What’s better than the near approach of a comet? How about the near approach of two comets? That’s what we’re expecting during the month of May, 2020! Comet C/2019 Y4, also known as Comet ATLAS, was discovered late last December. It will come closest to Earth on May 23rd, at a distance of about 72 […]
Happy April, stargazers! The closest supermoon of the year takes place this month, April 2020. Supermoon is a nickname that describes a Full Moon that occurs within 10% of its closest approach to Earth. Astronomers refer to supermoons as a perigean Full Moon. The April 7th Full Moon is just under 222,000 miles from Earth. […]
The three naked-eye-visible planets outside Earth’s orbit will appear less than 20 degrees apart in the sky this month, March 2020. The planets Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn can be seen low in the southeast just as morning-twilight begins to lighten the sky. Jupiter is the brightest of the three, and it serves as a guidepost […]
This month will be a little longer than usual, but still shorter than most months of the calendar — because it’s February 2020. This year is a Leap Year, when the short month of February has 29 days instead of the usual 28. Earth’s actual orbit around the Sun takes about one-quarter of a day […]
Header Image: Graphic representation of the Leonid meteor shower with the constellation Leo. Evenings in the Chicago area are getting dark quite early this month, November 2019. Because Daylight Saving Time ended on the 3rd, the Sun now sets before 5:00 p.m. local time. It won’t be setting after 5:00 p.m. until late January. Shortly […]
Header Image: Orionid meteors appear every year around this time when Earth travels through an area of space littered with debris from Halley’s Comet. Credit: NASA/JPL The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer this month, October 2019. But the longer nights mean more night-sky objects to observe. During evening twilight this […]
Learn about what’s in the sky for the month of September 2019 from the Chicago area.
Header Image: Moon surface taken by the Adler’s Doane Observatory on April 7, 2017. The nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission this month, July 2019. It was 50 years ago on July 20 when humans first set foot on Earth’s natural satellite. It’s a big month for the Moon astronomically as well. This […]
606 TRAIL The western entrance of the 606 Trail at 1801 N. Ridgeway, Chicago, IL is relatively clear of buildings, though not necessarily clear of light pollution. The 606 Trail is open until 11:00 pm daily. FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT OF COOK COUNTY’S PALOS PRESERVES Did you know the largest Urban Night Sky Place in the […]
The longest days and shortest nights of the year—for Earth’s Northern Hemisphere, anyway—take place this month, June 2019. The first day of summer for the Northern Hemisphere occurs on the solstice, at 10:54 am CDT on the 21st. It’s the longest day of the year, with the Sun rising very early and setting very late. […]
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