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Larry Sessions

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.

Use Big Dipper to find North Star

The 2 outermost stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris, the North Star.

What is pareidolia?

Seeing a dragon in a patch of clouds, or a face in the moon, are examples of what’s called pareidolia. Look here for photos to test your own ability to see things that aren’t there.

Happy Chinese Valentine’s Day, from Vega

One of the prettiest stories in all skylore surrounds this star. “On the 7th night of the 7th moon …” The legend sets the date of Chinese Valentine’s Day – the Qixi Festival – this year on August 17.

61 Cygni is the Flying Star

61 Cygni isn’t bright. But it moves exceptionally rapidly against the background of more distant stars. Its motion reveals its nearness to Earth.

Moon, Pleiades, Aldebaran before dawn

A beautiful view of the waning crescent moon, Pleiades star cluster and bright star Aldebaran in the dark eastern skies before dawn on July 9 and 10.