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Join the fun at ALCon 2016

ALCon 2016 is the national amateur astronomy convention, held this year from August 10-13 in Washington, D.C. Registration is now live!

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Jupiter at east quadrature June 4

It’s a hallmark in Jupiter’s appearance in our sky. At eastern quadrature, Jupiter is highest in the sky around the time of sunset.

As the Moon orbits Earth, its changing geometry with respect to the Sun produces the characteristic phases. This composite image is a mosaic made from 25 individual photos of the Moon and illustrates its phases over one synodic month. For complete details about this image, see Moon Phases Mosaic. The individual images included in this composite can be found in the Moon Phases Gallery. For more composites, see Moon Phases Mosaics. Photo copyright 2012 by Fred Espenak.

Moon in 2016

Pretty much everything you want to know about the moon in 2016 – including phases, cycles, eclipses and supermoons – from world-renowned astronomer Fred Espenak.

Photo via Tim Geers

Only 2 full moons in a season possible?

The May 21 Blue Moon carries that name because it’s the 3rd of 4 full moons in a season. But can a season have just 2 full moons?

Image Credit: Luz Adriana Villa A.

Can you tell me the full moon names?

For both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, full moons have names corresponding to calendar months or seasons of the year.

Earth will between between the sun and Mars on May 22, 2016.  Then, the distance between our two worlds will be at its least for this two-year period, and Mars will appear brightest in our sky.  Image via Fourmilab.

Mars is bright! Here’s why

We’re beginning to get questions about that red “star” in the east each evening. It’s Mars! We’ll pass between Mars and the sun this weekend.

Most Blue Moons are not blue in color.  This photo of a moon among fast-moving clouds was created using special filters. Image via EarthSky Facebook friend Jv Noriega.

Upcoming Blue Moon near red Mars

The May 21 full moon is a seasonal Blue Moon – an older definition of the term. Watch for it this weekend, near brilliant Mars.

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Mars and Saturn in 2016

Video of this year’s oppositions of Mars and Saturn, in front of the constellations Libra and Scorpius. Notice Mars appearing larger around its May 22 opposition!

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Give me five minutes and I’ll give you Saturn in 2016

Saturn isn’t as bright as Mars, but it’s near Mars on the sky’s dome. It’ll soon be at its best for the year. Learn how to identify Saturn for the rest of 2016.

The red planet, as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope. Image credit: Jim Bell (Cornell University), Justin Maki (JPL), and Mike Wolff (Space Sciences Institute) and NASA

Guide to Mars’ opposition on May 22

Earth flies between Mars and sun on May 22, bringing it closer than Mars has been in over a decade. How to find and enjoy Mars during 2016’s close opposition!