Larry Sessions has written many favorite posts in EarthSky's Tonight area. He's a former planetarium director in Little Rock, Fort Worth and Denver and an adjunct faculty member at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He's a longtime member of NASA's Solar System Ambassadors program. His articles have appeared in numerous publications including Space.com, Sky & Telescope, Astronomy and Rolling Stone. His small book on world star lore, Constellations, was published by Running Press.
Jupiter and Saturn – the 2 biggest planets in our solar system – are very close together on December 21. Will they look like one star? Some answers here. Plus, possible astronomical explanations for the Star of Bethlehem or Christmas star.
The Large Magellanic Cloud is a petite galaxy visible with the unaided eye – all year round – for those in the Southern Hemisphere. This small neighboring galaxy to the Milky Way is somewhere between spiral and irregular in shape.