Night Sky

Rare transit of Mercury across the Sun on May 9

A rare transit of Mercury across the Sun will take place on May 9, 2016, starting at about 11:12 UTC and lasting about 7.5 hours. This is an extremely rare event that occurs only 13 or 14 times in each century. There will be one other transit of Mercury in 2019 and...

May 05, 2016

No moonlight to interfere with 2016 Eta Aquarids

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will reach its maximum rate of activity this year on the night of May 5 and the morning of May 6. This is an above average shower, capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak, with most of the activity seen in the...

May 04, 2016

Night sky guide for May 2016

May hosts an above average meteor shower - the Eta Aquarids - with its peak on the night of May 5 and the morning of May 6. This will also be the best time of the month to observe faint objects in the night sky because there is no moonlight to interfere. A rare...

May 01, 2016

'Once in a life time' photo of neon green fireball over New Zealand

Jono Matla, a photographer from Wellington, New Zealand, captured a bright green meteor flashing across the night sky around 21:00 local time on April 5, 2016. The event started as a ball of orange and turned into a neon green as it streaked the sky over Waikanae,...

April 06, 2016

Night sky guide for April 2016

April hosts two meteor showers, but only one major. The first - Virginid meteor shower - will reach its maximum rate of activity on April 12. The Moon will be 5 days old and will present minimal interference. The maximum rate of meteors expected to be visible from a...

April 01, 2016

Small comet or asteroid impacts Jupiter

Two astronomers have captured images of a small comet or asteroid as it impacted Jupiter at 00:18 UTC on March 17, 2016. The videos of the same event were captured from Austria and Ireland. The object is probably in the tens-of-meters wide range, according to Phil...

March 30, 2016

Penumbral lunar eclipse on March 23, 2016

Observers located in the extreme eastern Asia, eastern Australia, the Pacific Ocean and the west coast of North America including Alaska will get to see a penumbral lunar eclipse on March 23, 2016, the first of three lunar eclipses in 2016. The eclipse will reach...

March 22, 2016

Total solar eclipse of March 9, 2016 - best totality videos

Total solar eclipse of March 9, 2016, is now long over. If you missed the show, here is a collection of the best totality videos available today. Be sure not to miss the Alaska Airlines flight 870 video. The Exploratorium and NASA went to Woleai, a tiny atoll in the...

March 09, 2016

Watch 2016 total solar eclipse live

Early on March 9, 2016 (UTC), the Moon will position itself right in front of the Sun and create a total solar eclipse for viewers in parts of central Indonesia and the Pacific Ocean. South and East Asia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Hawaii and Alaska will get to see...

March 08, 2016

Total solar eclipse of March 9, 2016

A total solar eclipse will take place on March 9, 2016, with the greatest eclipse at 01:58 UTC. On the same day, the Moon will reach lunar perigee - its closest point to the Earth, supermoon - and will thus create a stronger effect on Earth's oceans. The eclipse...

March 04, 2016

Night sky guide for March 2016

There will be, at least, two special celestial events during March 2016 - total solar eclipse at 01:58 UTC on March 9 and penumbral lunar eclipse at 11:48 UTC on March 23. March Equinox, the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the northern hemisphere and the...

March 01, 2016

Night sky guide for February 2016

February 2016 starts with the conjunction between the Moon and Mars. The pair will be located in the constellation Libra and visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars on February 1. The best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies...

February 01, 2016

Quadrantids: An above average meteor shower reaches peak of activity

The Quadrantid meteor shower will reach its peak activity, with about 80 meteors per hour (ZHR), on the night of January 3 and the early morning hours of January 4, 2015. A waning crescent moon will not interfere much with meteors and any of its fireballs. This...

January 03, 2016

Night sky guide for January 2016

We start the year with our planet reaching perihelion - closest point to the Sun - which will happen at 22:49 UTC on January 2. At the time, Earth will be 146.6 million km (91 million miles) from the Sun. The first meteor shower of the year - Quadrantids - will...

January 01, 2016

Geminid meteor shower - king of meteor showers peaks this weekend

One of the most popular meteor showers in the night sky and the most impressive meteor shower of the year - Geminid meteor shower - is set to peak between the nighttime on December 13 and the early morning December 14, 2015, producing up to 120 meteors per hour in...

December 13, 2015

Night sky guide for December 2015

December 2015 will feature three meteor showers: the Geminids, the Puppid-Velids and the Ursids. The Geminid meteor shower is popularly known as the "king of meteor showers". This year, it is expected to produce up to 120 meteors per hour at its peak,...

December 01, 2015

Annual Leonid meteor shower peaks this week

As we approach the end of the year, it is time to welcome the annual Leonid meteor shower. This shower is associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle and is considered to be one of the most beautiful meteor showers in existence. This year, the Leonid meteor shower is...

November 16, 2015