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Hyades star cluster: Face of Taurus

The V-shaped Hyades star cluster represents the face of Taurus the Bull. The cluster is easy to spot on winter evenings.

Spot elusive Mercury before dawn

On January 19, 2017, Mercury will be at greatest elongation. That means it’s now nearly at its farthest from the sun on our sky’s dome for this morning apparition. Watch for it!

Look for Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper

Watch the celestial clock and its two great big hour hands – Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper – as they swing around the North Star every night!

Sirius, future South Pole Star

The sky’s brightest star, Sirius aka the Dog Star, will come to within 1.6 degrees of the south celestial pole in the year 66270.

Winter Circle: Brilliant winter stars

It’s a big circle of bright stars. In the Northern Hemisphere, we call it the Winter Circle, but it can be seen from around the globe.

Moon and Regulus on January 14

Regulus is Leo the Lion’s brightest star, sometimes called the Lion’s Heart. See it near the moon on January 14. From some places, the moon will pass in front of Regulus!

Moon in a waning gibbous phase

Full moon has come and gone. Now the moon is rising later at night. Watch for a daytime moon in the west in early morning in the next few days.

New Year’s Eve, in the Julian calendar

Happy Julian New Year! January 13, 2017 marks the last day of a year in the old-style Julian calendar. Why, and what happened when our ancestors made this monumental calendar switch.

EarthSky’s meteor shower guide for 2017

All you need to know about 2017’s major meteor showers! How and when to watch, and more.

Star of the week: Capella

We see Capella as the brightest star in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. It’s actually 2 stars, each with a golden color similar to our sun.

January guide to the bright planets

In January 2017, Venus blazes in the west after sunset. Mars is fainter, and nearby. The other 3 bright planets – Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury – light up the hours before sunrise.

Venus milestone on January 12

At greatest elongation on January 12, 2017, Venus is as far from the sun as it will be for this evening apparition.

When does full moon happen for you?

Full moon is January 12, 2017 at 11:34 UTC. Fullest moon for you on the night of January 11 if you’re in the Americas, and on January 12 if you’re in Asia. In between? Either night will do!

What’s special about a full moon?

Why does a full moon tug our heartstrings? And why does the moon on this night look full, in contrast to other other nights and other phases of the moon?

Identify stars in the Winter Circle

Go outside, and look for the waxing gibbous moon tonight. Then notice the stars nearby. Tonight’s moon is within the Winter Circle stars.

Where’s the moon? Waxing gibbous

The moon looks bright and nearly full. Full moon will happen on January 12, 2017 at 11:34 UTC. If you’re in the Americas, your fullest-looking moon will come on the night of January 11.

Moon near former pole star on January 9

People in Asia will see Aldebaran pass behind the moon on this date. The rest of us will see Aldebaran in the moon’s glare. Plus … the story of Aldebaran when it was part of a double pole star.

Moon, Aldebaran, Pleiades on January 8

Pleiades star cluster – and bright star Aldebaran – are both in Taurus the Bull. If you can’t see them near tonight’s moon, break out the binoculars!

Contemplate the apex of the sun’s way

Our sun moves around the center of the galaxy, toward the star Vega. Astronomers call this motion the apex of the sun’s way. One circuit – about 230 million years – is called a cosmic year.

No double moon in 2017, or ever

Can Mars ever appear as large as the moon in Earth’s sky? Heck no.