Conjunctions

In Our Skies, March 2023: Hybrid Solar Eclipse

In Our Skies, March 2023: Hybrid Solar Eclipse

One of the closest planetary conjunctions of the year will occur on the first evening of March. On this evening, the two brightest planets, Jupiter and Venus, will approach to about 0.5° from each...

In Our Skies, January 2023: Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

In Our Skies, January 2023: Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF)

Comet Neowise 2020. Photo © Cheryl Shank. If you look over a list of the year’s best meteor showers, the Quadrantid meteor shower will likely catch your attention. First, the Quadrantid shower sits...

In Our Skies, July 2022: Planets

In Our Skies, July 2022: Planets

Moon. Photo © Shaphan Shank. This month, nearly all the bright planets are strung across the early morning sky. Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are all easy to find, thanks to their brilliance....

In Our Skies, March 2022: Planetary Conjunctions

In Our Skies, March 2022: Planetary Conjunctions

Where I live in Virginia, March brings the signs of a new season. The days are slowly warming, and the evenings, which were quiet all winter, are now enlivened by the calls of spring peepers and...

In Our Skies, March 2021, Lyrid Meteor Shower

As long as the sky is clear, there’s rarely a bad time to be out under the stars. A telescope or even a binocular can reveal scores of galaxies, nebulas, and star clusters, if you know just where to...

The Great Conjunction: Saturn and Jupiter

The Great Conjunction: Saturn and Jupiter

Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. Photo © Morris Yoder. Jupiter and Saturn appear to pass each other in the sky about once every twenty years. When this happens, astronomers call it a great...