Meteor Moments

Look to the sky to see some memorable sights in August and September By Steve Kates   With summer well underway, breaks in the annual monsoon will reveal a host of amazing sky events. Get set for the annual Perseid meteor shower, which may be the best meteor shower of the entire year. This year promises to offer up a near moonless sky for this big event. Meteors from this shower start to appear in the ...

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Sights to see in the June and July 2018 skies

Seeing Red The opposition of Mars is a sight not to be missed. By Steve Kates June brings us the annual summer solstice, the true high point of the sun on the ecliptic path. This year, the summer solstice occurs at 3:07 a.m. local time on June 21. The sun then occupies the domain of the constellation of Gemini the twins and remains intense throughout the month. The latest sunsets here in Arizona occur betwe ...

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Cool and clear weather continues here in Arizona, which means February and March are a great time to look skyward

Ideal Conditions  Cool and clear weather continues here in Arizona, which means February and March are a great time to look skyward. By Steve Kates It’s going to be a great year for all of us to get ready for one of the most amazing close encounters with the planet Mars. Out of all the planets in the solar system, Mars has excited the minds of mankind for many centuries because of its similarity to Earth an ...

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The December and January skies offer some astounding sights

Sky Observations  The months ahead promise some astounding sights. By Steve Kates The Earth has completed another orbit around our amazing star, the sun. The month of December is full of amazing sights to see, along with some great events taking place in 2018. December skies begin with a discussion of the most amazing moon of all of 2017. The super moon will occur on the night of Dec. 3. The super moon is t ...

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The Great American Total Solar Eclipse

The Great American Total Solar Eclipse  Get ready for an amazing event in the August sky. By Steve Kates Get ready for an amazing experience The Great American Total Solar Eclipse is coming to the skies near you on Aug. 21. Here in Arizona, however, we get to see a deep partial solar eclipse. Not since 1979 has a total solar eclipse been visible in the continental United States and this is a big event for f ...

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This season, Saturn reveals its mysterious ring system in a big way

Summer Skies  This season, Saturn reveals its mysterious ring system in a big way. By Steve Kates   The heat is on! Summer arrives for us at 9:24 p.m. on June 20. At that time, the sun reaches its highest point above the northern hemisphere along the ecliptic path. This means, the sun is at its highest elevation in our sky for the year. June and July are great months to look at the many riches in our A ...

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The largest planet in our Solar System dominates spring skies

Jupiter Rising   The largest planet in our Solar System dominates spring skies. By Steve Kates   The night skies of Arizona are above for your viewing and enjoyment. We’re lucky to be located in this most amazing location, where the dark of the night sky is just a short drive away. April offers us some amazing treats in the sky. This is the month of Jupiter, the king of the planets. Jupiter is the larg ...

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February and March serve up some planetary treats

Sweet Sights  February and March serve up some planetary treats. By Steve Kates Spring is just around the corner and promises to offer up some amazing sights in the sky. February skies begin with a reminder to look for the brightest object in the night sky, other than the sun and moon. This would be the planet Venus; it reaches its greatest brilliancy on Feb. 17. Venus will appear in the southwestern sky an ...

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Winter skies include meteor shows––and more

Wonders Above Winter skies include meteor shows––and more. By Steve Kates The skies are rich with signs and symbols of this great universe. You are just a few moments away from experiencing this for yourself, all you need to do is head outside. The good news is that December marks two major sky events. First, we get to see one of the year’s best meteor showers, the Geminids, peak on the night of Dec. 13 int ...

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Seasonal skies offer up the closest supermoon since 1948

Supermoon Seasonal skies offer up the closest supermoon since 1948. Welcome to the cooler days and nights of Arizona. Get set for the many wonders of our fall night skies. October begins with a great view of Venus in the western sky. The second planet from the sun, after nearly a year of seeing Venus in the morning sky, it’s now a major player in our evening sky. An amazing event takes place on the night of ...

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Get set for a thrilling sight in the early morning skies––the Perseids meteor shower.

August Showers Get set for a thrilling sight in the early morning skies––the Perseids meteor shower. By Steve Kates The heat of summer continues. With no end to triple-digit temperatures in sight, the only reprieve we can expect is in the form of monsoon showers. While there’s no guarantee of a monsoon, we’re in store for a far more reliable type of shower––the Perseids meteor shower. The Perseids are one o ...

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June and July offer up skies filled with planetary delights

Summer Nights  June and July offer up skies filled with planetary delights. By Steve Kates   Welcome to your skies for June and July 2016. June marks the return of the official return of summer and the summer solstice, which occurs on June 20 around 3:34 p.m. MST. This time of year also means it’s hot in the appropriately named Valley of the Sun. Did you know the highest temperature ever recorded in Ar ...

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Get set for celestial shows in the fall Arizona skies

Spectacular Sights  Get set for astounding celestial shows in the fall Arizona skies By Steve Kates     With the annual monsoon season behind us, we look forward to a most magical time of the year, when temperatures lower and the skies reveal many fresh and ancient wonders. Get set for these spectacular sights in our October and November skies. First up, on or around Oct. 8, look to the eastern sk ...

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A Total Eclipse of the Moon

Get set for one of the most dramatic and beautiful of all astronomical events. By Steve Kates A scorching August leads us to September and hopefully cooler weather. As the heat slowly retreats, the night skies of August and September offer up some celestial gems. Get set for one of the best meteor showers of the entire year as the annual Perseid meteor shower peaks on the night of Aug. 12. With the special ...

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The Arizona sky unleashes spectacular sights in June and July

New Horizons By Steve Kates The blazing summer heat continues. Nature releases this heat energy in the form of our summer monsoons. As the accompanying rain clears out the air, we’re able to see some amazing sights. The skies of June and July are jam-packed with exciting celestial treats to view as we experience shorter nights. The summer solstice on June 21 at 9:38 a.m. marks the change of seasons and the ...

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