Monthly Astronomy Article

Skywatch December 2016

Planets in December 2016 Venus: queen of the sunset sky Venus maintains the role it has had all fall as a blazing beacon in the west sky at dusk. In early December Venus shines at minus 4.2 magnitude, and is about 1/3 of the way up in the western sky as it gets dark; [...]

2017-06-05T12:04:37+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch November 2016

An interesting November for planets is ahead of us; we lose Saturn and regain Mercury in November, as Venus and Mars, opposites in myth, behave in a similar, steady manner. We have the biggest brightest full moon in decades on the night of November 13-14, and our continental friends and family go off of [...]

2017-06-05T12:04:44+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch October 2016

Planets in October Venus holds steady all month Venus is that blazing light you see in the western sky at dusk all month, outshining all other points of light in the sky. The planet’s appearance remains remarkably consistent all month; Venus emerges about 1/4th of the way up in the western sky as it [...]

2017-06-05T12:04:58+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch September 2016

Bright Venus hangs low in the west at dusk all month, as we lose its companion Jupiter.  Saturn and Mars also start the month together, but separate by September’s end.  As autumn stats we lose the Big Dipper, as we do every September in the islands. Elsewhere, all of Africa, and Africa alone, experiences a [...]

2017-06-05T12:05:05+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch August 2016

August 2016 features a gathering of planets just above the sun at dusk, and the return of the most famous meteor shower. There is a chance to catch all five naked-eye planets at the same time in the early evening, and Venus and Jupiter have their closest gathering since the year 2000 at the end [...]

2017-06-05T12:05:13+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch July 2016

In July 2016 we are able to see all five ‘naked eye’ planets in the sky, a mere six months after the last time this happened. (Prior to winter 2016, it had been a decade since all the visible planets could be seen at one time.) Our overhead sun returns in July throughout the islands. We enter the [...]

2017-06-05T12:05:26+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch June 2016

Sky watching is very good in the islands this June. There is a trio of bright planets in the evening sky through the month, including Mars, which remains unusually bright through the month. Jupiter and Saturn are clearly visible from the mid-evening sky as well. We have lost all of the winter constellations such as [...]

2017-06-05T12:05:38+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch May 2016

May should be a great skywatching month in the islands. Mars will be brighter and closer this May than any time in the last ten years; Jupiter and Saturn also dance in the mid-evening sky. Mercury transits the sun on May 9. Throughout the main Hawaiian Islands, the first of the year’s two "overhead sun" [...]

2017-06-05T12:05:54+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch April 2016

April 2016 should be a great month for sky watching. Every year, April is the single best month to see nearly every key star and constellation in the Hawaiian night sky, literally from the North Star to the Southern Cross. In addition, most of the planets put in a really good appearance here in April [...]

2017-06-05T12:05:55+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|

Skywatch March 2016

We will have a deep partial solar eclipse in the Hawaiian Islands on the afternoon on March 8, 2016. In a partial solar eclipse, the moon passes between the earth and the sun and blocks part of the sun’s disk. At the maximum of this March 8 eclipse, at 5:37 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time, about [...]

2017-06-05T12:06:13+00:00Monthly Astronomy Article|