All posts by Bob Berman

The Great 2018 Mars Opposition

The Great 2018 Mars Opposition

Friday night, July 27: That’s when the Sun, the Earth and the planet Mars form a straight line in space. Mars rises just as the Sun sets and it’s exceptionally brilliant. By coincidence, Friday night is also the July Full Moon.

A focus on the strange Evening Star

A focus on the strange Evening Star

During the next three months, from now through September, Venus will visibly shift to the left. Each evening at nightfall, it will still hover at about the same height. But it will continually migrate south, or leftward, as it marches through the zodiac through Cancer, Leo, Virgo and into Libra.

Fascinating facts about the Evening Star

Fascinating facts about the Evening Star

The night’s brightest object is the Moon, of course. But the second-brightest? Surprisingly, most people don’t know. That’s why a dazzling apparition can now dominate the western sky, shining a hundred times more brightly than the brightest stars, and yet travel incognito. It’s Venus, the Evening Star, and she’s in her glory from now through August.

Today’s strange Sun: Cycle 24 stays weird

Today’s strange Sun: Cycle 24 stays weird

Earth’s climate gets cooler when there are fewer solar storms. An extreme example happened between 1645 and 1715, when the normal 11-year sunspot cycle disappeared! This period, called the Maunder Minimum, was accompanied by bitterly cold winters in the American colonies. Fishing settlements in Iceland and Greenland were abandoned. Icebergs were seen near the English Channel. The canals of Venice froze. It was a time of great hardship.