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 […]
Happy New Year! Though you likely won’t be able to tell the difference, Earth is at its closest to the Sun for the year this month, January 2020. Perihelion, the point in Earth’s annual orbit where it’s closest to the Sun, occurs each year in early January. This year, perihelion occurs at 1:48 a.m. Chicago time on […]
Header Image: Graphic representation of the Winter Solstice which will occur on December 21st, 2019 at 10:19pm. The brightest planet, Venus, begins a run of many weeks’ worth of spectacular viewing in the evening skies this month, December 2019. Venus starts off the month very low in the southwest after sunset, setting only about 90 […]
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.
One of the year’s most popular meteor showers regularly peaks this month, August 2019. Unfortunately, this year’s shower may be only a wash. The Perseid meteor shower is well known because it’s a major annual shower that occurs during warm weather in the northern hemisphere. The Perseids usually peak around the night of the 12th […]
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 […]
Though the Sun sets later and later each evening this month, there are still plenty of fine night-sky sights in May 2019. After sunset, look about 25 degrees above the west-northwest horizon to see the planet Mars. It’s dimmer than first magnitude in brightness, but it’s still bright enough—and colorful enough—to be easily spotted. The […]
Though Spring has begun in the Northern Hemisphere, some of the night sky’s brightest stars—usually associated with wintertime—can still be seen this month, April 2019. Look to the southwest during evening twilight, to see a rhombus-shaped pattern of bright stars—like a long, thin, horizontally-stretched-out square in the sky. The top point of the rhombus is […]
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