Eyes to the Sky December 12 – 25, 2016 See Aldebaran disappear, Long Night Moon, solstice sun

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The thrill of being present for events in the natural world might not elicit cheers of triumph as when experiencing feats of physical prowess, all the same, waves of delight course through the observer, every cell refreshed with a sense of receiving grace and enlightenment. Tonight, December 12 – 13, if the weather cooperates, from […]

EYES TO THE SKY November 28 – December 11, 2016

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An ideal week for planet and stargazing unfolds as November turns to December. Stargazing begins in the afternoon with the setting of the star of our solar system, the sun, as it approaches its most southerly reach on the horizon, nearly directly southwest. Sunset on November 28th is 4:30pm and from December 1 through the […]

EYES TO THE SKY November 14 – 27, 2016

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If you’ve opened your Broadsheet between 5 a.m. and around 6:15 a.m. on the 14th, seize this moment to look to the west to be bowled over by the sight of the closest full moon in over half a century. Whether from a window or your favorite location for viewing sunsets that are slightly north […]

EYES TO THE SKY

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Venus, brightest of all planets, shines in evening’s pastel twilight and sets by nightfall. A young crescent moon accompanies the goddess of love and beauty tonight, October 3; delight in the pair from about 7pm until 7:30pm, depending on your view to the west-southwest horizon. Saturn and Mars catch the eye to the left of […]

EYES TO THE SKY September 19 – October 2, 2016

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How quickly darkness falls at Equinox time – and how quick we must be to reach horizon-hugging planet Venus soon after sunset and Mercury before sunrise in the twilit sky. Find a horizon view to the west-southwest to watch for Venus to appear above the sunset glow within half an hour of sundown. In the […]

EYES TO THE SKY

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The brightest planet Venus has been gone from Earth’s sky for a couple of months. That’s because it passed behind the sun in early June, and it’s been traveling on the far side of the solar system, lost in the sun’s glare to all earthly observers. In mid-July 2016 it became visible to the eye […]

EYES TO THE SKY

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At the height of summer, a blue-white sapphire-of-a-star appears near the top of the sky in the east at dusk, soon followed by a pale citrine point of starlight below. By 9:15 p.m. a third, dimmer star completes one of the season’s great celestial patterns, the Summer Triangle. The stars, Vega, Altair and Deneb, are […]

EYES TO THE SKY July 11 – 24, 2016

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All of humanity triumphed last week, on July 4, 2016, when Juno, a spacecraft launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on August 5, 2011, crossed the boundary of planet Jupiter’s formidable magnetic field and slipped into orbit around the great gas planet. The probe traveled 540 million miles at the fastest speed ever achieved by a […]

EYES TO THE SKY

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On the summer solstice, June 20th, I was out in a canoe on a small pond shortly after sunset, botanizing and birding. The sun sets slowly during the weeks on either side of the solstice; daylight lingers in the sky. It was awhile before dusk, when I began to scan the sky for the brightest […]

EYES TO THE SKY June 13 – 26, 2016

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The numbers look good and the effect celebratory. The earliest sunrises of the year in our locale, 5:24am EDT (4:24 EST), began on June 11 and continue through the 18th. Summer Solstice, when the northern hemisphere is at full tilt towards the sun, occurs on June 20 at 6:34pm, while the Strawberry Moon reaches full […]