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Moon, Jupiter and Spica on July 19

On July 19, 2018, as the setting sun closes the curtains on the day, and the darkening skies bring out a myriad of far-off suns, let the moon introduce you to a very special star.

Deneb and Cygnus the Swan

The star Deneb in its constellation Cygnus the Swan are part of the famous Summer Triangle.

Altair and Aquila the Eagle

Look for the star Altair in the east on July evenings. You’ll recognize it for the 2 fainter stars on either side of it … as if the 3 were “walking the Milky Way hand in hand and three abreast.”

All you need to know: Delta Aquariid meteors in 2018

With the long-running Delta Aquariid meteor shower already in progress, and the moon in a waxing crescent phase – and gone from the sky after midnight – we’re beginning to receive meteor photos.

See the constellation Scutum the Shield

Scutum has only has 4 stars that make up the constellation outline, but it’s noticeable in a dark sky because a rich region of the Milky Way is behind it.

Northern Cross: Backbone of Milky Way

On summer evenings, look for this star pattern in the east, sideways to the horizon.

Close and far Martian oppositions

Want a more numerical explanation for why 2018 is a great year to view Mars? This post is for you.

Jupiter ends retrograde on July 10-11

The end of retrograde means the end of the best time for viewing Jupiter in 2018. But Jupiter will remain bright and fun to see for many months to come. In the meantime, Mars is now as bright as Jupiter … soon to be brighter!

Moon, Pleiades, Aldebaran before dawn

A beautiful view of the waning crescent moon, Pleiades star cluster and bright star Aldebaran in the dark eastern skies before dawn on July 9 and 10.

See Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown

Corona Borealis looks like the letter C. A dark sky is best for seeing this faint semi-circle of stars.

Earth farthest from the sun on July 6

Earth is farthest from the sun for all of 2018 on July 6. Astronomers call this point in our orbit “aphelion.”

Summer Triangle and smallest constellations

You need a dark country sky to see these 3 small constellations: Vulpecula the Fox, Delphinus the Dolphin and Sagitta the Arrow.

Draco, great Dragon of the north

Meet Rastaban and Eltanin – lovely, romantic names for Dragon stars! These 2 stars represent the Eyes of the Dragon.

Use Big Dipper to find Polaris

Draw a line through the Big Dipper pointer stars to find Polaris, Earth’s pole star. If your sky is dark, also look for a former pole star, Thuban, in the Tail of Draco the Dragon.

What are the full moon names?

Lists of common full moon names – both by month and by season – for both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Full Strawberry Moon and Saturn on June 27 and 28

The date of June’s full moon depends on your location. For U.S. time zones, full moon comes June 27. For much of the rest of the world, full moon comes June 28. For all of us, Saturn is nearby.

Latest sunsets follow summer solstice

Latest sunsets around now for 40 degrees north latitude. Latest sunrises around now for 40 degrees south latitude.

All you need to know: June solstice 2018

Happy June solstice! Longest day for the Northern Hemisphere. Shortest day for the Southern Hemisphere. Either way … a good time to celebrate!

Happy solstice, everyone!

Here’s some quick info that’ll help you connect with nature at this June solstice 2018.

Earliest sunrises before summer solstice

Are you an early riser? If so – if you live in the Northern Hemisphere – you might know your earliest sunrises of the year are happening now. Southern Hemisphere? Your earliest sunsets are around now.