EYES TO THE SKY July 9 – 22, 2018

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In early twilight, within half an hour of sunset when the western sky is pale blue, planet Venus turns our heads to receive its brilliant light, now 15 degrees above the horizon. Tonight, the 9th, Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion, is in conjunction with Venus: when twilight deepens, see “the […]

EYES TO THE SKY June 25 – July 8, 2018

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In a country cabin on a clear night last week, I was on my way to bed at about 11 o’clock when I made a detour to the front door. If the stars and planets are so bright that you spot them from a window, the allure of the rest of the sky is irresistible, […]

EYES TO THE SKY June 11 – 24, 2018

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When we look up to the night sky we see beyond Earth’s protective atmosphere to the planets in our solar system and the universe of stars that comprise our galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy. Observatory Director, Dr. Eileen Ryan, explains this image, “I’m observing with the telescope from the control room in the observatory building. […]

EYES TO THE SKY May 29 – June 10, 2018

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A note from a reader: “It is now 9pm. For the past few months, about this time in the evening, I view a very bright “planet.” I face west and this object is descending pretty quickly. Two months ago I figured it was Jupiter, now I am told Jupiter will not appear until a few more […]

EYES TO THE SKY May 14 – 27, 2018

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As twilight deepens, the starlike light of bright Jupiter appears above the southeastern horizon. Jupiter climbs to its highest point around midnight, then descends toward the southwest. On May 8-9, Jupiter, Earth and the Sun lined up, a momentous celestial phenomenon known as “opposition.” Around this time of opposition, the planet is brightest for the […]

EYES TO THE SKY April 30 – May 13, 2018

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     The Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) is a magnet for amateur astronomers, professionals and those simply curious about astronomy and space exploration. Over Earth Day weekend, which included worldwide Astronomy Day, April 21, I was one of thousands who streamed along the paths to NEAF venues on the Rockland Community College campus, an hour northwest […]

EYES TO THE SKY April 16 – 29, 2018

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Towers of house lights, office tower lights, store lights, floodlights, streetlights, car lights, stadium lights, illuminated signage, decorative lights. Artificial light at night, indoors and outdoors, is second nature to us. But now that we’ve conquered darkness we’re learning that darkness is necessary to life on Earth – and becoming scarce. For
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EYES TO THE SKY April 2 – 15, 2018

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The pattern of a great lion outlined in stars, from billowy mane to tucked tail, climbs in the east-southeast as darkness deepens on early spring evenings. The head of Leo the Lion is a broad arc of stars that leads down to the constellation’s brightest star, bluish-white Regulus, Latin for “little king.” Leo’s body stretches […]

EYES TO THE SKY March 19 – April 1, 2018

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Spring begins tomorrow when the Sun crosses the celestial equator from the southern to the northern hemisphere; the precise moment is 12:15pm EDT. Take part in the Vernal Equinox by observing sunrise due east at 7:00am, sunset due west at 7:07pm and the Sun at its highest point at midday, 1:03pm EDT While the Sun’s […]


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Viewing all five naked-eye planets might fit more easily into our days with the beginning of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) this coming Sunday, the 11th. Venus and Mercury appear in evening twilight, about half an hour after sunset, and sunset will be an hour later – artificially changed from 5:51pm today to nearly 7pm on […]