Posts by 

Bruce McClure

Longest days accompany the December solstice

The longest days accompany the winter solstice. In December, a day - a whole cycle of day and night - is about half a minute longer than the average 24 hours.

The earliest sunset comes before the winter solstice

The solstice comes on December 22, 2023, at 3:27 UTC. Does that coincide with your earliest sunset? Probably not. It depends on where you live.

Menkar – a visual double – is the Whale’s alpha star

It's not the most famous star in Cetus the Whale, or the brightest. But Menkar is the Whale's alpha star and has its own claims to fame.

Mirfak is the brightest star in Perseus the Hero

Mirfak is the brightest star in Perseus and is visible even from light-polluted locations. This star is a member of the Alpha Persei Moving Cluster of stars.

The Pleiades – or 7 Sisters – known around the world

The Pleiades star cluster - aka the Seven Sisters or M45 - is visible from almost every part of the globe. It looks like a tiny misty dipper of stars.

See Orion’s Belt as a celestial bridge between hemispheres

Many know Orion's Belt, a short straight row of 3 stars. To the Aymara, Orion's Belt is a Celestial Bridge between the sky's Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Media we love: Totality, The Great North American Eclipse of 2024

Read a book review of "Totality: The Great North American Eclipse of 2024" by Mark Littmann and Fred Espenak. Reviewed by Bruce McClure.

Year’s earliest solar noon on November 3

November 3 brings the year's earliest solar noon - that is, earliest midday - by nature's clock. It's a harbinger of the Northern Hemisphere's earliest sunset.

Halloween is an astronomy holiday. It’s a cross-quarter day

A cross-quarter day falls between an equinox and a solstice. Halloween is the year's 4th cross-quarter day and the spookiest of the 4.

Algol the Demon Star of Perseus

What's the scariest star in all the heavens? Look for Algol the Demon Star on autumn evenings. It's a great choice for a driveway telescope night on Halloween.