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Astronomy Essentials

Photo via Kurt Magoon on Flickr
Tonight | Oct 31, 2014

Halloween derived from ancient Celtic cross-quarter day

Yes, Halloween is an astronomical holiday.

Oct 23, 2014 partial solar eclipse by Mikael Linder
Blogs | Oct 26, 2014

Dates of lunar and solar eclipses in 2015 and 2016

Upcoming eclipses.

solar-eclipse-annular-cp
Blogs | Oct 23, 2014

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.

Orionid radiant point
Tonight | Oct 20, 2014

Everything you need to know: Orionid meteor shower

Details on the annual Orionid meteor shower. How and when to watch. In 2014, the peak morning is October 21, but try the mornings before and after, too.

Comet/Mars encounter on Oct. 19, via NASA.
Blogs | Oct 19, 2014

Comet Siding Spring’s near-miss of Mars was October 19

The close pass of Comet Siding Spring to Mars was exciting! Closest approach was October 19. Watch for photos from the event here at EarthSky.org.

full-moon-and-halo-Randy-Miller-Anderson
Tonight | Oct 06, 2014

Minor lunar standstill lessens impact of 2014 Hunter’s Moon

The diminished inclination of the moon’s orbit to Earth’s equator lessens the impact of this year’s Hunter’s Moon.

Giacobini-Zinner, parent comet of Draconids, via NASA
Tonight | Oct 06, 2014

Everything you need to know: Draconid meteor shower

Can you believe it? A meteor shower on the night of the lunar eclipse.

draconid-meteor-radiant
Tonight | Oct 06, 2014

Find the radiant point for the Draconid meteor shower

Find the two brightest stars in Draco the Dragon, to gaze into the Dragon’s flaming eyes and to behold the radiant point of the Draconid meteor shower. Sound exciting?

Total solar eclipse via Fred Espenak
Blogs | Oct 02, 2014

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.

2014-sept-25-26-mercury-spica-multiple-moon-night-sky-chart
Tonight | Sep 25, 2014

Moon and Mercury low in west after sunset September 25 and 26

Try to catch the young moon, Mercury and star Spica in the sunset direction on September 25 and/or 26. Best seen from S. Hemisphere. N. Hemisphere viewers … try it!