Columns

The equinox and the Harvest Moon

The equinox and the Harvest Moon

The start of fall arrives with the autumnal equinox next Wednesday, September 22 at 3:21 p.m. That’s when the midday Sun hovers directly over the equator so that neither of Earth’s hemispheres gets more sunlight than the other.

Susan Slotnick: I hope

Susan Slotnick: I hope

I only wanted to travel to Afghanistan because one night, in a cafe in southern France, my husband unfurled from his back pocket a map of the world. He asked me to pick another country. I saw land-locked Afghanistan, lonely and remote and I decided in my 23rd year that I might, someday, have a story to tell about a place few people in my circle would have ever visited. 

The Night Sky: The tides of the Hudson

The Night Sky: The tides of the Hudson

Coastal civilizations forever noticed that the ocean’s rhythmic rise and fall mostly followed the Moon’s position. But how could this be? We orbit the huge massive Sun, not the lightweight Moon. Why should the Sun have the dominant gravitational effect on us — and yet the Moon boasts the greater tidal pull?

Saturn at its mind-blowing best

Saturn at its mind-blowing best

One planet never disappoints. Through any telescope with more than 30x, Saturn elicits gasps. Oddly enough, photos of the ringed world do not pack the same punch. You have to see it for yourself.