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Astronomy Essentials

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.

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!