Larry Sessions

First quarter moon on February 12

The side of the moon we see from Earth appears 50% illuminated tonight. For all of Earth, the moon rises around midday and sets around midnight. Plus the moon’s lighted side points right at Mars tonight!

Will star Betelgeuse explode?

Yes, it will. The star Betelgeuse will run out of fuel, collapse under its own weight, and then rebound in a spectacular supernova explosion. Someday … but probably not soon.

Color image of the 2 golden stars in the Capella system.

Capella is 2 golden stars

We see Capella as the brightest star in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer. It’s really 2 stars, each with a golden color similar to our sun.

See a faint star cluster near bright Sirius

Sirius is easy to find. It’s the sky’s brightest star. If you have binoculars and a dark location, look near it for the star cluster M41.

Was the Christmas Star real?

Are there any possible astronomical explanations for the Star of Bethlehem or Christmas star?

Find the Geminids’ radiant point

Why is the Geminid meteor shower best around 2 a.m.? It’s because that’s when the shower’s radiant point – near the bright star Castor in the constellation Gemini – is highest in the sky.

The spectacular Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud, which is visible to the unaided human eye, might look like a small, faint bit of the Milky Way that’s broken off. But really it’s a separate small galaxy, thought to be orbiting our larger Milky Way.

Can you see stars’ different colors?

December is the perfect time for noticing the colors of the stars. Never noticed them? Today’s sky chart can help guide your eye.

The enduring mystique of Barnard’s Star

Sometimes called Barnard’s Runaway Star, it’s one of the best known stars in the history of astronomy and in popular culture.

How to see Venus in daytime

Another time of greatest brilliancy is coming up for Venus, when many spot this brightest of planets in a blue daytime sky. Here’s how you might try it.

2019 EarthSky Fundraiser

Hello, friends of the Earth and sky! We need you and your support to keep going.

Would you consider

donating?

If you've already donated, we apologize for the popup and greatly appreciate your support.