Posted by Deborah Byrd in Astronomy Essentials | Today's Image|2 hours ago
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!
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.
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.
Posted by Bruce McClure in Astronomy Essentials | Human World|2 weeks ago
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.
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.
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.
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” … ?
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.