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EarthSky

Heads up! It’s a month of eclipses

Partial solar eclipse July 13. Total lunar eclipse July 27. Partial solar eclipse August 11.

Why no eclipse every full and new moon?

In 2018, there are 13 full moons and 12 new moons, but only 5 eclipses – 2 lunar and 3 solar.

Can sharks smile?

Dogs, monkeys and dolphins all show expressions akin to human smiles. Sharks may look as if they’re smiling, but are they, really?

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.

Astro festivals, star parties, workshops

Summertime is a great time for star parties, in part because, at this time of year, we can see toward the galaxy’s center. Plus it’s the best time to see Saturn now, and Mars will be bright this summer. Join in, and have fun!

Why do fireflies light up?

A firefly’s familiar glow is caused by a chemical reaction. Explanation here, plus many wonderful firefly photos.

Video: Watching solstices and equinoxes from space

See how sunlight falls on Earth’s surface during the solstices and equinoxes, and get a better understanding of why Earth’s tilt causes the seasons.

The secrets of night-shining clouds

They’re back! People at high latitudes are seeing noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds, which always return to the skies around this time of year. Don’t miss the gorgeous photos in this post!

What makes a halo around the sun or moon?

A large ring or circle of light around the sun or moon is called a 22-degree halo by scientists.

Deneb, tail of Cygnus the Swan

Deneb marks the Tail of Cynus the Swan … and the head of a crosslike pattern known as the Northern Cross.