Fun astronomy facts to impress your friends with! 

August 2015

28th – The stars tell us that fall will soon be here. Looking to the east around 9 o’clock tonight you will see 4 stars that form the Great Square of Pegasus which is a fall asterism.

29th – Every full moon has a name. Tonight’s full moon is called the Full Sturgeon moon because this type of fish is most easily caught in the great lakes at this time of year.

30th – The days are getting shorter as we head towards fall. Today the Sun will set at 7:33 p.m. This is 56 minutes earlier than when the sun set on June 21st, the first day of summer.

31st – Looking to the northeast around 5:30 tomorrow morning you will see Venus below and to the right of Mars. A day on Venus is about 243 Earth days long!

September 2015

1st – Looking to the east around 11 o’clock tonight you will see the waxing gibbous moon. A day on the moon would last about 27 Earth days long! 

2nd – The sky tells us that fall is almost here. Looking to the east around 9 o’clock tonight you will see 4 stars that form a square that are associated with autumn. This is the Great Square of Pegasus. 

3rd – Looking to the east around 2 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see the red star Aldebaran. A day on this star would last around 400 Earth days long! 

4th – Public Telescope viewing will be held at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium tonight with the St. Louis Astronomical Society. For more information visit www.slsc.org 

5th – Looking to the east around 2 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see the last quarter moon below a star cluster known as the Pleiades. Look at this cluster with binoculars and you will see dozens of stars! 

6th –Looking to the east around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning and you will see Venus. A day on Venus is longer than its year and would last about 243 Earth days long! 

7th – Looking to the southeast around 10 o’clock tonight you will see the star Fomalhaut. The Hubble Space Telescope photographed an extra-solar planet near this star! You can see Hubble pictures by visiting www.hubblesite.org. 

8th – On this date in 1966, NBC aired the first episode of the original Star Trek series. Looking to the northeast around 11 o’clock you will see Capella, one of the stars visited by Captain Kirk! 

9th – Looking to the east around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see bright planet Venus. Look to the left of Venus to see the crescent moon and look to the left of the moon to see Mars! 

10th – Looking to the northeast around 11 o’clock tonight you will see a group of stars that look like an upside down letter “Y”. This is the fall constellation Perseus the Hero. 

11th – The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way. This galaxy is 2½ million light years away which means the light we see from this galaxy is 2½ million years old! 

12th – Looking to the south around 8 o’clock tonight you will see a group of stars that look like a teapot. This group of stars is part of the constellation Sagittarius the Archer. 

13th – Looking to the west around 8 o’clock tonight you will see a bright orange star called Arcturus. This star is the 4th brightest star in the sky and is part of the constellation Boötes the Herdsman. 

14th – Looking to the northwest around 9 o’clock tonight you will see the Big Dipper. If you draw an imaginary line through the 2 stars in the front of the bowl upwards they will lead you to the North Star. 

15th – Looking to the southeast around 5 o’clock in the morning you will see 3 stars in a row that form a line diagonally. These stars form the belt of Orion the Hunter. 

16th – Looking to the southeast around 5 o’clock tomorrow morning you wills see Sirius, the brightest star of the night sky. A day on Sirius would last only about 5.5 hours long! 

17th –On this date in 1789 William Herschel discovered Saturn’s moon Mimas.  Looking to the southwest around 8 o’clock you will see planet Saturn! A day on Mimas would last about 23 Earth hours long! 

18th – Looking to the southwest around 8 o’clock tonight you will see the waxing crescent moon. Look below and to the left of the moon to see Saturn. A day on Saturn would last about 10 Earth hours long! 

19th – Tonight is International Observe the Moon Night. Looking to the southeast around 8 o’clock tonight you will see the waxing gibbous moon. Try to see craters on the Moon in a pair of binoculars tonight. 

20th – Looking to the northeast around 9 o’clock tonight you will see the bright star Algol. This star changes in brightness because it is an eclipsing binary star. 

21st –On this date in 1866 H.G. Wells was born. He wrote the novel “The War of the Worlds”, which depicts an invasion from Mars. Looking to the east around 5 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see Mars. 

22nd – Our Sun is one star among billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. The nearest star to the Sun is Proxima Centauri which is about 4.2 light-years away! 

23rd – Today is the Autumnal Equinox or the first day of fall. We will have equal amount of daylight and night time hours today but the days will continue to get shorter as the Sun sets earlier each day. 

24th – Looking to the northeast around 10 o’clock tonight you will see a group of stars that look like the letter “w”. This is the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen. 

25th – Looking to the east around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see Mars just to the left of the star Regulus.  One day at the equator on this star would last about 16 hours long! 

26th – Looking low in the east around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see Jupiter. A day on this planet would last about 10 Earth hours long! 

27th – Looking to the southeast around 9 o’clock tonight you will see the full Harvest moon turning a reddish color as it enters Earth’s shadow. Tonight’s lunar eclipse will peak at 9:47 pm. This is the last of the 4 consecutive eclipses to occur. 

28th – Looking high in the east around 5 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see the bright stars Pollux and Castor. These stars are part of the constellation Gemini and will be visible at night during winter. 

29th – Looking to the south around 6 o’clock in the morning you will see 6 bright stars that form the winter circle. This circle will be visible in the early evening throughout winter. 

30th – Looking to the East around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see Venus. Look below and to the left of Venus to see Mars and look below the red planet to see Jupiter! A day on Mars would last about 24 hours and 37 minutes.