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!

Pleiades star cluster, aka Seven Sisters

The Pleiades star cluster – aka the Seven Sisters or M45 – is visible from virtually every part of the globe. It looks like a tiny misty dipper of stars.

Illustration showing sunrise and sunset points on your horizon, plus solar noon, when the sun is highest in the sky.

Year’s earliest solar noon on November 3

November 3 brings the year’s earliest noon – or midday – by nature’s clock. The earliest solar noon is a harbinger of the year’s earliest sunset in the Northern Hemisphere and earliest sunrise in the Southern Hemisphere. Both take place before the December 22 solstice.

All you need to know: Taurid meteors

Although a modest shower, perhaps offering 5 meteors per hour, the Taurid shower lasts over a month and is known for producing dramatic fireballs.

November guide to the bright planets

See 3 bright planets – Saturn, Jupiter and Venus – after sunset. Jupiter and Venus will meet up for conjunction on November 24. Mercury transits the sun on November 11. Mars rises in the east, shortly before the sun.

Algol is the Demon Star

What’s the scariest star in all the heavens? Around Halloween, look for Algol – a star named for a demon! How to see it in your sky.

Halloween is a cross-quarter day

The 4 cross-quarter days fall between equinoxes and solstices. Halloween is the spookiest one – derived from a sacred festival of ancient Celts and Druids – coming as days grow short and nights long in the Northern Hemisphere.

Star chart showing relationship between star Arcturus and Big Dipper.

Halloween ghost of the summer sun

At mid-northern latitudes, the star Arcturus sets about 2 hours after sunset around Halloween. It sets at the same point on the horizon as the summer sun. It’s a Halloween ghost of the summer sun and an echo of long summer afternoons.

Starry streaks, aka "star trails," can be seen in this long-exposure photo. The asteroid meanwhile appears as a single point, because it is so near us, and because the telescope is tracking the asteroid, not the stars.

Asteroid to sweep between moon and Earth tonight: How to watch online

Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project in Rome said he just managed to capture an image of a small asteroid – labeled 2019 UB8 – coming very close on October 29, at about half the moon’s distance. Details here.

Simple diagram showing Earth and Venus orbits around the sun, in relationship to each other, in the year 2020.

What’s a node?

Venus passes its descending node on Friday at 2 UTC. What is it? And why does astronomer Guy Ottewell say that nodes “shape the orbits of the moving bodies and set them up for whatever else happens” … ?

Streaks of light in circles against a black background.

What are star trails, and how can I capture them?

Star trails are the continuous paths created by stars, produced during long-exposure photos, such as the images in this post.

Illustration of the whole Earth around midnight in Europe, with the Orionid meteor stream encountering Earth from overhead.

Early this week, watch for the Orionids

Charts and insights about this week’s Orionid meteor shower from astronomer Guy Ottewell.

Close-up on Cassiopeia the Queen

It’s an easy constellation to identify because it has the shape of an M or W. On these October evenings, look for Cassiopeia the Queen high in the northeast sky, not far from the North Star.

Zoom in on the Ghost Nebula

Nebula IC 63 – in the direction of our constellation Cassiopeia – is slowly dissipating under the influence of ionizing ultraviolet radiation from a hot, luminous variable star known as Gamma Cas.

All you need to know: Orionid meteor shower

Details on the annual Orionid meteor shower.  How and when to watch. In 2019, the peak mornings are probably October 21 or 22. But try watching now, before dawn, despite a bright moon.

Venus from now to next June

Northern and Southern Hemisphere views of Venus from October 2019 to June 2020, and some insights on the coming view of Venus in the evening sky.

A round, bright, full moon shining behind bare trees.

All you need to know: 2019’s Hunter’s Moon

The coming full moon – Hunter’s Moon for the Northern Hemisphere – is October 12-13. Will it be bigger, brighter, more colorful? All you need to know here.

10 amazing places for year-round stargazing

The stars are accessible to everyone, but where can you get the most from the night sky? Here are 10 great dark-sky places – mostly in the U.S. but also in Australia, New Zealand and Chile – for skywatching and stargazing.