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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 wild strawberries were beginning to …

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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. Right at sunset, Mercury and …

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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 the horizon until next fall …

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Sirius

The star Sirius is the brightest star in our night sky.  Located in Canis Major (and therefore sometimes called the Dog Star), Sirius is best observed during the winter months in northern latitudes.  To find Canis Major and Sirius, recruit the help of Orion. Follow Orion’s belt stars to the left and they will lead …

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Retrograde Motion

Retrograde might sound like a ‘70s album, but when we’re talking in astronomy terms, it’s something much more ‘far out.’ When referring to the planets, retrograde motion describes the apparent backwards motion (observed in comparison to the background stars) a planet takes in its week-to-week journey across the sky and it only occurs for a …

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