The Sky Tonight Update: Neptune at Opposition, Sept. 3

This Sept. 3rd, the blue giant planet Neptune will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long.  This happens because when Neptune lies opposite the Sun in the sky, the solar system is lined up so that Neptune, the Earth and the Sun form a straight line with the Earth in the middle, on the same side of the Sun as Neptune.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Saturn at Opposition, June 2-4

This June 3rd, the ringed planet Saturn will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. This happens because when Saturn lies opposite the Sun in the sky, the solar system is lined up so that Saturn, the Earth and the Sun form a straight line with the Earth in the middle, on the same side of the Sun as Saturn.

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The Sky Tonight Update: Blue Moon & Mars at Opposition, May 20-23

This May 21st, the Moon will be located on the opposite side of the Earth as the Sun and its face will be fully illuminated. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because this was the time of year when spring flowers appeared in abundance. This moon has also been known as the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon. Since this is the third of four full moons in this season, it is known as a blue moon. This rare calendar event only happens once every few years, giving rise to the term, “once in a blue moon.” There are normally only three full moons in each season of the year. But since full moons occur every 29.53 days, occasionally a season will contain 4 full moons. The extra full moon of the season is known as a blue moon. Blue moons occur on average once every 2.7 years.

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The 10 Brightest Stars in the Night Sky

top ten brightest stars

Many people think that the Polaris, aka “the North Star,” is the brightest star in the sky.  Actually, Polaris is about the 47th brightest star in the nighttime sky.  So, you may ask, what exactly are the brightest stars?  Here is the list of the top 10 brightest stars you can see in our nighttime sky.

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