science Wire | Sep 10, 2015

Everything you need to know: 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.

Earth and moon, as seen from Mars by the Curiosity rover on January 31, 2014.
Science Wire | Sep 07, 2015

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?

Oct 23, 2014 partial solar eclipse by Mikael Linder
Blogs | Sep 01, 2015

Dates of lunar and solar eclipses in 2015 and 2016

September 2015 presents two eclipses. A partial solar eclipse takes place on September 13. A total eclipse of a supermoon comes on September 27-28.

Tonight | Sep 01, 2015

How to see the Summer Triangle in September

Even as September is beginning, you have several more months to see the large asterism known as the Summer Triangle.

Photo by John Foster, Oregon Parks and Rec
Science Wire | Aug 30, 2015

Astronomy events, star parties, festivals, workshops

Let an amateur astronomer point out stars and constellations. This list of events and links to clubs can help you get started.

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

When is the next Blue Moon?

The next Blue Moon will be on May 21, 2016. It’s a seasonal Blue Moon, the third of four full moons between the March equinox and the June solstice of 2016.

Hoax image via social media.
Blogs | Tonight | Aug 15, 2015

No double moon in 2015, or ever

Will Mars and the moon will appear the same size at some point in 2015? Gosh, no. What’s really amazing is the staying power of this 12-year-old hoax.

Photo Credit:  A. Dupree, R. Gilliland, NASA
Science Wire | Aug 12, 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.

Photo by Jack Fusco
Tonight | Aug 02, 2015

Everything you need to know: Perseid meteor shower

In N. Hemisphere, August’s Perseid meteor shower ranks as a favorite. You can see these meteors from S. Hemisphere, too. 2015 is a great year for this shower!