Almanac Weekly | Night Sky

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Night Sky: See a halo this week

Night Sky: See a halo this week

The reduced sunlight strength sufficiently cools the air above us that it’s increasingly common to stand below clouds made not of water droplets, but bits of ice. These crystals are almost always six-sided and have very specific (and glorious) effects on sunlight hitting them. One of them is to create the common 22° halo.

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.

The gift of planets

The gift of planets

What’s the most romantic gift for your sweetheart? A book of poetry? A candlelight dinner? Excellent choices — but as a nightcap, what’s better than the Goddess of Love in person?