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It’s not the most famous star in Cetus, or the brightest, although it carries the designation Alpha. But Menkar has its own claims to fame.
2016 solstice on December 21 , but the earliest sunsets at mid-northern latitudes happen on or near December 7. In the S. Hemisphere? Then watch for your earliest sunrises.
From tropical or Southern Hemisphere latitudes, the Large Magellanic Cloud is easy to see. Look for it in the evening from December to April.
The December 6, 2016 moon is near Neptune, only solar system planet not visible at all from Earth to the unaided eye. From some places, the moon will pass in front of Neptune today. Charts and info here.
To the Aymara of Bolivia, Orion’s Belt is the Celestial Bridge, uniting the sky’s northern and southern hemispheres.
Use the moon to find Mars this evening. Bright Venus is nearby. Then watch day by day, as the gap on our sky’s dome between Mars and Venus shrinks.
The moon and Venus are the 2 brightest nighttime objects. Think photo opportunity! Or just enjoy these 2 beauties in the west early Friday evening.
Hamal, also known as Alpha Arietis, is the brightest star in Aries the Ram. Learn the role this star played in defining the term First Point in Aries.
How and when to see the constellation Aries in the night sky, plus info about this constellation in the history of astronomy and in mythology.
Three bright planets appear at nightfall in December 2016: Mercury, Venus and Mars. Jupiter reigns as the sole morning planet. Saturn is lost in the sun’s glare.
In North America, on November 30, the moon sets after Mercury. South of the equator – in South America – Mercury sets after the moon.
A new moon rises and sets with the sun and crosses the sky during the day. You won’t see it today, but the moon will return to the evening sky and appear near bright planets, in the days ahead.
The sun always passes in front of Ophiuchus from about November 29 to December 18. That’s why some call Ophiuchus an unofficial member of the Zodiac.
When we look up or down – away from the flat disk of the galaxy or toward it – we’re seeing Milky Way stars. But we also see a few more distant objects, visible to the eye alone.
A waning crescent moon is sometimes called an old moon. It’s seen in the east before dawn. Next new moon is November 29 at 12:18 UTC.
The wonderful Andromeda galaxy! Most distant object we can see with the eye alone. Try using the Great Square of Pegasus to find it in a dark sky.
This star in the constellation Cetus varies in brightness over about 11 months. Its next brightness maximum is due in early 2017.
One half of the W of Cassiopeia is more deeply notched than the other half. This deeper V is your “arrow” in the sky, pointing to the Andromeda galaxy.
The Summer Triangle is made up of the three brilliant stars Vega, Deneb and Altair. Look for it this evening in your western sky.
Triangulum galaxy, aka Messier 33. is 2.7 million light-years away, and the third-largest member of our Local Group, after the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies.
Patterns in mammatus clouds