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This Week's Amazing Sky | Almanac.com

This Week's Amazing Sky

July 27, 2021
In this age of hype, Saturn remains one of the true show-stoppers. But, as with earthly affairs, timing is everything. Right now, Saturn shines at its brightest this year, making it the ideal to time to view our beautiful neighbor. It’s really easy to find. We’ll get to that in a minute. The Lord of the Rings overwhelms neophyte telescope owners and seasoned observers alike.…
July 9, 2021
What a treat! Venus, Mars, and the young Moon meet July 11–12 just after sunset. It’s the finest three-way conjunction of 2021. Venus and Mars will appear only a finger’s width apart and the slender crescent Moon points the way. See Bob Berman’s viewing tips. Young Moon, Venus, and Mars Meet In most of the United States, a romantic meeting of the three nearest…
June 23, 2021
Last Sunday’s summer solstice is followed by a special full Strawberry Moon on Thursday, June 24—and it all affects us! Learn more about the lowest full Moon of 2021—and why we expect it to be one of the most colorful (but not the color of a strawberry!). Here are interesting facts and viewing tips from Almanac astronomer Bob Berman. In 2021, June’s full Moon will appear…
May 24, 2021
A total lunar eclipse of the full Flower Moon happens early Wednesday morning, May 26. It all sounds great—until you read the fine print. Turns out, it will only be “total” for those on or near the West Coast. And even then, the Moon will be so low in the sky—less than 15 degrees when totality begins—that hills, trees, or houses can easily obscure it. Learn about this strange and short total…
May 10, 2021
Spring’s metamorphosis in the garden is grabbing our attention but a quick upward glance shows the sky is radically changing, too! Your location matters as well. See how the skies change in spring. Quiet Skies of Spring The brilliant winter constellations—the hunter Orion and his friends—now balance for a final weeks low in the west at nightfall. After 9 or 10 P.M. they’re…
April 29, 2021
Maybe you’ve heard those radio commercials. The announcer says, “If you’re looking for a perfect gift for that special someone … then have a star named after them!” Can you really name a star? The answer to this question is … in the eye of the beholder. Let’s see what you think.  The International Star Registry is still in business. More than 30…
April 15, 2021
Many of us are simply intoxicated with spring’s magic. The suddenly sprouting flowers, exploding willows, and the return of nature’s smells (which happens whenever the air gets warmer than 50 degrees) is almost sensory overload. But let’s include the sky in our appreciations. This coming weekend, Friday April 16th through Sunday the 18th, is an especially perfect time. The Sun …
April 2, 2021
During the early weeks of spring, the most widely recognized constellation at nightfall is Orion, standing upright in the southwest. People who appreciate the outdoors may know this prominent constellation best. Here are Orion constellation facts and viewing tips from Almanac astronomer Bob Berman. Ubiquitous Orion For us during these first weeks of spring, Orion’s famous 3-star Belt…
April 1, 2021
What are the Seven Sisters? These are stars in the Pleiades star cluster—one of the most noticeable star pattern in the spring. This tiny dipper of six stars appears at nightfall, lowish in the west, directly above where the Sun sets. So, wait, why are they called the Seven Sisters? Read on—plus, find my viewing tips. According to Greek mythology, these Pleiades were the…
March 22, 2021
Did you know that spring is galaxy time? More galaxies are visible from March to mid-May, early in the evening. Find out more about famous galaxies and how to see a galaxy this spring! What Is a Galaxy? It may help the novice sky watcher to understand the definition of a galaxy: A galaxy is a huge collection of gas, dust, and billions of stars and their solar…
March 17, 2021
Do you know the old song, “How High The Moon”? Neither do I, it was before my time. But that would be a good tune this coming week. We’ll see the year’s highest Moon on the equinox. Welcome spring! March 19: Moon Shines Above Mars and Aldebaran, First things first. If it’s clear, look up this Friday night, March 19 at nightfall. The waxing crescent Moon is closely accompanied by…
February 9, 2021
For Valentine’s Day, many of us wonder: What’s the most romantic gift for one’s sweetheart? Bob Berman invites us to look to love in the heavens. Where do we start finding love above? Let’s take a look … Let’s start with the morning and then have a nightcap! Venus, the Goddess of Love The logical starting place would be Venus, of course—…