Joe Rao is Space.com's skywatching columnist, as well as a veteran meteorologist and eclipse chaser who also serves as an instructor and guest lecturer at New York's Hayden Planetarium. He writes about astronomy for Natural History magazine, the Farmers' Almanac and other publications. Joe is an 8-time Emmy-nominated meteorologist who served the Putnam Valley region of New York for over 21 years. You can find him on Twitter and YouTube tracking lunar and solar eclipses, meteor showers and more. To find out Joe's latest project, visit him on Twitter.
Reference Two planets succumb to the glare of the sun. Mercury disappears into the bright dawn twilight after only a few days in February have elapsed, while Saturn disappears into the sunset fires by the end of the second week of the month.
Thursday is Feb. 29 — the bissextle or "leap day," an artifact that dates back to the year 46 B.C. Find out how this calendar oddity came to be.
On April 8, 2024, if the weather is fair, you should have no difficulty observing a partial eclipse of the sun from much of North America - even outside the path of totality.
The "Great North American Solar Eclipse" of April 8, 2024 will last longer and be more visible than any other total solar eclipses over the past century.
Shadow bands may be the most unusual of the eerie phenomena that can accompany a solar eclipse. Here's what we do and don't know about them.
Reference A Black Moon is a rare occurrence. Here we explore what causes them and when the next one will happen.
On Monday, Jan. 8, the waning crescent moon will occult the 1st-magnitude red supergiant star Antares, one of the brightest stars in the sky.
Reference A solar eclipse occurs when the moon positions itself between Earth and the sun, casting a shadow over Earth. We explore the type of solar eclipses here.
Early each January, the Quadrantid meteor stream provides one of the most intense annual meteor displays, but unfortunately, there's a stumbling block this year in the form of the moon
This guide to the planets in our solar system will show you what to look out for in the sky in 2024.
Your guide to the stars, constellations and planets that will decorate the Christmas night sky on Dec. 25, 2023.
Winter in the Northern Hemisphere will officially arrive tonight with the rays of the sun shining directly down on the Tropic of Capricorn.
About half of the contiguous (48) states will have clear, starry skies — a perfect backdrop for watching this very best of the year's principal meteor displays, the Geminid Meteor Shower.
The Geminid meteor shower reaches its peak on Dec. 13 and 14. Conditions look favorable for a spectacular display this year under the dark skies of a new moon.
On Friday, Dec. 8, Halley's Comet reaches its farthest point from the sun and begins its journey back through the solar system.
Located at a distance of 2.5 million light-years, the Andromeda Galaxy is readily visible to the unaided eye on dark, clear nights. Here's where you should look this week.
A waxing gibbous moon, Saturn and Jupiter make inviting targets for skywatchers this Thanksgiving.
The exact cause of 'Devil Comet' 12P/Pons-Brooks' flare-ups is unknown, though the best guess is that perhaps a fissure has developed on the comet's nucleus due to a build-up of gas.
One of the most famous of the annual meteor showers will soon be reaching its maximum: The Leonids. These ultrafast meteors are due to reach their peak on Saturday morning (Nov. 18).
The "Demon Star" of Algol gets eclipsed this week by one of its stellar siblings. Here's what you need to know.
The two brightest objects in the night sky — dazzling Venus and a lovely waning crescent moon — will be the chief celestial attraction in the predawn sky on Thursday, Nov. 9.
If skies are clear during this upcoming week, be sure to take a few moments to gaze upward. You just might be lucky and catch a glimpse of a spectacular sky sight — a Taurid meteor.
Reference Skies will be mainly clear tonight (Oct. 31) across the contiguous United States; making for ideal Halloween skywatching conditions. What will you be looking out for?