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This Week's Amazing Sky | Almanac.com

This Week's Amazing Sky

May 24, 2022
This month, we saw the first-ever photograph of the supermassive black hole at the center of our own Milky Way galaxy. We had seen stars orbiting around something invisible and massive but this image was the first direct visual evidence of our black hole. But what are we really seeing in this image? Bob Berman shares insight. As you may have heard, astronomers unveiled the first-ever image…
May 24, 2022
Heads up! On Monday night, May 30, we may witness a new meteor shower and impressive display of shooting stars, thanks to a comet that’s breaking apart! Will a newcomer—the Tau Herculids showers—make an epic appearance? Bob Berman fills us in on the latest astronomy news. Some words in English are frustratingly ambiguous. “Earthquake” can mean a tremor that no one can feel or a city-…
May 5, 2022
On Sunday night, May 15, a gorgeous total eclipse of the Moon will sweep across the continent. It’s especially welcome since it’s been years since we’ve had a true total lunar eclipse. Get the “real” start time and more viewing tips. For the last couple of years, every lunar eclipse has been of the penumbral type, meaning the Moon failed to even momentarily touch the edge of…
May 3, 2022
There are four supermoons in 2022! The first happens in May. What is a supermoon, exactly? We agree that it’s a catchy word and anything that encourages us to explore the night sky is positive—but let’s also get our facts straight. What Is a Supermoon? Generally speaking, a supermoon is a full moon that appears larger than a typical full moon due to it being closer to…
April 25, 2022
This weekend marks the new Moon stage of the lunar cycle, which means we will be viewing crescents until then. Seen in twilight rather than full darkness, and always low in the sky, the crescent may be the Moon’s most surreal phase. Learn more. The new Moon phase is this Saturday, April 30 here in North America. See your local Moon phase time. Until then, we enjoy a waning crescent all…
April 22, 2022
If you ask friends what happens on the summer solstice, they’re likely to say it’s the longest day of the year. But that’s a tired factoid—let’s learn something new! Bob Berman lists 7 cool (or, is it “hot”?) solstice facts. See how many you know! The solstice on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, happens at the same instant for all of us, everywhere on Earth; only our clocks…
March 18, 2022
On this March equinox, does the Sun rise due east and set due west? Are day and night of equal duration? Some of these answers are quite contrary to common wisdom. Bob Berman brings the fun facts to celebrate the first day of spring! On the vernal equinox (March 20), the Sun will cross the celestial equator—an imaginary line in the sky above Earth’s equator—from south to north. This…
March 11, 2022
Who hasn’t heard of the Dog Star, Sirius? It’s the brightest star in the sky in late winter and early spring. And, boy, is it easy to find! Just face south at 8 P.M. and look for Orion. Plus, you also have a chance to see its pup. Yes, it’s a two-dog night. How to Find Sirius Simply locate Orion. See its famous belt made up of three bright stars? The belt…
March 10, 2022
Make a pie to celebrate Pi Day on Monday, March 14, 2022! The date 3/14 honors the never-ending number 3.14159. This is the sort of holiday only celebrated by number freaks like yours truly (and pie lovers). Let’s have fun with numbers and a nice piece of π … The date 3/14 reminds everyone that the Greek letter π, always representing the ratio…
February 26, 2022
Are you up between 6 and 6:30 AM Sunday morning (27th of February)? If so, or if you can be motivated to set the alarm, you’ve got to take a look. Earth’s three closest neighbors appear in a perfectly straight line, all together! Do you have a window facing southeast, and have the sky clear almost all the way down to the horizon? Or, are you getting up to walk the dog (or …
January 31, 2022
Groundhog Day. Just a bizarre tradition involving a marmot, right? Believe it or not, Groundhog Day is full of amazing sky-related stuff. Even its date relates to the heavens. Bob Berman explains the connection to astronomy and sky watching. As the tradition goes, a Pennsylvania groundhog ignores crowds of humans closely gathered around him, and then, despite having a four ounce brain,…
January 27, 2022
Step outside any time after 9 P.M. in January or February and it’s easy to spot Orion the Hunter, one of winter’s most easily recognizable constellations. Many of you can probably identify the Hunter’s Belt, those three-stars-in-a-row. But let’s find two even brighter stars of the Hunter (one red-orange and the other white-blue)! Of the 88 constellations, most are…