Meteors

In Our Skies, May 2024

In Our Skies, May 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive May 3: Saturn is .8° N of the moon.May 5: Mars is .2° S of the moon.May 9: Mercury is highest in the early morning sky due to its greatest western...

In Our Skies, March 2024

In Our Skies, March 2024

View the full issue in the Magazine Archive March 14 Pleiades is very close to the moon—less than 2 degrees.March 24 Mercury is at its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun. Look for it low in...

In Our Skies, January 2024

In Our Skies, January 2024

View the January 2024 Nature Friend Magazine January starts off with a bang. The Quadrantid meteor shower, often considered one of the best showers of the year, peaks the night of 3/4. The best...

In Our Skies, November 2023: Meteor Showers

In Our Skies, November 2023: Meteor Showers

As Earth orbits the Sun, it passes between the Sun and the outer planets. Each time Earth passes between the Sun and another planet, that planet is said to be at opposition. This is because, from...

In Our Skies, September 2023: Annular Solar Eclipse

In Our Skies, September 2023: Annular Solar Eclipse

You’ve probably noticed that the Moon appears larger when it lies just above the horizon. This is just an optical illusion. However, the Moon actually does vary in its distance from Earth because...

In Our Skies, July 2023: Perseid Meteor Shower

In Our Skies, July 2023: Perseid Meteor Shower

The Perseid meteor shower is the most popular meteor shower of the year. This is partly because it always peaks during the warm nights of summer, and partly because it is the second-strongest shower...

My “Star”

My “Star”

Meteor. Photo © Dreamstime.com. It was late in the day when I remembered. Weeks before, I had checked our November Nature Friend. The Geminid meteor shower was tonight.I had never seen a “shooting...

In Our Skies, May 2023: Eta Aquarids

In Our Skies, May 2023: Eta Aquarids

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak on the night of May 5–6. Unfortunately, that’s also the night of Full Moon, so any faint meteors will be washed out by moonlight. On a year without moonlight...

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...

Many, Many Meteors

Many, Many Meteors

My brother and I stepped excitedly out of the darkened house into the exhilarating night air. The sky showed no sign of dawn, but in the west an impending cloud threatened to destroy our chance to...

On a Starry Night in December

On a Starry Night in December

“Papa! May Joshua, Michaela, and I sleep outside on Tuesday night to watch the Geminid meteor shower?” I questioned eagerly, looking up from the November issue of Nature Friend where I had just...

In Our Skies, November 2023: Meteor Showers

In Our Skies, November 2023: Meteor Showers

The second total lunar eclipse of 2022 will take place on the night of November 7–8. The eclipse will be most visible from eastern Asia, Oceania, and western and central North America. The eclipse...