First time we can see 5 planets at once since 2005. All 5 are up before dawn, still, and all 5 will remain visible until Mercury disappears in the dawn just after mid-February.
At west quadrature on February 7, 2016, the red planet appears 90% illuminated as seen through a telescope. Fantastic time to see Mars is just ahead.
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.
Groundhog Day – a celebration with its roots in astronomy – comes every year on February 2. It’s the year’s first “cross-quarter” day.
Go ahead. Treat yourself to something beautiful, and hopeful: a glimpse of two stars that represented a Pawnee version of Groundhog Day.
The next eclipse is a total solar eclipse – caused by a supermoon – on March 8-9, 2016.
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.
The 2016 Quadrantid meteor shower is likely to produce the most meteors before dawn January 4, with little disruption from the waning crescent moon.
This year’s 14 lunar apogees (far moons) and 13 lunar perigees (near moons). We also share a secret with you on the intriguing cycle of far and close moons.