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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.
The bright, southerly star Achernar marks the end of the River in the constellation Eridanus. Many at northerly latitudes make a game of trying to catch a glimpse of it.
Why search for such a faint constellation? Only because it’s very beautiful. Plus seeing Eridanus can give you a kinship with stargazers from centuries ago.
Happy Julian New Year! January 13, 2018 marks the last day of the year in the old-style Julian calendar. Why, and what happened when the calendars switched.
Within a triangle of 3 bright stars – hidden in between the many bright and glittering stars visible at this time of year – you’ll find the constellation of Monoceros the Unicorn.
Sirius is easy to find. It’s the sky’s brightest star. If you have binoculars and a dark location, look near it for the star cluster M41.
Still close after their spectacular conjunction on Sunday, the bright planets Jupiter and Mars appear near the bright star Spica and the waning moon Tuesday morning.
Watch the celestial clock and its 2 great big hour hands – Cassiopeia and the Big Dipper – as they swing around the North Star every night!
It’s identifiable by Orion’s Belt, 3 medium-bright stars in a short, straight row at the mid-section of the Hunter.
Look for the moon and Regulus to climb above your eastern horizon around mid-evening on January 4, 2018. From some places, the moon will pass in front of Regulus.
Shortest day on solstice, but latest sunrises in early January at mid-northern latitudes. Southern Hemisphere? Your latest sunsets are around now.
The 2018 Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to exhibit its narrow peak January 3 around 21-22 hours UTC. The full supermoon nearly coincides, and moonlight will interfere with the shower.
On New Year’s Eve, look up for the brightest star Sirius in the constellation Canis Major. It’s at its highest in the sky at midnight.
You might know Rigel and Betelgeuse, Orion’s brightest stars. Now meet 2 more stars in Orion, called Bellatrix and Saiph.
The December 27 moon is close to the 7th planet, Uranus. The lunar glare glare will make it tough to spot, but notice stars nearby … and come back when the moon is gone.
Many constellations have a bright star, but Orion has two: Rigel and Betelgeuse.
Aldebaran – brightest star in Taurus the Bull – is huge! If it replaced our sun, its surface would extend almost to the orbit of Mercury.
It isn’t as famous as its counterpart, the Southern Cross. But the Northern Cross looks like a cross, and it’s pretty easy to spot.
How long into Northern Hemisphere winter will you be able to see the Summer Triangle?
The December 2017 solstice comes in the morning hours on December 21 for North America. Learn how to find the time of the solstice in your area, and about what makes a solstice special.
Best photos: Morning planets!