In Our Skies

In Our Skies, November 2023: Meteor Showers

In Our Skies, November 2023: Meteor Showers

View the November 2023 Nature Friend Magazine 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...

In Our Skies, September 2023: Annular Solar Eclipse

In Our Skies, September 2023: Annular Solar Eclipse

View the August 2023 Nature Friend Magazine 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...

In Our Skies, July 2023: Perseid Meteor Shower

In Our Skies, July 2023: Perseid Meteor Shower

View the July 2023 Nature Friend Magazine 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...

In Our Skies, May 2023: Eta Aquarids

In Our Skies, May 2023: Eta Aquarids

View the May 2023 Nature Friend Magazine 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...

In Our Skies, March 2023: Hybrid Solar Eclipse

In Our Skies, March 2023: Hybrid Solar Eclipse

View the March 2023 Nature Friend Magazine 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...

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

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

View the January Nature Friend Magazine 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...

In Our Skies, November 2023: Meteor Showers

In Our Skies, November 2023: Meteor Showers

View the November 2022 Nature Friend Magazine 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...

In Our Skies, September 2023: Planet Oppositions

In Our Skies, September 2023: Planet Oppositions

About once a year, Earth passes between the Sun and Neptune. This event is called an opposition because Neptune is on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, rising around sunset and setting around...

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, 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...

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...

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,...

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...