M5, your new favorite globular cluster

Sure, M13, the Great Hercules cluster, is wonderful. But some amateur astronomers say this cluster, M5, is even better. How to find it in your sky.

Multi-colored rocky planet with smaller gray moon.

Jupiter gives us Pluto in 2020

Jupiter and Pluto are having a triple conjunction in 2020. The 2nd of the 3 conjunctions happens on June 30. Just a few nights later – on July 4-5, 2020 – the full moon will stroll by Jupiter and Pluto. If you’ve never seen Pluto, here’s a chance to get oriented.

July 2020 guide to the bright planets

July 2020 offers you all 5 bright planets. Venus is that very bright object lighting the east before sunrise. After mid-July, find Mercury below Venus. Jupiter and Saturn are the planets to watch in July 2020. They are close together on the sky’s dome, and both reach opposition this month. Thus they’re at their best, up nearly all night, all month. Mars is looking very red now, steadily brightening, out between midnight and dawn.

What’s a penumbral eclipse of the moon?

Even as a penumbral eclipse is happening in your sky, you might not notice anything different about the moon. On the other hand, very observant people can detect a dark shading on the moon’s face during a penumbral eclipse.

Photo of Summer Triangle stars, and their constellations, annotated.

Find the Summer Triangle

On June and July evenings, you’ll find the Summer Triangle in the east at nightfall. It swings high overhead in the wee hours after midnight and sits in the west at daybreak.

Twilight over Manhattan, New York City

Latest dusk for northerly latitudes

Although the Northern Hemisphere’s summer solstice – and longest day – happened a few days ago, the latest twilight at 40 degrees north latitude always follows by several days. Expect the longest northern twilight on or near June 24.

Very thin crescent against lavender sky.

Will you see the young moon on June 21?

It’s rare to catch a moon within 24 hours of new. This month’s new moon comes on June 21 at 06:41 UTC. At sunset on June 21, some in the Americas or on Pacific islands might catch an exceedingly fragile young moon – fresh from an eclipse – low in the west after sunset.

Annular solar eclipse

Annular solar eclipse on June 21, 2020

On the heels of the June solstice, the new moon will sweep directly in front of the sun on Sunday, June 21, 2020, to stage an annular – ring of fire – solar eclipse for the world’s Eastern Hemisphere.

Summer solstice tale of 2 cities

On the June solstice, the sun will set at the same time in New York City and St. Augustine, Florida. But New York will have an hour more of daylight. How’s that happen?

Libra? Here’s your constellation

The zodiacal constellation Libra the Scales is a fixture of the evening sky during a Northern Hemisphere summer (Southern Hemisphere winter).

All you need to know: June solstice 2020

The June solstice is June 20. Longest day for the Northern Hemisphere. Shortest day for the Southern Hemisphere. Details here.

A Dragon and a former pole star

Let your eyes and imagination drift to see the entire winding shape of Draco the Dragon. Also, meet Thuban, a pole star when the Egyptians were building the pyramids. 

Now is the time to start watching Mars

Mars has been inconspicuous in our predawn sky for some months. It’s slowly gotten brighter and redder. Now the drama is about to begin! By October, Mars will outshine Jupiter! Start watching it now, and enjoy the fun.

A horn-shaped graphic depicting the various epochs of the universe.

What is the Big Bang?

In the view of modern cosmologists, the Big Bang is the event that marked the birth of our universe.

The illustration shows the sun in the center, and Earth passing between Saturn and the sun.

What is an opposition?

Opposition marks the middle of the best time of year to see a planet … but why?

June 20 marks the middle of an eclipse season

When the lunar nodes pointed directly at the sun on June 20, 2020, the event marked the middle of the eclipse season. Shortly thereafter, an annular eclipse of the sun took place on June 21, 2020.

Want to see Saturn’s rings? Read me 1st

The best time of 2020 for seeing Saturn’s glorious rings is nearly upon us. You’ve seen the photos, but maybe you want to see the rings with your own eyes? Here are a few things to think about.

The view toward the east from 40 degrees N. latitude on various dates around June 7, 2020.

Watch for Jupiter, Saturn and the moon

Watch for the moon, Jupiter and Saturn around June 7, 2020. The moon is very bright now, so Jupiter and Saturn are specks in its glare. Jupiter is a brighter speck than Saturn.

How often are there 3 eclipses in a month?

Beginning on June 5, we’ll have 3 eclipses in one lunar month. It’ll be the last time this happens until the year 2029. From 2000-2050, there are 3 eclipses in one lunar month 14 times. Meanwhile, in a calendar month, 3 eclipses are rare.

Very thin white crescent against gray background.

Farewell, Venus

Photos – taken through telescopes, or with other optical aid – from the EarthSky community. The brightest planet Venus is now in a thin crescent phase as viewed from Earth. Venus will go between us and the sun on June 3.