Alpha and Beta Centauri, pointing to Crux.

Northerners’ guide to Southern Cross

The Southern Cross climbs highest – due south – in the evening around now. Latitudes like Hawaii can see it. It’s possible to see from latitudes like the far-southern contiguous U.S., but difficult.

All you need to know: Eta Aquariid meteors

The new moon on May 4 will provide inky black skies for this year’s Eta Aquariid meteor shower. No matter where you are on the globe, watch for meteors on the several mornings around May 5.

Chart showing location of Lyrid meteor shower radiant point.

Find the Lyrid meteors’ radiant point

You don’t need to find the radiant to see the meteors. But it’s fun to spot, near the bright star Vega.

Why does the moon seem to follow me?

Here’s something you – or your kids – might have noticed: When you’re in a moving car, earthly objects get left behind, but the moon seems to follow. Why?

Lyrid meteor shower: All you need to know

In 2019, April 23 is the expected peak morning. There will be a bright waning gibbous moon in the sky. Want to make the most of this year’s Lyrid meteor shower? Here’s how.

Observatory dome in foreground, Milky Way in background, and Alpha Centauri's position marked.

Alpha Centauri, star system closest to our sun

We see this nearly star system as a single star in our sky, but it’s really 3 stars. Of the 3, Proxima is closer to our sun than any other known star.

Alpha and Beta Centauri, pointing to Crux.

Beta Centauri is a Southern Pointer Star

Beta Centauri – aka Hadar – joins Alpha Centauri in pointing to the Southern Cross. Like Alpha, Beta Centauri is also 3 stars, but 2 of Beta’s stars will someday become nearby supernovae.

Clock time and sun time agree in mid-April

Sundial and clock agree every year in middle April. It means that, when the midday sun climbs highest, the sundial reads 12 noon and your local clock says 12 noon.

Sunset on Mars.

Does Mars have a North Star?

Will future Mars explorers have a North Star to guide them?

Leo? Here’s your constellation

Leo the Lion is one of the easiest constellations to identify in the night sky. April and May are great months to spot it.