Posts by 

Bruce McClure

2nd eclipse season of 2023 is here, with 2 eclipses

There are many cycles in the heavens. We're coming up to a noticeable cycle - the 2nd eclipse season this year - right now. It starts with a solar eclipse.

On the equinox, are day and night equal?

Day and night are mostly equal on the equinox. There's a bit more daylight because the sun is a disk, not a point, and Earth’s atmosphere refracts sunlight.

Equinox sun rises due east and sets due west

The 2023 September equinox occurs on September 23 at 6:50 UTC (1:50 a.m. CDT). At the equinox, the sun rises and sets due east and due west.

Year’s fastest sunsets happen around equinoxes

The year's fastest sunsets are at the equinoxes, and the slowest are at the solstices. We're talking about how long it takes the sun to sink below the horizon.

Neptune at opposition September 18-19, 2023

Neptune at opposition - when it's 180 degrees from the sun on the sky's dome - comes early on September 19, 2023. You'll need optical aid to spot it.

Andromeda galaxy: All you need to know

The Andromeda galaxy is the closest big galaxy to our Milky Way. At 2.5 million light-years, it's the most distant thing you can see with the eye alone.

Delta Cephei helps measure cosmic distances

Delta Cephei is an inconspicuous variable star in the northern constellation Cepheus the King. This star helps establish the cosmic distance scale.

Alderamin, or Alpha Cephei, is a fast-spinning star

Meet Alpha Cephei, in the constellation Cepheus the King. It’s spinning so fast that it appears like a slightly flattened beach ball.

Equinox shadows trace a straight line from west to east

Equinox shadows are unique. On this day - and this day only - the tip of an upright stick's shadow follows a straight path, west to east, all day long.

Is Ophiuchus the 13th constellation of the zodiac?

Born between November 29 and December 18? Then the sun passes in front of Ophiuchus on your birthday. Here's how to spot Ophiuchus in the sky.