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The star Altair is located near  two small but distinctive constellations: Sagitta the Arrow and Delphinus the Dolphin.

Altair your guide to small constellations

Little constellations typically have very distinctive shapes. That’s true of Delphinus the Dolphin and Sagitta the Arrow.

Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, with its brightest star Alphecca, via Fred Espenak and AstroPixels. Used with permission.

Star of the week: Alphecca

Alphecca. Gemma. Alpha Coronae Borealis or simply Alpha Cor Bor. They’re all names for one star – the brightest star in the constellation Northern Crown.


Ophiuchus and Serpent on June evenings

Ophiuchus the Serpent Bearer is one constellation that looks to me like what it’s supposed to be: a big guy holding a snake.

Waning gibbous moon just after midnight on the morning of June 23, 2016 by Deirdre Horan of Dublin, Ireland.

Where’s the moon? Waning gibbous

Look for the waning gibbous moon late at night. It might look strangely oblong. Or look for it in the west in early morning, floating against the pale blue sky.

Twilight over Manhattan.

Latest dusk for northerly latitudes

If you’re around 40 degrees N. latitude, expect your evening twilight to last latest at night, for this year, around June 24.


A signpost of southern skies

Tonight, a tribute to the Southern Cross, also known as the constellation Crux, for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere.

Image Credit:  Dan Bush

After sunup, look for the daytime moon

In the days after every full moon, a daytime moon appears in the west after sunrise, in a blue sky. Watch for it.

Adrian Strand captured this photo on a beach in northwest England.

Slowest sunsets around solstices

Here’s a natural phenomenon you might never have imagined. That is, the sun actually sets more slowly around the time of a solstice.


Things to notice at the June solstice

Some quick info that’ll help you connect with nature on this special day, June solstice 2016!

Last year's June full moon by Anthony Lynch Photography in Dublin, Ireland.

What’s special about a full moon?

You know it when you see it, but what makes a full moon full?

The almost-full moon shines close to the planet Saturn and the star Antares on the eve of the June 20 solstice.

Solstice eve moon still near Saturn

The June 19 moon, near Saturn on solstice eve, looks full. The June 20 full moon falls on the solstice. Links and info here.


Moon and Saturn on June 18

If you can’t see Saturn in front of the moon on June 18, 2016, place your finger in front of the moon to reduce its glare.

From the December solstice to the June solstice, the sunset makes its way north, as illustrated in this photo composite by Abhijit Juvekar.  Thanks, Abhijit!

All you need to know: June solstice 2016

It’s that beautiful time of year again in the Northern Hemisphere, when the June solstice – your signal to celebrate summer – is nearly upon us.


Moon between Mars and Saturn June 17

The star Antares is nearby, too. Identify the triangle of Mars, Saturn and Antares and watch them for months to come.

Waxing gibbous moon, rising - June 15, 2016 - caught by Tonia Coleman-Klein in Atlanta, Georgia.  Thanks, Tonia!

Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous

You might notice a waxing gibbous moon in the afternoon in the next few days. It’ll be ascending in the east as the sun is descending in the west.

Artist's concept of Kochab seen from its planets via ESky

Kochab and Perked, guardians of north

Two noticeable stars in the Little Dipper are said to guard the north celestial pole because they circle so close to Polaris.

Let the moon be your guide to the planet Mars for several evenings, centered on or near June 16. Read more.

Moon and Mars on June 16

The bright red object near tonight’s moon is Mars. Why it’s still so bright and a word about the highly variable brightness of this neighboring world.


Is Zubeneschamali green?

Although some scientists claim stars can’t look green, many stargazers will swear that Zubeneschamali proves otherwise.


Moon, Mars, Spica on June 15

We passed between Mars and the sun on May 22, and Mars still shines brightly. It’s twice as bright as Spica tonight. Spica is blue-white, while Mars is red.


Moon and Spica on June 14

This evening – June 14, 2016 – the moon couples up with Spica, Virgo’s brightest star. But the moon is heading toward bright Mars.