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This Week's Amazing Sky | Almanac.com

Never miss a full moon, eclipse, or meteor shower with reminders from the Almanac Daily newsletter.

This Week's Amazing Sky

April 1, 2023
You get an automated phone solicitation. What are they peddling? It’s a glimpse of the planet Mercury. Not a chance, right? But give me a couple minutes and I’ll wager you’ll be “sold” and desperately want to see the fast-moving “winged” Mercury.Mercury’s Best Appearance of 2023The facts: April 1 to 15, 2023 is the best opportunity to spot the elusive planet Mercury—usually too…
March 24, 2023
You may have heard the news: “Five planets will align! Don’t miss it!” A planetary line-up this coming week sounds fascinating. But despite much media hype, the real story, the “inside word,” is: sleep through this one. Or, better yet, pull up a chair and hear two tips that will break this celestial event into two worthwhile segments. Ready?As I mention in my March Sky Watch, forget…
March 23, 2023
Learn how the Moon affects planet Earth. From tides to weather, there are many ways that our one and only natural satellite works in tandem with our planet. Plus, let’s dispel some myths about powers that our Moon does NOT have!How the Moon Affects TidesOcean TidesOf course, high tides and low tides are caused by the Moon’s gravitational pull. People…
March 15, 2023
Ever noticed that you can sometimes see the part of the Moon that isn’t lit up? The dark portion of the Moon (the area unlit by the Sun) seems to glow. This phenomenon is known as “Earthshine.” Historically, this was called “the new Moon in the old Moon’s arms.” Learn more about Earthshine.What is Earthshine?When you can see the dark, unlit portion of the crescent Moon (the area…
March 14, 2023
On this March equinox, does the Sun rise due east and set due west? Are day and night of equal duration? Some of these answers are quite contrary to common wisdom. Bob Berman brings the fun facts to celebrate the first day of spring!On the vernal equinox (March 20), the Sun will cross the celestial equator—an imaginary line in the sky above Earth’s equator—from south to north. This instant…
March 9, 2023
The next Blue Moon occurs on August 30, 2023—and it’s a supermoon, too! What is a Blue Moon, exactly? Read all about the different types of Blue Moons.What Is a Blue Moon?Need a refresher on what a Blue Moon is? We get a lot of questions about the term, including:Is “Blue Moon” a scientific term used in astronomy?Did this term originate with Native American…
February 13, 2023
The best stargazing of 2023 happens in the next two weeks of February! And it’s romantic, too, as if kicked off by Valentine’s Day. Watch the “Evening Star” Venus approach Jupiter for a magnificent conjunction that’s easy to see on your own (or with a special someone).From 6 to 7 PM each evening, all this week and next, the western sky forms a striking backdrop like a museum tapestry. It’s…
February 7, 2023
Since I’m on vacation, I’m reminded each evening about how different the sky gets when you travel. Take Boston to Hawaii. Yes, the Moon will appear differently. Got friends and family in different locations? Planning travel? Let’s explore whether we all see the Moon and Sun in the same way.Actually, changing your longitude, your east-west location, alters nothing. It’s going south or…
January 27, 2023
Groundhog Day. Just a bizarre tradition involving a marmot, right? Believe it or not, Groundhog Day is full of amazing sky-related stuff. Even its date relates to the heavens. Bob Berman explains the connection to astronomy and sky watching. As the tradition goes, a Pennsylvania groundhog ignores crowds of humans closely gathered around him, and then, despite having a four ounce brain,…
January 24, 2023
The mass media is headlining a rare “green comet” passing by Earth between February 1 and 2. It’s supposedly about to be visible to the naked eye and be the best comet of 2023. Well, that last part may prove true, but as for the rest, pull up a chair. Do you first want the good news, or the bad? Well, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way.  What is the Comet’s …
January 19, 2023
It’s a new Moon! For astronomers, a new Moon means no Moon to look at. For many cultures, however, the new Moon carries special meaning. So, what exactly IS a new Moon, when are the new Moons in 2023, and what does a new Moon look like? Let’s explore, fellow Moon lovers … What Is a New Moon? A new Moon is essentially the opposite of a full Moon. During a full…
December 29, 2022
Want a cosmic way to ring in the New Year? On New Year’s Eve, the brightest star visible from our planet, Sirius, reaches its highest point in the sky as the clock strikes midnight (or, near to it). Spot Sirius in the New Year Sky Simply step outdoors on New Year’s Eve as local midnight approaches, then look toward the south and you’ll easily see the…