Fastest sunsets happen near equinoxes

We’re talking about the amount of time needed for the body of the sun to sink below the horizon. It’s true. The sun actually sets faster around the time of an equinox.

Moon and faint Cancer on March 17

The constellation Cancer the Crab is faint, the faintest constellation of the zodiac. Yet the bright moon on March 17, 2019 can help you locate it.

Moon and Winter Circle March 13-15

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.

Star chart showing 3 bright stars of Summer Triangle, with star Altair closest to Venus.

Summer Triangle, signpost for all seasons

The Summer Triangle’s 3 brilliant stars – Vega, Deneb and Altair – are up before dawn in March, before midnight in May and at dusk on the summer solstice. Right now, they’re in the east before sunup, near Venus!

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 North Star

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

Arc to Arcturus, the springtime star

Before going to bed tonight, locate the Big Dipper in your northern sky, and then follow the arc in the Dipper’s handle to find yellow-orange star Arcturus.

Canopus: Sky’s 2nd-brightest star

Canopus is the 2nd-brightest star in the sky, and it’s easy to spot on February evenings, if …

Zodiacal light glowing pyramid after dark

From the Northern Hemisphere, look after true darkness falls for the elusive zodiacal light. It appears as a hazy pyramid of light extending up from the sunset point. Southern Hemisphere? Look before dawn!

Big Dipper stars point to North Star

The 2 outermost stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper always point to the North Star, aka Polaris. That’s why astronomers call these stars The Pointers.

Zodiacal light: All you need to know

The zodiacal light is an eerie light extending up from the horizon. This is a good time of year to see it in the evening, from the Northern Hemisphere. Southern Hemisphere, look before dawn!

See the Double Cluster in Perseus

First, find the M- or W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia. The Double Cluster – 2 open star clusters – is nearby and beautiful in a dark sky.

Hare and Dove at Orion’s feet

Lepus the Hare and Columba the Dove are 2 faint constellations near the easy-to-find constellation Orion. You need a dark sky to see them.

Star-hop: Pegasus to Andromeda galaxy

The 4 stars of the Great Square of Pegasus are easy to find. Ready? Let’s star-hop!

Hyades star cluster: Face of Taurus

Meet the bright star Aldebaran, part of a V-shaped pattern of stars called the Hyades. This easy-to-find star cluster represents the face of Taurus the Bull.

Orion the Hunter is easy to spot

It’s identifiable by Orion’s Belt, 3 medium-bright stars in a short, straight row at the mid-section of the Hunter.

Top 4 keys to understanding moon phases

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

Identify stars in the Winter Circle

Go outside, and look for the waxing gibbous moon tonight. Then notice the stars nearby. Tonight’s moon is within the Winter Circle stars.

Moon near Aldebaran January 16 and 17

Will you see the red star Aldebaran – Eye of the Bull in Taurus – in the moon’s glare January 16 or 17? Plus … the story of Aldebaran when it was part of a double pole star.

Sirius, future South Pole Star

The sky’s brightest star, Sirius aka the Dog Star, will come to within 1.6 degrees of the south celestial pole in the year 66270.