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Skywatch Almanac Astronomy Blog

March Astronomy

March Astronomy

Posted: March 3, 2017

Orion settles into the southwest through March for some great evening views.  The evenings also feature the Big Dipper rising in the northeast, looking like a giant question mark.  Follow the “handle” toward the horizon, where the star Arcturus rises by 9 o’clock.  Venus, after a terrific winter display in ...
February Astronomy

February Astronomy

Posted: February 9, 2017

Orion commands the southern evening skies throughout February, accompanied by the brightest star in our night skies, Sirius, below and left of Orion, marking the nose of the Great Dog.  High in the south, Taurus, the Bull charges at Orion, as the Big Dipper begins to lift higher into the ...
January Astronomy

January Astronomy

Posted: January 5, 2017

Venus brings a dramatic opening to star-gazing this month, near its highest and brightest in the southwest, accompanied to its upper left by a fading Mars, so wonderfully bright last year.  Jupiter rises just before midnight after mid-month, Saturn climbing out of the twilight, and Mercury making an appearance low ...
December Astronomy

December Astronomy

Posted: November 30, 2016

Highlights:

The longest nights of the year offer the greatest variety of stars and constellations.  Through the month, Orion rises earlier each evening, and dominates the eastern sky, often identified by his line of three “belt” stars.  Extending this line to the upper right leads to the red star Aldebaran, the ...
November Astronomy

November Astronomy

Posted: October 28, 2016

Highlights:

November sees a return to Standard Time, (on the 6th), the evenings welcoming the return of Venus, while Mars fades but remains well placed for viewing in the south-southwest.  Saturn, very low in the southwest, slips into the Sun’s glare by the middle of the month.   November finds the Milky ...
October Astronomy

October Astronomy

Posted: October 4, 2016

Highlights:

October nights lengthen, welcoming a great view of the Milky Way arched from southwest to northeast, its subtle beauty anchored by the Summer Triangle in the southwest, and the rising star Capella in the northeast.  Saturn sinks lower into the southwest through the month, while Mars races east through the ...
September Astronomy

September Astronomy

Posted: September 2, 2016

Highlights:

This summer’s wonderful display of Saturn, Mars, and the Scorpion will lower into the southwest through the month, while Mars makes considerable progress east to the spout of the Teapot in Sagittarius by the end of the month.  The Big Dipper is sinking lower into the northwestern skies, while the ...
August Astronomy Highlights

August Astronomy Highlights

Posted: July 25, 2016

Mark Breen's Stargazing Party: Aug. 10, 9 - 10 PM

Tune in to VPR and turn your gaze toward the stars as Mark guides you through the stars, planets and constellations. All you need is a radio or access to vpr.net to join this statewide star party!

August loses over an hour ...
Astronomy Highlights

Astronomy Highlights

Posted: July 5, 2016

July Astronomy Highligts

Evenings arrive late, though the days do get a little shorter.  Jupiter drifts lower into the western skies, while the southern skies are dominated by Mars, accompanied by the planet Saturn well to its left, and below the ringed planet, the red star Antares.  Antares marks the “heart” ...
June Astronomy

June Astronomy

Posted: June 3, 2016

Astronomy Highlights

Our latest sunsets of the year mean that star-gazing doesn’t get going until late evening.  Dominating those hours after 10 o’clock is the planetary pairing of Mars and Saturn, set amongst the stars of the Scorpion, climbing from the southeast into the south.  Jupiter also offers some fine views, ...