moon

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...

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....

This artwork depicts the blast formed from an impacting meteor on the lunar surface. Credit: NASA Anyone looking up at the right moment on September 11, 2013, may have caught sight of a brief flash of light on the moon. The flash was the biggest and brightest lunar impact ever observed by astronomers, a new Monthly...

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...

Not much more than just a few pixels on the photo above, that bright dot in the twilight Martian sky is Earth, as seen by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover. A first view of the rover’s picture of its home planet, taken from the surface of Mars, even shows Earth’s moon. And while NASA engineers say...

NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has snapped an image of both the Chinese lander and the hibernating Yutu, or Jade Rabbit, rover sitting among the craters on the surface of the moon. (Related: “Cool Video: Watch HD Footage of China’s Historic Moon Rover Landing.”) Although the six-wheeled robotic geologist is only a scant 5 feet...

  The New Year promises a pair of lunar disappearing acts and a potential surprise meteor shower, among other celestial delights. While scores of amazing astronomical phenomena are in the offing, here are our picks for sky-watching events worth circling on your calendar for 2014. 1. Total Eclipse of the Moon This year sky-watchers will...

China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft performed a  nerve-wracking 12 minute descent and touched down safely on the lunar surface on Saturday, December 14 at 8:11 am EST. Several hours later, a 140-kilogram (300-pound) six-wheeled rover named Jade-Rabbit rolled down a ramp to begin its 3-month mission exploring the lunar rocks and soil. China joins an elite club of nations–just...

The waxing crescent moon appears to play peek-a-boo with the planet Venus through a natural rock arch in this dramatic snapshot taken in Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. Sky-watchers this week got to see Earth’s lone natural satellite glide past the second planet from the sun in the southwestern skies. The two worlds...

China is aiming to become only the third nation ever, after Russia and the U.S., to land a spacecraft on the moon.  The Asian nation successfully launched its Chang’e-3 probe, its third lunar mission, early on Monday morning, Beijing time. The spacecraft is set to make the first soft landing on the moon in nearly four...

Sky-watchers will see a sprinkling of shooting stars, bask under autumn’s brightest star pattern, and take a dip in a cosmic lagoon. Taurid meteors. Look toward the southeast sky on Monday, November 4, and into the following morning to catch sight of the minor South Taurid meteor shower. A moonless night means darker skies, which...

The Earth’s moon plays hide and seek with distant stars and our sun this week, and the nighttime sights include a double comet show in the pre-dawn skies. Lunar Trio. In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 29 the moon will form a stunning triangular pattern with ruddy Mars and blue-white star Regulus in...

The Earth’s moon plays hide and seek with distant stars and our sun this week, and the nighttime sights include a double comet show in the pre-dawn skies. Lunar Trio. In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 29 the moon will form a stunning triangular pattern with ruddy Mars and blue-white star Regulus in...