Northern Sky

Northern Sky

July 2016

By Deane Morrison—Minnesota Starwatch

Star watchers have good reasons—besides the usual one—to celebrate on July 4. First, we get a new moon, which means we can watch stars and planets at any time of night without lunar interference.

If you’re out after nightfall, don’t Continue Reading...

May 2016


By Deane MorrisonMinnesota Starwatch

On May 9, we’re treated to the spectacle of a small black dot crawling across the sun’s face. This is a rare transit of Mercury, when the little planet zips between Earth and the sun. The show runs from 6:13 a.m. to 1:42 p.m. A small telescope will reveal Continue Reading...

April 2016

By Deane Morrison—Minnesota Starwatch

Mercury, the messenger of the gods, pops into the evening sky in April, making its best evening appearance of the year. Look to the west-northwest an hour after sunset around the 18th, when it will be farthest from the sun.

Jupiter, blazing Continue Reading...

March 2016

By Deane Morrison—Minnesota Starwatch

The five planets that adorned the morning sky last month are now going their separate ways. Mercury slips behind the sun on March 23 and Venus glides into the sun’s foreglow as it heads for a similar trip in early June.

As for Jupiter, Continue Reading...

February 2016

By Deane Morrison—Minnesota Starwatch

The shortest month opens with a long line of planets strung across the morning sky.

Look about an hour before sunrise on the 1st and find Venus, bright but very low, in the southeast, with a much dimmer Mercury to its lower left. Far to Venus’s Continue Reading...