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Moon in Winter Circle April 19 to 21

What a great time to identify many bright stars! Let the moon be your guide.

How do you star hop?

Star hopping is a great way to learn the night sky. Start with the brightest, most noticeable stars and constellations and hop from there.

Clock time and sun time agree

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.

Meet M13, the Great Cluster in Hercules

Many stargazers call it the finest globular cluster in the northern half of the heavens. It’s M13, also known as the Great Cluster in Hercules.

Follow the arc to Arcturus, and drive a spike to Spica

If you only ever learn one star mnemonic, make it this one!

Use the Big Dipper to find the Little Dipper

Polaris – aka the North Star – marks the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. The 2 outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper always point to Polaris.

Come to know the Big and Little Dippers

The Big Dipper is easy. And, once you find it, you can find the Little Dipper, too.

Summer Triangle, signpost for all seasons

Vega, Deneb and Altair – the 3 brilliant stars of the Summer Triangle – are up before dawn in March.

Mizar and Alcor, famous double star

Mizar and its fainter companion star Alcor are easy to spot in the Big Dipper’s handle.

Moon and faint Cancer on March 26

The constellation Cancer the Crab is faint, the faintest constellation of the zodiac. Yet the bright moon on March 26, 2018 can help you find it.

Moon sweeps through Winter Circle March 23 and 24

The ecliptic – sun and moon’s path, marked in green on our chart – cuts through the Winter Circle. So, every month the Circle is visible, the moon sweeps through these stars.

Is Sirius the most luminous star?

To astronomers, the word “luminous” refers to a star’s intrinsic brightness. Sirius is our sky’s brightest star, but only because it’s relatively nearby at 8.6 light-years away.

Westward shift of Orion and all the stars

As Earth makes its grand tour around the sun each year, the constellations all shift westward in our sky. Orion is a good one to notice.

A mysterious star called Epsilon Aurigae

Epsilon Aurigae’s light dims for a period of about 2 years, in a 27-year cycle. The star’s last dimming was from 2009 to 2011.

Use Big Dipper to find Little Dipper

The Big Dipper is easy to recognize, but the Little Dipper … not so much. Here’s a tip that can help.

Use Big Dipper to find North Star

The 2 outer stars in the Big Dipper’s bowl point to the North Star, aka Polaris.

See the zodiacal light

The moon is waning again, leaving the sky dark in early evening. Watch for the mysterious zodiacal light in the west after true darkness falls. Southern Hemisphere? Look east before dawn.

Top 4 keys to mastering moon phases

The most important key is to think of the moon as a world in space, with a day and night side.

Taurus? Here’s your constellation

How to find to find the constellation Taurus in your night sky. Plus the names of some of its bright stars and star clusters and its mythology.

Moon in Taurus February 22 and 23

Tonight and tomorrow night, let the moon show you the constellation Taurus the Bull on the great dome of sky. How to recognize the Bull’s 2 most prominent features, here.