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All you need to know: 2018’s Hunter’s Moon

The coming full moon – Hunter’s Moon for the Northern Hemisphere – is October 24. Will it be bigger, brighter, more colorful? All you need to know here.

Venus passages compared

Venus will sweep near the sun in our sky (inferior conjunction) on October 26. Astronomer Guy Ottewell uses his great skill at illustration to compare this passage of Venus with the last one, and the next one.

The Draconids did have an outburst

Experts had said “no outburst” predicted for the 2018 Draconids. But, since the parent comet had recently passed near, observers knew to watch anyway.

All you need to know: Orionid meteor shower

Details on the annual Orionid meteor shower. How and when to watch. In 2018, the peak morning is probably October 21. But start watching now, before dawn!

Are asteroids hiding among the Taurids?

And, more to the point, are any asteroids that might be hidden in the Taurid meteor stream potentially hazardous to Earth?

South Taurid meteors to peak in October?

The South Taurid meteor shower rarely produces more than 5 meteors per hour, but it’s been known to produce fireballs. The shower is long-running. Watch for these meteors in October and November.

All you need to know: Zodiacal light

The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon before true dawn begins. Southern Hemisphere? Look after sunset!

Meet Proxima Centauri, closest star to sun

The star Proxima Centauri, one of 3 stars in the Alpha Centauri system, is our sun’s nearest known neighbor at 4.2 light-years away.

All you need to know: Draconids in 2018

Experts are now saying there probably won’t be a meteor storm this evening. But what if they were wrong and you missed it?

Find the Draconid radiant point

You don’t have to identify a meteor shower’s radiant point to watch the show. But the radiant of the Draconids is fun to find! Here are some ways to do it.

Can you see the Big Dipper in autumn?

Sure, it’s easy to recognize, but sometimes the Big Dipper is low in the northern sky, or not visible at all. That’s the case now, in the evening. How to spot it.

October guide to the bright planets

Throughout October 2018, you can see 3 planets as darkness falls: Mars, Saturn and Jupiter. Bright Venus is heading into the sunset glare throughout October. It will pass between us and the sun before the month’s end.

Shine on, Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon comes on September 24 for the Americas and September 25 for most of the rest of the world.

All you need to know: September equinox

We have an equinox coming up on September 23 at 01:54 UTC. That’s September 22 for clocks in North America. Details here. Happy autumn (or spring)!

Why your equinox sun rises and sets due east and west

How is it possible for an equinox sun to rise due east – and set due west – for everyone around the world? How can you visualize it? Illustrations here.

Day and night exactly equal at equinoxes?

We’re coming up on an equinox, a word that means “equal night.” Days and nights are nearly equal across the globe now. Nearly, but not quite. Here’s why.

Mars is closest to the sun today

On September 16, 2018, Mars reaches perihelion, its closest point to the sun in its 2-year orbit. Mars’ brightness in July and August – and a recent global dust storm on the planet – are both linked to this event.

See it! Jupiter, Venus and the young moon

Have you been watching Jupiter, Venus and the moon these past few evenings? Enjoy these photos from the EarthSky community. Thanks to all who shared!

Venus, she or it?

Are you interested in the famous 8-year cycle of Venus? The charts in this post – from astronomer Guy Ottewell – illustrate it. Also, weigh in on whether you think we should describe Venus as she or it!

How far could you travel and still see Earth?

You couldn’t see Earth from another star. From even the closest stars, the sun’s glare makes Earth impossible to see. And inside our own solar system? Spacecraft photos tell the tale.