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Viewing tips for the 2019 Perseid meteor shower

Aug 7 2019 - 9:25am

Perseid meteors appear to radiate away from the direction of the constellation Perseus. (Credit: Stellarium)


The annual Perseid meteor shower is already happening, and is predicted to peak the night of August 12/13, 2019. That’s a Monday evening into early Tuesday morning.

No, a black supermoon won’t rise in your sky tonight

Jul 31 2019 - 5:30pm

Can’t see anything in the image? It’s not a problem with your device. You can’t see the new moon on July 31, 2019. (Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)


You may have heard that today’s (July 31, 2019) new moon is a “black supermoon” that will make for exceptional stargazing when it rises tonight. This claim misleads in several ways.

Let’s start by breaking down that “black supermoon” term:

How you can celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

Jul 19 2019 - 9:48am

Image credit: NASA


Fifty years ago this July, humans first walked on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission. North Carolinians have many ways to celebrate that anniversary:

UNC Chapel Hill alumnus helps Morehead Planetarium commemorate 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 with special Neil Armstrong medal

Jul 16 2019 - 9:23am

Image credit: NASA


On Saturday, July 20th, millions of people will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11—the landmark achievement that placed the first humans on the moon. Morehead Planetarium and Science Center will also celebrate this milestone in history with the help of a UNC alumnus.

Wave hello to people in outer space (at May 18th skywatching, Dorothea Dix Park)

May 15 2019 - 6:06pm

Above: The Expedition 59 crew includes Christina Koch (far right in the image), who considers Jacksonville, North Carolina, to be her hometown. Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz



Want to wave hello to someone in outer space?

You have several chances coming up, including during our skywatching session this Saturday evening (May 18, 2019) at Dorothea Dix Park, when the International Space Station (ISS) is predicted to pass almost directly over the park.

You're invited to a Star Party! April 12 & 13, 2019

Mar 31 2019 - 12:46pm


North Carolina hosts the biggest* statewide star party for the public in the entire universe—and you’re invited!

The 7th annual NC Statewide Star Party happens on Friday, April 12, and Saturday, April 13, 2019, when 54 hosts across the state, from the mountains to the coast, offer skywatching events for the public. These Star Party hosts include parks, libraries, historic sites, nature centers, museums, planetariums, and colleges and universities. Many of the events are free.

January 20-21 lunar eclipse: This is worth staying up late for, North Carolina

Jan 14 2019 - 10:36am



On late Sunday evening, January 20, 2019, into early Monday morning the 21st, you can watch the full moon pass into Earth’s shadow: a lunar eclipse.

The main action starts Sunday night, Jan. 20, with a partial eclipse beginning at 10:33 p.m. The eclipse will be total from Sunday 11:41 p.m. to Monday 12:43 a.m., then it becomes partial again, ending at 1:50 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21. (All times Eastern.)

Here’s why this lunar eclipse is worth staying up for, North Carolina.

9 tips for viewing the 2018 Geminid meteor shower

Dec 11 2018 - 12:40pm


If the weather behaves later this week, you have an opportunity for a sky show at a reasonable hour. One of the best meteor showers of the year – the Geminid meteor shower -- will peak Thursday night, Dec. 13, 2018.

Meteors, sometimes misleadingly called “shooting stars,” are streaks of light caused by cosmic debris interacting with Earth’s atmosphere. Typically, this debris has been left by a comet. In the case of the Geminids, the source is an asteroid, 3200 Phaethon.

Viewing tips:

1) Check the weather.

Your Checklist For Viewing the 2018 Perseid Meteor Shower

Aug 10 2018 - 9:38am


(Photo Credit: Stellarium)


The annual Perseid meteor shower is underway and is predicted to peak the night of August 12/13, 2018. That’s Sunday evening into very early Monday morning.

Here’s a checklist for getting the most out of your Perseids viewing this year:

1) Know what you’re looking for.

How to find Mars in the sky

Jul 27 2018 - 4:48pm