Middle of eclipse season December 30

The annual solar eclipse on December 26, 2019, happens some 4 days before the middle of the eclipse season, which falls on December 30, 2019.

A line of white dots, with a grid system laid over it. A faint, fuzzy line connects some of the dots.

Astronomers spy the Geminid meteors’ dust trail in space

Astronomers held a press conference this week to discuss the trail of dust left by 3200 Phaethon – the mysterious blue rock-comet that spawns the Geminid meteor shower each year. This object was one of the 1st to blur the distinction between asteroids and comets.

This weekend’s Geminid meteor shower

The Geminid meteor shower – one of the highlights of the stargazing year – will peak on the mornings of December 13, 14, and 15, 2019, though under the light of a bright moon. The Geminids are bright, too. You still might see some!

Aries? Here’s your constellation

How to see Aries the Ram in your night sky, plus info about this constellation in astronomy history and mythology.

Why is Mars sometimes bright and sometimes faint?

In 2018, Mars was brighter in our sky than it had been since 2003. In 2019, Mars was mostly faint and inconspicuous. But 2020, here we come!

Sky chart showing an arrow from Orion's Belt to the star Aldebaran.

Aldebaran is the Bull’s fiery eye

Aldebaran – brightest star in Taurus the Bull – is easy to spot at one tip of a V-shaped pattern of stars. If this star replaced our sun, its surface would extend almost to the orbit of Mercury.

Get ready for the Venus-Saturn conjunction

Venus and Jupiter had a spectacular conjunction last month. Soon, Saturn and Venus will meet in the west after sunset. Guy Ottewell offers insights and charts to prepare you for this encounter between worlds.

Pisces? Here’s your constellation

How to see the constellation Pisces and its alpha star, Al Risha, the star that ties the 2 Fishes together by their tails.

December guide to the bright planets

Jupiter is heading into the sunset glare, but you can still see Venus and Saturn after sunset. Look west. These 2 worlds will meet up for a conjunction on December 10. In the morning sky, as the month begins, keep watching for Mercury and Mars. They rise in the east before the sun.

Sun enters Ophiuchus on November 30

The sun always passes in front of Ophiuchus from about November 30 to December 18. That’s why some call Ophiuchus an unofficial member of the zodiac.

Photos: This week’s moon, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn

What a week it’s been for planets! Jupiter and Venus – the 2 brightest planets – were in conjunction last Sunday. Then the moon swept through the evening sky, passing Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. Thanks to all in the EarthSky Community who contributed photos! A sampling here … Links to more in this post.

When is my earliest sunset?

For the southernmost US and similar latitudes, the earliest sunsets of the year are happening now. Your earliest sunset depends on your latitude, but always comes before the winter solstice.

Achernar is the End of the River

Achernar is the 9th brightest star and flattest star known. It’s famous as the southernmost bright star in the constellation Eridanus the River. Here’s why much of Earth never sees it … and how you can.

Unicorn meteors proved elusive, after all

We’ve heard no reports so far today from anyone who saw a rich burst of meteors from the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros) last night. Looks like the meteor burst did not happen.

Hamal is an ancient equinox star

It’s not a super-noticeable star, but Hamal is the brightest star in Aries the Ram and can be found fairly easily. Plus Hamal has a special place in the history of the Earth and sky.

Whole-Earth view of Leonid meteor shower.

All you need to know: 2019’s Leonid meteor shower

2019’s Leonid meteor shower is expected to peak on the morning of November 18, though under the light of a waning gibbous moon. Charts, tips and details here.

All you need to know: The famous Orion Nebula

The Orion Nebula is a place where new stars are being born. It can be glimpsed with the eye alone … and is even more noticeable with binoculars. How to find it in your sky tonight. Plus … the science of this star factory in space.

See it! Monday’s transit of Mercury

Click here for awesome photos from members of the EarthSky community of the November 11, 2019, transit of Mercury. It’ll be the last Mercury transit until 2032. A huge thank you to all who submitted to EarthSky Community Photos!

Moon in front of Taurus, radiant of North Taurid meteor shower.

Full moon subdues North Taurid meteor peak

Full moon comes on November 12, 2019, as the moon is sweeping through the constellation Taurus the Bull. This full moon comes on the peak night of the North Taurid meteor shower.

North Taurid radiant near Pleiades cluster.

North Taurid meteors to peak in moonlight

Slow-moving North Taurids don’t exhibit a sharp peak, so meteor rates may remain fairly steady for the next several days. Too bad about the moon!