May 25th, 2015
First Quarter Moon

The North Star (more than you ever wanted to know)

First of all, the North Star is not the brightest star in the sky–not even close. Its formal name is Polaris and at magnitude +2, it barely makes the top 50 brightest stars in the sky (#48, not including the…


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…