Where to Find Two Zodiac Symbols in the July Nighttime Sky

By Scott Levine Some of my favorite conversations about astronomy start with people asking about a group of stars, usually their zodiac sign, and then having a hard time seeing that figure mapped out in the sky. The word zodiac...

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Watching the Months and Seasons Change By Looking at the Stars

By Scott Levine Every season, and even every month, have their own feel. Spring is different than summer, and there’s a certain indescribable difference between July’s and August’s muggy heat. The same is true in the skies. There are bright...

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Oddities of Orbits and Distance Can Help Connect Us to Our World

By Scott Levine Here’s a question: How far is Earth from the sun? Back in the dark corners of your memory, behind the list of all the state capitals and the seven times table, you probably remember what you learned...

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Mars Commands Attention in Space and on Earth

By Scott Levine A few months ago, we talked about the endless pleasure of seeing Mars, bright and red like a planet full of rusted fence posts from more than a hundred million miles away. The clouds have been heavy...

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Light Pollution is Worse Than Just Preventing Us From Seeing the Stars

By Scott Levine About 12 years ago, not long after we moved up from Brooklyn, I carried my daughter into the night and looked up. I was amazed. With no trouble at all I could see the delicate arch of...

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What’s in the Skies is Often in the Eye of the Beholder

By Scott Levine The other night I was looking up and thinking about the star patterns we see. One of the most interesting things to me is not just the stars, though they’re certainly fascinating, but the asterisms they’re in....

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Jupiter and Saturn Set to Dance This Month

by Scott Levine A few months ago, we talked about using the sun and moon, along with some simple observation tricks, to find the out solar system’s planets in the night sky. With just a little bit of practice, it’s...

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The Fascination That Accompanies the Lunar Month

By Scott Levine It’s a funny thing about the moon’s phases. They don’t care about our calendar. Even though the word “month” comes from an old Germanic word for the time it takes for the moon to orbit earth, our...

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There Are Good Reasons Why Everyone Loves Mars

By Scott Levine For all the good they do, all their old-timey-Tweeting of what’s going on in our heads, sticky notes have a dark side. Let me share this one with you that I found on my desk recently, in...

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Comets Provide Some of the Most Spectacular Sky Shows

By Scott Levine Through July, most of the space news has been full of extraordinary stories and gorgeous photos of the alluringly named comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), which was visible with the naked eye even in Westchester’s skies. Comets are...

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