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September guide to the bright planets

In September 2018, 4 planets continue to arc across the evening sky. From west to east as darkness falls, these bright worlds are Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

Andromeda galaxy, nearest large spiral

The Andromeda galaxy is the closest big galaxy to our Milky Way. It’s a spiral galaxy, like ours. At 2.5 million light-years, it’s the most distant thing you can see with your eye alone.

Watch for zodiacal light or false dawn

The zodiacal light, an eerie light extending up from the horizon before true dawn begins. Southern Hemisphere? Look after sunset!

See it! Moon sweeps past Mars

Mars is still at its best, and the moon has just swept past. Plus Saturn is nearby. Enjoy these photos from the EarthSky community.

Mars big as the moon on August 27?

This hoax circulates every August. It’s in the top 10 most-searched-for subjects at EarthSky this week. Is it true? No. Mars won’t be as big as the moon on August 27, or ever.

Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day, from Vega

One of the prettiest stories in all skylore surrounds this star. “On the 7th night of the 7th moon …” The legend sets the date of Chinese Valentine’s Day – the Qixi Festival – this year on August 17.

More favorite Perseid meteor shower photos

2018 has been an exceptional year for the Perseids. Wonderful photos are still coming in. Thanks to all who submitted!

Perseid meteor shower: All you need to know

Some believe that Monday morning – August 13 – will be the best morning for 2018’s Perseid meteor shower.

Moonless nights ahead for the Perseids

It’ll be a great year for the annual Perseid meteor shower. Don’t miss this preview by Guy Ottewell, which has the best charts you’ll find anywhere online.

Dark Rift in the Milky Way

Standing under a dark sky? Look up! In August, you’ll notice a long, dark lane dividing the bright Milky Way. This Dark Rift is a place where new stars are forming.