If you missed the supermoon on July 12, you’ll get second and third chances to see one on Aug. 10 and Sept. 9.
All objects in the sky appear to rise in the east and set in the west. The stars are not really moving; it is the rotation of the Earth from west to east that causes this apparent clockwise motion. The speed of this rotation is so constant that it can be used to keep time.
As summer approaches, the nights will be getting clearer and we will have better chances to view the stars. This is a good time to learn some of the stellar constellations.
The distances between the Earth and the stars are so great that the positions of the stars, relative to each other, will not significantly change in your lifetime.
The first total eclipse of the moon visible in North America since 2011 will occur April 14.
The Earth has four seasons—spring, summer, fall, and winter. Do other planets in the solar system have seasons? Before answering that question, let’s review what causes the Earth’s seasons.
This spring will bring us the best view of Mars in seven years.
During December when you looked to the southwest at sunset, you saw a bright star about 20 to 30 degrees above the horizon. It wasn’t really a star, but the planet Venus.
The “comet of the century” died before its time.
In August I introduced you to comet ISON. In the last two months we have learned much more about the comet.
About every 175 years the orbits of the outer planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — are arranged so that a spacecraft on a particular flight path can swing from one planet to the next without the need for large onboard propulsion systems.
During the formation of our solar system — in the outer regions where it is cold enough to permit ices of water, methane, ammonia and carbon dioxide to exist — the comets were born.
Every year in mid-August the Earth intersects the orbit of the Swift-Tuttle comet. Lewis Swift and Horace Tuttle independently discovered this comet in 1862.
There are many objects in the sky you can see with your unaided eyes, but these are only a small fraction of the objects you can see if you use a telescope.
Saturn during April and May was the closest, biggest and brightest it will be during 2013. And it will still be a great view in June.
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