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.
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?
Groundhog Day – a celebration with its roots in astronomy – comes every year on February 2. It’s the year’s first “cross-quarter” day.
Will you see the Scorpion’s stinger stars – Shaula and Lesath – in the cold dawn sky? Look southeast anytime this month, to enjoy a Pawnee version of Groundhog Day.
Blue Moon can be second of two full moons in a month. Or it can be third of four full moons in a season. Next Blue Moon is the second full moon of July, 2015.
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.
No major meteor showers are predicted until the Lyrid shower, peaking on the morning of April 23, 2015. Between now and then … fireball season!
December solstice 2014 is December 21. Earth is closest to the sun in 2015 on January 4. Coincidence?
The 2015 Quadrantid meteor shower is likely to produce the most meteors before dawn January 4, although in the glare of the almost-full moon.