Larry Sessions

Moon and Gemini stars on April 18 and 19

Watch for Gemini’s 2 brightest stars – Castor and Pollux – near tonight’s moon. On the other side of the moon, you’ll see a 3rd bright star. It’s Procyon in the constellation Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog.

Dense star field with Milky Way and several bright stars behind a domed observatory building.

Beta Centauri is a Southern Pointer Star

Beta Centauri isn’t as famous as Alpha Centauri, but together, these brilliant Southern Hemisphere stars have inspired legends and guided mariners.

Leo loses his tail. We gain a constellation

The constellation Leo once had a tail, a clump of faint stars. Now these same stars are known as Coma Berenices, the hair of a queen.

An image of the star Alpha Centauri that appears very bright against a backdrop of much fainter stars and dust clouds.

Alpha Centauri, star system closest to our sun

Our closest stellar neighbors are the 3 stars that make up the Alpha Centauri system. They lie just over 4 light-years – about 25 trillion miles or 38 trillion km – away.

What appears to be a densely populated star field with tiny oblong smudges.

The Coma Cluster contains thousands of galaxies

Myriads of galaxies, visible only to those with medium-to-large telescopes, shine among the stars in the “Realm of the Galaxies.” Study of the Coma Cluster of galaxies aided in the discovery of dark matter.

Star chart showing the Southern Cross - aka Crux - and highlights its brightest star Acrux.

Acrux, brightest star in Southern Cross

You have to go far south on Earth’s globe to see the Southern Cross constellation. Bluish Acrux, aka Alpha Crucis, is its brightest star.

Bright star low in deep blue sky above dark mountains.

Can you see Canopus, the 2nd-brightest star?

Here’s how to spot Canopus, the 2nd-brightest star in the sky as seen from Earth, on February evenings.

A fuzzy red star, emcompassed by a shell and multiple arcs.

When will Betelgeuse explode?

The red supergiant star will explode in a supernova, close enough to shine brightly during the day but far enough away that Earth won’t be in danger.

Two yellow shining balls.

Capella is sometimes called the Goat Star

The 6th-brightest star in the night sky, Capella, is the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere constellation Auriga the Charioteer. This star is also one of the points in the Winter Hexagon.

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.