constellation

Ethereal apparitions from the dusty inner solar system this week seem certain to delight sky-watchers.  Zodiacal lights. Starting Monday, March 24, and continuing through the week, keen-eyed sky-watchers in the mid-northern latitudes will witness the ghostly glow of the zodiacal lights, which will appear about one to two hours after local dusk in the western sky….

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With a change of seasons only days away, mid-March skies offer celestial sights that even the novice stargazer will find easy to enjoy. Lunar rectangle. After nightfall on Monday, March 10, look for the waxing gibbous moon to form a corner of a rectangle with Jupiter and the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux, high in the southern…

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A final glimpse of the seventh planet from the sun comes this week, and the moon takes sky-watchers on a celestial tour of some stunning star clusters. Last-chance green giant. After dusk on Monday, March 3, the razor-thin crescent moon acts as convenient guidepost to the fast-fading planet Uranus, which will hang just below the moon….

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A crescent moon snuggles up to the innermost planets this week, while sky-watchers will also see mythical twins reveal two stellar wonders. Zodiacal lights. With the moon out of the early evening sky this week, ideal sky conditions prevail for hunting down the elusive zodiacal lights. This ethereal glow across the sky is caused by sunlight…

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Things are rocking right now in our own galactic neighborhood. Backyard telescope users already knew about the Cigar Galaxy, or M82, located in the Great Bear constellation, Ursa Major. Now it has two new cosmic secrets to explore. Two weeks ago a supernova—a giant exploding star—was discovered by British university students within the galaxy, which is…

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From exploding stars, barnstorming asteroids, and a buzzing beehive, the starry skies this week are filled with cosmic wonders to behold. Supernova Update: A surprise star exploded in a spiral galaxy 12 million light years from Earth and appears to be slowly brightening in the evening skies. The Cigar Galaxy or Messier 82 is host…

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As festivities kick off the New Year, sky-watchers will revel in nights filled with shooting stars, the king of planets shining like a beacon, and grand planetary spectacles blooming in the heavens. Great Orion Nebula. With the moon reaching a new phase for New Year’s Eve, December 31, the dark skies are perfect for hunting…

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  Sky-watchers double down on shooting stars this week, while the largest planet in the solar system plays host to a rare triple play of tiny moon shadows racing across its face. Moon joins Venus. After sunset on Monday, October 7, and again the next evening, watch for the thin crescent moon gliding past the…

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This week the moon helps sky-watchers catch some celestial fish and trawl the night sky for the most distant worlds in our solar system.  Mars and Gemini Twins. At dawn on Tuesday, August 20, look for ruddy-colored Mars forming a picturesque arc formation with the bright stars Pollux and Castor from the Gemini constellation. The…

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This week the moon helps sky-watchers catch some celestial fish and trawl the night sky for the most distant worlds in our solar system.  Mars and Gemini Twins. At dawn on Tuesday, August 20, look for ruddy-colored Mars forming a picturesque arc formation with the bright stars Pollux and Castor from the Gemini constellation. The…

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Early evening and mornings this first week of July offer up some celestial close encounters that may test your stargazing skills–but they promise great rewards. Pluto best for 2013. After nightfall on Monday, July 1 Pluto will be at “opposition,” meaning that it’s opposite to the Sun in the sky. And that means the dwarf…

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Early evening and mornings this first week of July offer up some celestial close encounters that may test your stargazing skills–but they promise great rewards. Pluto best for 2013. After nightfall on Monday, July 1 Pluto will be at “opposition,” meaning that it’s opposite to the Sun in the sky. And that means the dwarf…

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As the waning moon moves across late night skies through the faint constellations of Capricornus and Pisces, some of the new season’s brightest stars take center stage. Vega and Arcturus. On Monday, June 24 two of the brightest stars of the northern summer will bracket the skies after nightfall. Toward the high east will be the…

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This week skywatchers get a chance to watch the moon strike a pose with bright stars while the most elusive of naked-eye planets puts on its best sky show of the year. Moon poses with Venus. About 30 minutes after sunset on Monday, June 10, skywatchers around the world can look towards the very low…

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