A slow, relentless rhythm, known as the saros cycle, is hidden away in the movements of the Moon and Sun. How does it foretell eclipses — and how could Babylonians discover its existence long before modern science and technology?
An unusual dawn total lunar eclipse presents special challenges and great photo opportunities. Here's what you need to know to make the most of it.
Here's all you need to know to help us measure the size of Earth's shadow on Jan. 31, 2018.
A spectacular fireball seen by hundreds of people from Iowa to Ontario delivered precious samples from the asteroid belt to the lake country of southern Michigan Tuesday night.
Sirius twinkles brightly below Orion in the southeast. Around 8 p.m. Sirius shines straight below Betelgeuse in Orion's shoulder.
Mira, one of the easiest-to-observe pulsating variable stars, reaches peak brightness this month. Don't be shy, come look her in the eye.
Friday, January 12 • Sirius, the Dog Star, rises in the east-southeast around the end of twilight now, if you're near latitude 40° north (New York, Denver, Madrid, Athens). From such latitudes, Procyon — left of Sirius, by 2½ fists at arm's length — precedes it up; "Procyon" is from the ancient Greek for "before…
We look ahead to see what fuzzy visitors, new and returning, will brighten the nights ahead. One and possibly two naked-eye comets are on the way.
Orion strides up the southeastern sky after nightfall in January. Above it glitters Aldebaran. Above Aldebaran are the Pleiades. Far left of them shines Capella.
The new year opens with the magnificent pairing of the solar system's largest planet with one of its smallest.
The Quadrantid meteor shower is usually one of the year's best. But this year's event will be spoiled by strong light from an intruding Moon.
On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, the first total lunar eclipse in more than two years graces the skies above North America. The Western United States, including Alaska and Hawaiʻi, has the best view.
January's astronomy podcast describes how to spot Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn in the predawn sky during January — plus you'll learn about a "trifecta" full Moon at month's end.
In the evening sky tonight, look lower left of the waxing gibbous Moon for Aldebaran, and upper left of the Moon for the Pleiades.
Two total lunar eclipses occur this year, the first since late 2015, in January and July. Meanwhile, three solar eclipses take place in 2018 — all of them only partial cover-ups.
More than a dozen times each year, we experience a pulse of "shooting stars" from an annual meteor shower. Sky & Telescope predicts that the two best meteor showers in 2018 will be the Perseids in mid-August and the Geminids in mid-December.
Beginning in 1645, obsessed observers drew maps of the Moon's face in ever-greater detail. These observers made it into the author's Lunar Hall of Fame.
Sirius, the Dog Star, sparkles low in the east-southeast after dinnertime. Procyon, the Little Dog Star, shines in the east to Sirius's left.
The Local Group galaxies and their kin are the building blocks of the most magnificent galaxies in the universe. Let them inspire your winter nights.
As the Summer Triangle sinks in the west, Altair is the first of its stars to go. Start by spotting bright Vega in the northwest at nightfall. The brightest star above it is Deneb. Altair is farther to Vega's lower left.
A slender Moon is an beautiful and inspiring sight. December and January offer several opportunities to see these exceptional crescents.
Mark the date: December 13th. That's the night the Geminid meteor shower peaks. Highlighted by the return of its parent asteroid 3200 Phaethon, this year's show promises to be one of the best ever.
Astronomy is an outdoor nature hobby. For an easy constellation guide to the evening sky, use the map in the center of Sky & Telescope magazine.
Now that the Pleiades and Aldebaran are up in due east, can Orion be far behind? Orion's entire iconic figure, formed by its brightest seven stars, takes about an hour and a quarter to cross the horizon below them.
As you'll hear in December's astronomy podcast, early risers are treated with views of Jupiter (obvious), Mars (not as easy), and Mercury (timing is everything!).