We’re in the midst of a parade of planets crossing the evening sky. Jupiter reached opposition on May 9th, and sits high to the east at dusk. Mars heads towards a fine opposition on July 27th, nearly as favorable as the historic opposition of 2003. And Venus rules the dusk sky in the west after the setting Sun for most of 2018.
June is Saturn’s turn, as the planet reaches opposition this year on June 27th, rising opposite to the setting Sun at dusk.
Got clear skies? This week’s equinox means the return of astronomical Fall for northern hemisphere observers and a slow but steady return of longer nights afterwards. And as the Moon returns to the evening skies, all eyes turn to the astronomical action transpiring low to the southwest at dusk. Three planets and two “occasional” planets […]
Got clear skies this July 4th weekend? The Moon passes some interesting cosmic environs in the coming days, offering up some photogenic pairings worldwide and a spectacular trio of occultations for those well placed observers who find themselves along the footprint of these events. First, let’s look at our closest natural neighbor in space. The […]
Some terms in astronomy definitely have a PR problem, and are perhaps due for an overhaul. One such awkward term is occultation, which simply means that one celestial body is passing in front of another from an observer’s vantage point, nothing more, and nothing less. I know, the word ‘occult’ is in there, raising many […]
Planet lovers can rejoice: one of the finest jewels of the solar system in returning to the evening night sky. The planet Saturn reaches opposition next month on May 10th. This means that as the Sun sets to the west, Saturn will rise “opposite” to it in the east, remaining well positioned for observation in […]
Mark your calendars: the first in a series of interesting occultations of Saturn by the Moon for 2014 starts this weekend. The year 2014 features 11 occultations of the planet Saturn by the Moon, and there are 23 total for 2014 of every planet except Neptune and Jupiter. An occultation occurs when one foreground celestial […]