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This Week's Amazing Sky | Almanac.com
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This Week's Amazing Sky

Looking back at the 2017 total solar eclipse gives us a taste of what’s to come during the even bigger, longer 2024 total solar eclipse. From totality’s eerie darkness to seeing the diamond ring effect, the eclipse makes for incredible memories.August 2017 brought the first total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. since 1979 and the first to cross the country in 99 years. One popular destination…
Space junk—we hear about it on the news occasionally. Is it a problem? Or nothing to be concerned about? What does space junk mean, anyway, and how much is floating around Earth? Read on for Bob Berman’s latest musings …I love watching my garbage hauled away. Maybe it’s a guy thing; I don’t know. Whatever the reason, I get a thrill when the weekly truck arrives. I watch them…
Now that the April 8 total solar eclipse is upon us, here are ten last-minute tips—and an eclipse day checklist if you’re headed out. 10 Eclipse Tips and MusingsFirst, remember that this event isn’t about astronomy as much as quality of life, meaning the chance to have the deepest experience in life. Many people weep from the emotional impact! Do not waste time trying to take…
Why is the April 8 total eclipse a big deal? Totality lasts over four minutes, and 32 million Americans will be on the path! Totality won’t happen again on U.S. soil for 20 years. See Bob Berman’s excellent guide with eclipse times and more information.Your next chance in the U.S. won’t happen until August 12, 2045. Learn how often solar eclipses occur.The 2024 Total Eclipse GuideTo me…
Bob Berman presents his 10-minute countdown to the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. If you’re wondering exactly what to look for, here’s what you’ll see at 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 1 minute, and totality!First things first. If you plan to see the total solar eclipse from beginning to end (as captured in the above photo), I assume by now that you know it’s essential to be 100%…
Can you safely view a solar eclipse? Solar eclipses are rare, so it’s truly incredible to experience this most wonderful of celestial spectacles. Find out if you can stare at the Sun and how to protect your eyes. Pull up a chair: there’s a lot of misinformation out there.First, when is the upcoming eclipse? The total solar eclipse is on April 8, 2024! See my 2024 Eclipse Guide.Now, let’s…
If you’re a stargazer, discover the surprising world of stars. What are stars made of, and what color are they, really? Bob Berman shares five surprising facts about stars. How many do you know?As an almanac, we often share seasonal star facts. Like, if it’s summer and a single bright star hovers directly overhead, it’s Vega, which, despite its fame, is rarely correctly pronounced as VEE-ga…
Water shouldn’t really be wet! It shouldn’t be liquid. It should be a gas. After all, all other similar molecules are gases at room temperature. Bob explains why water—beyond its obvious life-giving properties—is truly astonishing. It’s hard not to appreciate water, despite it being the most common compound in the cosmos. Water usually takes the form of ice or…
When we gaze up at the night sky, it appears as a still-life scene. The one exception is when a streaking meteor suddenly pierces the sky. We’re talking about shooting stars. Would you believe a shooting star is just the size of a raisin? Learn all about these streaks of light—and how to see one!The stars appear motionless. You’d have to leave and return ten minutes later to notice that the…
Planet Mercury is odd in so many ways; it’s hard to find aspects that aren’t strange. What color is Mercury, really? And does it have the hottest surface temperature? See 10 fun facts about the smallest planet in our solar system. 10 Facts about Planet MercuryMercury’s orbit may be nearest to the Sun, so you’d think it was also the hottest planet. Nope! It’s the second hottest…
Mark your calendars because 2024 promises to be a phenomenal year for skywatchers! Bob has a short list of 6 celestial events that everyone can view without special equipment. Plus, he debunks the hype around some overhyped “events” that you can skip. Let’s focus on the truly magnificent shows in the night sky. The universe does not pretend to offer equality when it comes to Earth’s sky…
At noon now in midwinter, the Sun stands a bit higher each day. Most of us do not notice the slow changes in the sky, like daylight increasing by just seconds a day,  and what that does to us. Let’s explore these often unseen natural wonders.1. Note the Sun’s position rising—over five times its width every week.Each day, the Sun moves eastward against the stars. Being in Aquarius,…