EYES TO THE SKY September 19-October 1, 2017

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The season began to change slowly, and then fast; darkness falls early. Summer’s longest days, shortest nights have edged to equal daylight and darkness. The Autumnal Equinox occurs on Friday the 22nd at 4 p.m. Sunrise and sunset times are around 12 hours apart for the rest of the month. From September 1 through early […]

Today, August 21, 2017, The Great American Eclipse

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At about 1:15pm, go outdoors to check for clear skies and to take a deep breath in recognition that today, Monday the 21st of August 2017, is a rare day under the Sun. We will see an unusual meeting of celestial bodies, which promises to feel like the “music of the spheres.” With eyes shielded […]

EYES TO THE SKY August 14 – 20, 2017

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Daybreak comes late enough these days to avail ourselves of the beauty of planet Venus as the shining Morning Star. This week, by 5:20am, look to the east about 20 degrees above the horizon, still rather high. The goddess planet is visible until about 5:45am if you know where to look. Be aware that sunrise […]

EYES TO THE SKY July 24 – August 6, 2017

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In parks, greenways and the countryside, feel the gentle air where fireflies lift, dip and blink to the bullfrog’s bellow and grey frog’s trill under a soft blue sky. Above the cityscape, too, half an hour after sunset, brilliant Jupiter is the first heavenly light turned on. While the sky is still blue, the planet […]

EYES TO THE SKY July 24 – August 6, 2017

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In parks, greenways and the countryside, feel the gentle air where fireflies lift, dip and blink to the bullfrog’s bellow and grey frog’s trill under a soft blue sky. Above the cityscape, too, half an hour after sunset, brilliant Jupiter is the first heavenly light turned on. While the sky is still blue, the planet […]

EYES TO THE SKY July 10 – 23, 2017

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Hold on! Hold on to the Sun! In the weeks since the summer solstice the northeast has been transformed. A great leafy uprising has spread over the land, drawn to seemingly ever-present sunlight. The green swell has been lifting for months, first in measured increments, now burgeoning. Bare forests have transformed in waves of unfurling […]

EYES TO THE SKY June 26 – July 9, 2017

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Everyone in the United States will experience, at minimum, a partial eclipse of the Sun on August 21, 2017. In Lower Manhattan, a partial eclipse will be visible. The following short animations reveal the astronomy, wonder and mystery behind a total eclipse of the sun. These animations introduce what has been described as the most […]

EYES TO THE SKY June 12 – June 25, 2017

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Closest, brightest and most visible for the year, planet Saturn rises looking like a gold-tinted star above the southeast horizon around the time the Sun sets opposite, in the northwest. In astronomy, when two celestial bodies appear opposite each other in Earth’s sky, it is known as “opposition.” This year’s Saturn opposition occurs when Earth […]

EYES TO THE SKY May 30 – June 11, 2017

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I first glimpsed the image above as the cover design for astrophysicists Leon Golub and Jay Pasachoff’s latest book, The Sun, to be released around the time of the summer solstice. Lingering with the photograph, its burning radiance and swirling movement seems to convey the formative, essential light at the beginning of our planet’s history. […]

May 15 – 28, 2017

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When evening twilight deepens, Corvus the Crow takes flight, easily spotted in the south 20 to 30 degrees above the horizon in dark and moderately dark skies. To measure 10 degrees above the skyline, extend an arm at eye level and look out over your closed fist kept hovering above a spot where sky meets […]