February 11th, 2016
Waxing Crescent Moon

4 planets visible in the evening sky this week

Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn are all visible in the evening skies this week. Mercury will be  the most difficult to see, being only about 20 degrees away from the Sun at the beginning of the week, and 23 degrees…


Great Week for Planet Watching

This week (May 10-16, 2010) and the coming weekend is an excellent time to go outside and find the ecliptic in the sky. You don’t need a telescope or even a pair of binoculars. A lot of backyard astronomy can be done by just…


Scorpius: My early morning companion

Most mornings at 6:05 a.m. you’ll find me standing at a bus stop, patiently awaiting the arrival of the bus that brings me to work. Not a bad ride, actually. What would normally be a 25 minute drive is a…


Mapping the ecliptic

The ecliptic is formally defined in two different ways: 1) the path of the Sun against the background stars; and 2) the plane generated by Earth’s orbit. The solar system (or at least the system of major planets) is actually…