VENUS, MARS AND THE MOON: Look outside this evening to see the dazzling bright “star” VENUS shining in the evening sky. Notice the fainter, yellowish “star” nearby. This is the planet MARS. You’ll easily find these planets on the evening of Tuesday, January 31 when they are joined by the four-day-old waxing crescent Moon. These three bodies will make a … Continue reading
This very famous photo called “Earthrise” was snapped 48 years ago today, on December 24, 1968. This is the very first picture ever taken of the “Full Earth,” so that the entire globe can fit inside a single image frame. It would be impossible to explain to a young person today, nearly a half century later, how this image rocked … Continue reading
WINTER SOLSTICE: Everybody knows that December 21 is the shortest day of the year but not many people know why. The Sun reaches its maximum southern declination of the year. For those of us in the northern hemisphere, that means the noon Sun is lowest in the sky of any date of the year. From latitude 40 degrees north (New … Continue reading
MOON AND PLANETS THIS WEEKEND! Mars has put on quite a show in 2016, and the year ends with an extended “visitation” with the bright planet Venus. Spot these blazing “stars” as the waxing crescent Moon passes by this weekend. And then keep your eyes on Venus and Mars as they draw closer and remain close until February, 2017. These … Continue reading
SUPERDUPERMOON??? The media LOVES to hype these so-called “supermoons,” which come around every year or so, when the Full Moon is closer to Earth than at “normal” times. But the Full Moon of November 14, 2016 will be a “superdupermoon,” the biggest, closest supermoon since 1948, and the biggest and closest that the Moon will appear until the year 2034!!!! … Continue reading
In our newsletter and in our Signs & Seasons curriculum, we simply try to point out the easily-observable aspects of Classical Astronomy that are usually overlooked in our modern generation. One of those aspects is the varying length of shadows over the span of the year. As the Sun moves through the zodiac constellations over the annual cycle of the … Continue reading
The bright red planet MARS has been sharing the constellation Scorpius with the planet SATURN in 2016. These two make a pretty sight in the southern sky in the current season, as they move about through this conspicuous constellation. The scene always gets more interesting when the Moon wanders by, as it does each month. But June’s show is only … Continue reading
The planets Mars and Saturn are very close together throughtout much of 2016. Both of these planets are currently retrograding, which means they appear to be moving backwards through the constellations. The Full Moon swings through this scene this week, and this is therefore a great time to learn to identify these planets, and also the conspicuous constellation of Scorpius.