eye @

The new meteor shower: We will collide with pieces of Comet Linear

It’s still a few days away, but our next issue may come out too late for my information to be helpful to some of you. So I’ll give it to you now, and…

moon lush @

Will the heavens explode in two weeks?

This is an exciting time to be watching the sky. Mars, though fading rapidly, is still brilliant. It’s that bright orange star out all night. Saturn arrives at its closest to Earth for…

American engineer Willis Carrier, inventor of modern air-conditioning, in 1915

Spring skies from paradise (complete with August sunrays)

Lots of exciting things are happening in the heavens. Jupiter, the brightest “star” in the sky, still dominates the west at nightfall. Orange Mars hovers high in the southeast. It’s still brilliant, even…

eye @

The sky gets a makeover

As if reflecting April’s magical mutations, the sky also undergoes a radical makeover this month. The brilliant winter constellations now plummet into the west, consumed by the crepuscular fires of ever-later sunsets. With…

Celestron @

Self-indulgences for skywatchers need not be astronomically priced

Say you got a tax refund. Unlike most folks around here, whose winter heating bills have left them living in a dumpster, you’ve got a bunch of extra money. And you love nature….

Almanac Weekly’s Night Sky columnist Bob Berman in his observatory in Willow (photo by Andrea Barrist Stern)

Don’t miss the prettiest total eclipse

It’s very unusual that our region sees two total eclipses in a year. Such a double whammy happens only a few times a century. The first 2014 event unfolds this Monday night, April…

Size comparison of Earth and Mars (NASA)

Don’t miss Mars

For the next two weeks, Mars hovers at its closest to us. It’s sort of a big deal. While Venus can come closer, and Jupiter’s more intriguing, Mars is the most Earthlike world…

Albert Einstein during a lecture in Vienna in 1921 (photo by Ferdinand Schmutzer)


First, be sure to check out Mars this week. It has just gotten extremely bright, obvious and pale orange, while retrograding to hover now just above the blue star Spica in Virgo. Their…

night sky @

Are you feeling blocked?

By now, even the mass media will have reported that the other night – Wednesday night at 2:06 a.m. – the bright star Regulus in Leo was eclipsed by an asteroid. This occultation…

Woodstock’s Mescal Hornbeck Community Center on Rock City Road (photo by Dion Ogust)

March: Quick-change month

March – the only month that is also a verb – implies action. This year it overachieves, with snappy animation during the next few weeks. Consider: March brings the year’s fastest sunlight gain,…

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