Astronomy Answers: AstronomyAnswerBook: The Night Sky

Astronomy Answers
AstronomyAnswerBook: The Night Sky

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1. What Can I See In The Sky This Month?

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The page answers questions about the night sky. The questions are:


1. What Can I See In The Sky This Month?

There are many different kinds of astronomical phenomena. Some are easy to see, and some are hard (requiring a telescope or a very dark sky). Some happen often (such as the phases of the Moon, or the moons of Jupiter moving around their planet), others occasionally (such as eclipses of the Sun or Moon, or meteor showers), and yet others rarely (such as Venus moving across the disk of the Sun) or even only once (such as some comets showing up in our sky). Some may interest you, and others will not, depending on your preferences and on the viewing equipment you have available.

Popular astromical magazines are the best sources for information about upcoming celestial events. Their information is up to date, includes items about newly discovered things, such as new comets, and is presented nicely. The people who write these magazines have already selected the most interesting phenomena for you, and have selected the best pictures and diagrams to go with the stories.

You can find some information in these web pages about coming events in the sky, but that information is spread around and deals only with things that can be predicted well and about which someone happened to asked a question. Here is a list:

Nowadays, there is plenty of software for your computer that can calculate the positions of the planets and other predictable things for any time and location for a few thousand years around now. Such planetarium programs are also good sources of information about celestial events, but they do not automatically incorporate new discoveries, they often do not automatically list less-common phenomena (like comet returns), and some of their information does (slowly) get out of date (in particular relating to comets and asteroids), though this is only important in practice if you need very high accuracy.

You can also contact your local astronomy club or planetarium (if there is one nearby), and hook up with active amateur astronomers.

You can find links to websites of some astronomical magazines at // You can find links to planetarium programs at // Note: There are really expensive ones, fairly cheap ones, and free ones. Which one would be best for you all depends on what you're looking for and on how much money you are willing to spend on it.


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Last updated: 2021-07-19