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Deborah Byrd

What are hole-punch clouds?

Ever seen one of these? People sometimes report them as UFOs. They’re called hole-punch clouds, and jets make ’em. The connection between hole-punch clouds, jets and snowfall, here.

Venus is going, going …

Venus will sweep between us and the sun (inferior conjunction) on October 26. Check out this photo – taken just 5 days before inferior conjunction – of Venus as a slim crescent world.

All you need to know: 2018’s Hunter’s Moon

The coming full moon – Hunter’s Moon for the Northern Hemisphere – is October 24. Will it be bigger, brighter, more colorful? All you need to know here.

Waxing toward full Hunter’s Moon

Tonight – October 23, 2018 – the moon is waxing for all of us, around the globe. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s waxing toward a full Hunter’s Moon and the second full moon of autumn. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, the moon is waxing toward your second full moon of springtime.

Our Milky Way almost collided with another galaxy

Astronomers found a snail-shaped substructure of stars in our larger Milky Way galaxy. It indicates the Milky Way is still enduring the effects of a near-collision that set millions of stars moving like ripples on a pond.

Big Dipper over Grand Gulch, Utah

The Big Dipper over a pool in the Utah desert, caught from a canyon littered with the rock art and ruins of Ancestral Puebloans.

Watch for Earth’s shadow and the Belt of Venus

Look east after sunset – or west before sunrise – for Earth’s shadow. It’s a deep blue-grey band, curved as Earth is curved, moving opposite the sun. The Belt of Venus is the subtle pink band above the shadow.

Light pillars over Whitefish Bay

When there are ice crystals in the air around you, you might see light pillars. They’re the result of light reflecting from the crystals suspended in the air or clouds.

Watch Capella flashing red and green

A bright star twinkling with red and green flashes, low in the northeastern sky on October evenings, is probably Capella.

What is a waxing gibbous moon?

A waxing gibbous moon appears more than half lighted, but less than full. It rises before sundown and sets somewhere between midnight and dawn. The coming full moon – Hunter’s Moon for the Northern Hemisphere – is October 24.