(From the November 29, 2020 edition of the Classical Astronomy Update newsletter….) December 15, 2020 will mark the 30th anniversary of Classical Astronomy.  On that date in 1990, I was 29 years old and we were living in the Washington, D.C. area.  During the DC years I discovered Sky & Telescope magazine and amateur astronomy, which changed the course of… Continue reading

The Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn

If you’ve been reading this newsletter or following our Facebook page in 2020, you’re aware that the bright planets Jupiter and Saturn have been drawing closer, approaching their “Grand Conjunction,” an alignment that only occurs every 20 years.  (Check out our archive of previous issues to learn more.) The time is quickly approaching so keep your eyes on this pair… Continue reading


COMET THROUGH BINOCS: This is my “artist’s depiction” of the view of Comet NEOWISE as seen through binoculars. It was visible with the unaided eye, but we were viewing over water and mist was forming. To spot this comet in the evening, get to a very flat horizon, free of trees, buildings or mountains. Look to the northwest, at least… Continue reading


The Earth reaches its point of aphelion at July 4, 2020, 7:34 AM EDT. At this precise moment, the Earth is at its greatest distance from the Sun of any time of the year. This occurs in the summertime over the northern hemisphere. Some people mistakenly believe that summer is caused to the Earth being close to the Sun, but… Continue reading

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