Meteors

Cool Night, Cozy Blankets, Hot Cocoa, &…

Cool Night, Cozy Blankets, Hot Cocoa, &…

Once upon a cool August evening, our family happened to be camping in a dark, open area near Jasper, Alberta, Canada, where we had an amazing view of the sky.One evening, something caught our dad’s...

In Our Skies, May 2022: Lunar Eclipse

Meteor activity is divided quite unevenly between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, with the Northern Hemisphere getting a better view of nearly every meteor shower of the year. The Eta Aquarid...

Our Lunar Adventure

Our Lunar Adventure

Lunar eclipse. Photo © Kevin Shank. It was November 16, 2021, and excitement was high for us siblings. Tonight was a lunar eclipse!It was cloudy, and we were a bit worried. But, it was windy, and we...

Nature Night

Nature Night

Weasel. Photo © Dreamstime.com. “Don't stay out longer than eight o'clock,” Mom reminded us as we headed out the door.This was the night of the Geminid meteor shower, and my brother and I were going...

Meteor Beauty

Meteor Beauty

“Did you hear of the Geminid meteor shower tonight?” I asked my family at the supper table.“Yes,” came the answer.“Well, I want to go watch it tomorrow morning. Does anybody want to go with me?”A...

A Fiery Ball

A Fiery Ball

In August, Dad decided to take the family to Cherry Springs Park in Pennsylvania, which has the darkest night sky east of the Mississippi River. We ventured out with food, binoculars, tents, our...

Flying Stars

Flying Stars

Here in upstate New York, autumn was long and beautiful. This is December already, and some days are warm enough that even the bees decide to fly. But the other night something else was flying which...

A Night With Nature

A Night With Nature

Photo © Dreamstime.com. We poked our curious heads out the front door, breathing in the early morning air. It was a cool morning in December, thirty-five degrees. Shivering, we slipped into our...

SpaceX and the Fireball

SpaceX and the Fireball

SpaceX launch and fireball. Photo © Jason Rinehart. The skies were dark from the Pine Tree overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. I had come here on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, to...

In Our Skies, November 2021: Comet Leonard

The last major meteor showers of 2021 will all be affected by moonlight. The Orionid meteor shower in October peaked on the night of Full Moon, and the Leonid meteor shower this month will fare...

Stargazing

Stargazing

Stars shine brilliantly in the heavens. Beneath them, five children lie huddled on the lawn under blankets. They gaze excitedly up at the many sparkling specks scattered over the great black dome of...

In Our Skies, September 2021, Viewing Neptune

In Our Skies, September 2021, Viewing Neptune

Just after sunset the night of September 14, the planet Mercury will be visible in the western sky just above the horizon. While it is only 26.8° from the Sun and, therefore, close to the horizon,...

Comet-dust Streaks

Comet-dust Streaks

I turned over from my back to my side. My husband was soundly asleep beside me, and yet I couldn’t drop off. Suddenly, a thought awakened me even farther. This was August 11, and I had read earlier...

In Our Skies, July 2021, Venus and Mars Conjunction

In Our Skies, July 2021, Venus and Mars Conjunction

Throughout July, Venus and Mars will be visible low in the west just after sunset. The planets will start and end the month a little distance from each other, but on the evening of July 12, they...

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...