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EarthSky

Visualize the sun’s path through Milky Way

Sirius is easy to find. It’s the sky’s brightest star on the sky’s dome. When you look at it, you’re looking backwards along our solar system’s path through the Milky Way galaxy.

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!

When does Friday 13th have a full moon?

January 13, 2017 is a Friday the 13th, and the moon is one day past full. Past and future dates when Friday the 13th and the full moon coincide.

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.

Largest, closest, highest sun

As seen from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on January 4, Earth reached its closest point to the sun just 40 minutes before the sun reached its highest daily position in Rio`s sky …

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.

Are perihelion and solstice related?

December solstice 2016 was December 21. Earth is closest to the sun for 2017 on January 4. Coincidence?

Astro festivals, star parties, workshops

There are some awesome winter star parties coming up, where amateur astronomers with telescopes will show you the night sky. Find one near you …

Today in science: 1st spacecraft to moon

Some historians believe Luna 1 – a Soviet spacecraft – was supposed to hit the moon. It didn’t but it was the first earthly craft to reach the moon, and sweep past.

January’s birthstone is the garnet

Happy birthday January babies!  Your birthstone is the garnet.