Author Archives

Jeffrey L. Hunt is an educational technologist living in suburban Chicago. When he's not learning about and implementing technology in classes, he's running or looking at the stars.

  • 2021, May 22: Parading Five Planets

    It’s small, it’s hot, and it’s shrinking. New NASA-funded research suggests that Mercury is contracting even today, joining Earth as a tectonically active planet.

    May 22, 2021: Five planets parade across the sky.  Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. Evening Star Venus, Mercury and Mars are in the western sky after sunset.  A bright moon is in the southeastern sky.

  • 2021, May 21: Evening Planet Ballet

    May 21, 2021: Three bright planets are dancing in the western sky after sundown.  Evening Star Venus is entering the sky for a months-long residency after its solar conjunction two months ago.  Mercury is heading for a conjunction with Venus after its best evening appearance of the year.  Mars continues its eastward march in Gemini, but time is running out on its appearance as it approaches brighter evening twilight and a conjunction with Venus.

  • 2021, May 21: Twilight Lengthens

    May 21, 2021:  At the weather warms, daylight and twilight lengthen to diminish nighttime hours.  As the summer solstice approaches far northern latitudes do not have periods of darkness.  From the most northern latitudes, the sun does not set – the Land of the Midnight Sun.

  • 2021, May 20: Evening Planet Dance

    May 20, 2021:  Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars continue their planetary dance in the western sky after sunset.  Begin looking for brilliant Venus about 30 minutes after sunset.  Fifteen minutes later, Mercury and Mars join the ballet.

  • 2021, May 20: Morning Summer Triangle

    May 20, 2021:  With two bright planets in the southeast before sunrise, the Summer Triangle – Vega, Altair, and Deneb – is high in the south as daylight approaches.

  • 2021, May 22: Saturn Retrogrades

    May 22, 2021:  Saturn, the Ringed Wonder, begins its retrograde motion today.  The planet is in the southern sky to the upper right of bright Jupiter before sunrise.  The planet is at opposition on August 2, and ends its retrograde motion on October 10.

  • 2021, May 19: Five Planets, Waxing Moon

    May 19, 2021: The display of five planets continues.  Jupiter and Saturn are morning planets, visible in the southeast before sunrise.  After sunset, brilliant Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars are in the western sky.  The half-full moon is to the upper left of Regulus.

  • 2021, May 18: Planet Quintet, Waxing Moon

    May 18, 2021: Bright morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.  After sunset, Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars are lined up in the western sky.  The thick crescent moon is higher near Regulus.

  • 2021, May 17: Planets, Moon Line Up

    It’s small, it’s hot, and it’s shrinking. New NASA-funded research suggests that Mercury is contracting even today, joining Earth as a tectonically active planet.

    May 17, 2021: The five bright planets – Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, and Mars – are visible in night sky.  Jupiter and Saturn are in the morning.  Evening Star Venus, Mercury and Mars are in the evening sky with the crescent moon.

  • 2021, May 16: Lunar Occultation, Mercury Best!

    May 16, 2021: The moon occults a star in Gemini this evening, and Mercury reaches its greatest separation from the sun.  Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.  After sunset, Evening Star Venus, Mercury, Mars, and the lunar crescent are lined up above the western horizon.

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