Backyard Astronomy

Follow on Facebook
Hill Country Backyard Astronomy

November 11, 2019 Mercury Transit

Mercury transit In 1607, Johannes Kepler first predicted that Earth viewers could witness Mercury passing across the surface of the Sun’s disk, also known as a transit. On May 28, 1607 Kepler readied himself to witness Mercury’s transit by using a camera obscura, a device similar to a pinhole projector ...
Read More
October 4 2019 Celestial alignment

Planets, the Moon, and Meteor Showers

October 4th will provide a great view of planets, the Moon, and a red supergiant On Friday, October 4, there will be a beautiful display of Saturn, the crescent Moon, Jupiter, and the red supergiant star Antares. (If you are in very dark skies, you might even see the Milky ...
Read More
October 4 2019 Celestial alignment

What’s in the Night Sky?

Early in the night during the Fall, you may notice a few bright objects in the southern sky. Two of those are planets (Saturn and Jupiter) and one is the bright reddish star Antares. Jupiter is the planet closest to Antares. Antares is located in the constellation of Scorpius. It ...
Read More

July 2019 Black Moon… What You Can See (And What You Can’t)

Blue Moon; Strawberry Moon; Worm Moon. It seems like every few weeks, the Moon has a new name associated with it. Most of these names are historical. For instance, the Strawberry Moon was a termed used by Native Americans and early American settlers that indicated June was the time when ...
Read More
/ / Blog, moon, observation

What’s In the Sky on the 4th of July Weekend (Besides Fireworks)

Enjoy your 4th of July and while you’re out watching the fireworks, enjoy these sights over the weekend. July 4th weekend: The Moon will start low on the horizon on July 4th and gradually climb higher in the sky over the weekend going from waxing crescent to first quarter moon ...
Read More

The North Star

Polaris, also known as the North Star, is located at the very tip of the group of stars called the Little Dipper.  As you may have guessed from its name, the North Star is always located in the direction of North. But why does this happen for this one particular ...
Read More

The Galilean Moons

Jupiter has more than 60 natural satellites, or moons. These moons vary in all shapes in sizes, from irregular shaped moons that are only a few miles in diameter to Ganymede, the largest moon of any in the Solar System. Of all Jupiter’s moons, the most well-known are the four ...
Read More

What’s Up With Jupiter This Week?

If you’ve seen or read any astronomy news blurbs over the last week or two, you have probably come across the terms Jupiter is at “opposition” and “perigee” making it bright and easily visible in the Eastern sky. In astronomy, opposition is a term used to describe when a planet ...
Read More

The Seasonal Sky

You probably know that the cyclic change of seasons on Earth is caused by the planet’s 23.5 degree tilt which allows for the Sun’s light to shine more directly down during Summer. The more direct sunlight is the key to the warmth of these months. Conversely, the Sun’s light shines ...
Read More

Say Goodbye… To the Winter Constellations

The night sky is in transition right now from what we call the “winter constellations” to the “summer constellations.” Some of the more well-known winter constellations include Orion, Gemini, and Canis Major. While many of the winter constellations are still visible early in the night, they will soon drop below ...
Read More