WINTER BEGINS today, December 21, 2021, at 10:59 AM EST. This is the precise moment that the Sun reaches its maximum southern declination. At this moment, the Sun “stands” and reverses its apparent southerly motion and begins to head north again, as seen from a geocentric perspective. Winter begins for the northern hemisphere, and the days begin to grow longer… Continue reading


(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

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