logo (79K)

Man must rise above the Earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only then will he fully understand the world in which he lives.
Socrates, 469 - 399 BC


The science
and the magic.

Solar System

All things held captive
by the Sun.


Everything else
in the Universe.

logo astronomers without borders (30K)

The Sun is in the constellation Pisces.

sun_soho (17K) Current Solar Flare (X-ray) activity : Status
Current Solar Geomagnetic activity :

Updated every ten minutes from the
NOAA Space Environment Center.

Lat 30° North
Long 95° West

Oct 23

Oct 24

Oct 25

Oct 26

Oct 27

Oct 28

Oct 29
Sunrise 7:29 am 7:30 am 7:30 am 7:31 am 7:31 am 7:32 am 7:32 am
Sunset 6:42 pm 6:41 pm 6:40 pm 6:39 pm 6:39 pm 6:38 pm 6:38 pm
Moonrise 1:06 am 2:03 am 2:59 am 3:54 pm 4:47 pm 5:40 am 6:33 am
Moonset 2:44 pm 3:26 am 4:03 am 4:39 pm 5:13 pm 5:47 pm 6:21 pm
Moon Phases moon (1K) moon (1K) moon (1K) moon (1K) moon (1K) moon (2K) moon (2K)

Current Morning Star(s): Capella (mag 0.08, high in the east) Current Evening Star(s): The planet Jupiter (mag -1.7, low in the west),
and the planet Mars (mag -0.6, high overhead).

The Sky This Month

10:00 PM Central Daylight Time

august2016 (78K)
(Latitude 30° North, Longitude 95° West)

The Stars Of Summer

As the seasons change, so do the stars. As we officially enter summer, the spring constellations of Cancer, Virgo, and Leo, slowly disappear into the sunset, and the stars of summer take centre stage. In the north, Draco, the dragon, chases its tail around the north star, Polaris. Overhead Bootes, with the bright Arcturus, marches across the sky, followed by the square "keystone" of Hercules, and little Lyra, with the brilliant star, Vega.

The Planets

The giant planet Jupiter, our bright "evening star", shines lower in the west every night, just as the brilliant planet Venus climbs up out of the sunset to replace it. The planets Mars and Saturn are both just about as close as they get, shining prominently side by side, near the head of the scorpion, Scorpius.

(where the planets are right now)
Courtesy of John Walker

orbits (3K)
Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
real time positions of planets

From the Summer Solstice to the Autumnal Equinox

"Solstice" is Latin for the standing still of the Sun. It is the moment in Earth's orbit around the Sun when the north or south pole is leaning as far as it can towards the Sun. In one hemisphere it is the longest day of the year, and in the other hemisphere it is the shortest day of the year. It is the moment when the Sun appears to stop its north/south migration in the sky and "stand still" - just for a moment - before it starts moving back in the opposite direction again. It happens twice a year, and traditionally marks the first day of winter and the first day of summer. In between the solstices are the equinoxes, when days and nights are equal all over the world.

This year's Summer Solstice occurred at 5:34 PM, Monday, June 20, 2016, and the days are growing shorter in the northern hemisphere as we head towards the autumnal equinox at 9:21 AM CDT, Thursday, September 22, 2016.

equinox (29K)

Venus and the Crescent Moon
Santa Elena, Oaxaca, Mexico - November 27, 2011

venus-nov27-2011 (61K)

Moonrise Over a Poro Poro Tree
Santa Elena, Oaxaca, Mexico - January 15, 2011

moonrisejan2011 (84K)

Writing by RJK Music by RJK Mexico Tennis Ranch For Sale

copyright (2K) SOLAR SYSTEM CONSTELLATIONS contact (4K)