Astronomy Videos

Skywatching Videos

December 2023

December 11: It should be a great year for the Geminid meteor shower. Find multiple star systems Theta Aurigae and M44, the Beehive Cluster, in Cancer.

December 4: Hop from Aldebaran to Jupiter to beautiful galaxy M33. The waning crescent Moon moves through Virgo, passing very near Zavijiva, Porrima, Spica and Venus.

November 2023

November 27: After waxing to full last week the still bright Moon wanes this week, passing bright stars Pollux and Regulus and open star clusters M35 and M38. Venus is near Spica and the stars of Leo’s sickle usher in the morning sky.

November 20: As the week progresses the Moon fills out, passing a series of stars and planets, including Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter, Uranus and the Pleiades.

November 13: The Leonid meteor shower arrives this week. Venus has a nice pairing with Porrima in Virgo. Use Jupiter as a guide to stars in Aries and galaxy NGC 877.

November 6: Catch the Moon and Venus together in the morning sky of the 9th. Venus passes by Zaniah in Virgo. It’s the best time of year to observe Local Group naked eye galaxies Andromeda and Triangulum.

October 2023

October 30: Venus now in Virgo makes a tight pair with Zavijava. See a 2/3 full Moon near Castor and Pollux. Saturn guides the way to Iota Aquarii, Deneb Algedi, Nashira, Fomalhaut and Diphda.

October 23: Venus continues passing near stars in Leo, very near 59 Leonis early week and near Sigma Leonis late week. As the Moon waxes toward full, see it below Saturn in the sky then above Jupiter, leading to our reflecting on orbital planes.

October 16: Venus continues marching through Leo. See the Moon near bright star Antares, and Nunki and globular star cluster M54 in Sagittarius. Globular star cluster M75 Saturn and stars Algedi and Dalbih in Capricorn are well placed for observing.

October 9: Venus, Regulus and the Moon form a great group Tuesday morning. Saturn guides the way to Aquarius with star clusters M2, M72 and M73. Planetary nebula NGC 7009 lies near M72 and M73.

October 2: Watch Venus slide from Omicron Leonis to Regulus. The Moon joins in late week after being near the Pleiades and Pollux. Use Jupiter to find stars in Cetus, including double star Gamma Ceti.

September 2023

September 18: Use Rasalhague, Altair and Vega to locate the keystone of Hercules, including tough binary star Zeta. Globular star clusters M13 and M92 make good observing targets. The Moon fills from 15% full to 75% and pairs with Antares.

September 11: Locate the stars of Andromeda, including Cepheid variable R. Galaxies M31 and M33 shine beautifully in the nearly moonless night sky.

Astronomy Class Videos

Full Playlist Fall 2021

Celestial Sphere: Thinking about the sky as the inside of a sphere; defining our coordinate system and key terms.

Circumpolarity: Figuring out what stars appear from north to south no matter where you are on earth.

Sidereal Versus Solar Day: How the combination of terrestrial rotation and revolution leads to stars rising about 4 minutes earlier each night on our solar clock, and leads to the apparent motion of the sun against the background stars.

Visibility of the moon at different phases: Follow the sketch of the Earth/Sun/Moon system geometry to see why we see waning moons after sunrise in the morning and waxing moons before sunset in the evening.