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This Week's Amazing Sky | Almanac.com

Never miss a full moon, eclipse, or meteor shower with reminders from the Almanac Daily newsletter.

This Week's Amazing Sky

October 28, 2021
If you heard an “80% chance of rain,” would you assume that this meant that you had an 80% chance of getting rained on? Not true. Bob Berman explains what a “chance of rain” really means! If you’re a sky watcher like yours truly, the first step in observing the sky is having decent weather. We probably all check the forecast from time to time. But relatively few of us know how…
October 19, 2021
This year, the full Hunter’s Moon rises on Wednesday, October 20! This is one of the two full Moons that enjoy an official astronomical name. So, will it be bigger, brighter, and redder? Here’s all you need to know! What Is the Hunter’s Moon? People like objects to have names. While the full Moon is always recognizable—and indeed the only phase…
September 30, 2021
Got five minutes? The Moon is currently thin or absent, so the sky is nice and dark. There’s cool stuff to see and it’s all very easy to find. I’ll show you 7 stars and planets in just a few minutes. When a living room appears in the movies, we often see a telescope near the window. This tells us that it’s a common thing to possess—a decoration, a bit of modern decor. Yet few of our…
September 28, 2021
It’s not well known, but autumn has the year’s darkest skies. Since there are now fewer brilliant stars than at any other time, many will marvel at two ultra-bright “stars.” What are they? Oddly, this is a period when many report these dazzling beacons as UFOs.  Autumn begins night sky season. It gets dark earlier at night and the night temperatures are still comfortable. …
September 13, 2021
On Tuesday, September 14, planet Neptune reaches its closest approach to us for the year. Why should we care about the only planet that cannot be seen with the naked eye? Well, if size matters, then it deserves attention on that basis alone, since it’s such an enormous blue ball, 58 planet Earths could fit inside it. Discover the “other” blue planet. Discovering Neptune We really…
August 16, 2021
Both of our neighboring planets, Venus and Mars, are carbon dioxide (CO2) worlds. On Earth, there is only a trace amount. So why all the fuss about carbon dioxide? In half a minute, you can fully grasp how CO2 does its dirty work. Interested? Earth’s Carbon Dioxide Levels Six years ago, for the first time in 800,000 years, our own world’s carbon dioxide level passed 400…
August 15, 2021
The universe is a strange place, and the things we don’t know keep hounding astronomers to where the whole thing often feels frustrating. Of course, if we knew everything, science wouldn’t be as much fun. Countless challenges and juicy new mysteries pop up every year. The journey is too exciting to ever be over. Let’s muse about a few of these mysteries … Does your mind puzzle…
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…