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Astronomy Essentials

Lyrids and others via NASA/MSFC/D. Moser
Tonight | Apr 21, 2014

Everything you need to know: Lyrid meteor shower

In 2014, Lyrid meteor shower peaks on Earth Day morning, April 22. Bright moon interferes, but the Lyrids are bright, too, and can withstand some moonlight.

meteor_shower_300
Tonight | Apr 21, 2014

EarthSky’s top 10 tips for meteor-watchers

You might see a lot or you might not see many, but if you stay in the house, you won’t see any.

Meteor via Cumbrian Sky
Blogs | Tonight | Apr 16, 2014

Start looking for Lyrid meteors!

The Lyrid meteor shower’s peak morning is April 22, but you might see meteors before that date since we’re crossing the Lyrid meteor stream from about April 16 to 25.

Credit: Peter Wienerroither
Tonight | Apr 12, 2014

Brightest Mars in six years on eclipse night

Earth passed between Mars and the sun on April 8. Our two worlds are closest on April 14. On that night, Mars is near the moon at the time of a total eclipse!

Zodiacal light
Tonight | Mar 31, 2014

Everything you need to know: zodiacal light or false dusk

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_lighting_equinox_300
Tonight | Mar 18, 2014

Everything you need to know: Vernal or spring equinox 2014

In 2014, the vernal or spring equinox comes on March 20 at 16:57 UTC (11:56 a.m. CDT). Happy spring (or fall), y’all!

Photo credit: Gattou
Tonight | Mar 16, 2014

Can you tell me the full moon names?

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

Groundhog Day
Tonight | Feb 02, 2014

Everything you need to know: Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day comes every year on February 2. It has its roots in astronomy, in the sense that it’s a seasonal festival, tied to the movement of Earth around the sun.

Jupiter's Great Red Spot
Tonight | Jan 12, 2014

Best time to see Jupiter in 2014 is now

Jupiter is always closest around the time of its yearly opposition, which came on January 5, 2014. For the rest of this month, Jupiter is at its best!

Hoax image via social media.
Tonight | Jan 02, 2014

Double moon on August 27?

Will Mars and the moon will appear the same size on August 27, 2014? Nope.