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Larry Sessions

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.

It’s summer. What’s noon to you?

What do you mean by noon? Do you define it by your clock or wristwatch? Or the gnawing in your stomach? Here’s how astronomers think about noontime.

Top 10 space objects to see during the day

Love astronomy, but don’t like to stay up late? Here are 10 space objects you can see – under the right conditions – during the day.

Deneb is distant and very luminous

But – especially with last month’s 2nd data release from the Gaia satellite, whose job is measuring star distances – why don’t we know Deneb’s distance for certain?

Moon and Gemini stars May 18 and 19

Gemini’s 2 brightest stars – Castor and Pollux – represent twins in many cultures.

How Leo the Lion lost his tail

And how we gained a new constellation. Read about the Lion and the Queen’s Hair, one of skylore’s most famous legends, here.