A Full Buck Super Moon has Arrived

Cassiopeia the Queen is rising northward this evening. The Little Dipper's handle, represented by Polaris, moves around the North Celestial Pole.

The W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia's brightest stars are easy to spot.

The Queen's alpha star, Shedar, is the W's western dip. Magnitude 3.5 Achird, also known as Eta () Cassiopeiae, is 2° northeast of this star.

In your telescope, Eta is a binary system with a brighter yellow-white primary and a fainter orange secondary around 11′′ apart.

The primary is strikingly Sun-like, just a touch cooler than our Sun, while its much dimmer partner emits less than one-tenth of our Sun's light.

These stars orbit each other every 480 years, roughly double Pluto's distance from the Sun. They are only 20 light-years from our Sun and solar system.

Mercury becomes invisible at 1 A.M. EDT when it reaches superior conjunction with the Sun.

Don't worry—the solar system's fastest planet will return to the evening sky before the month's conclusion.

At 9 a.m. EDT, Neptune is still in Pisces. It rises around 30 minutes after midnight and climbs above 30° in the southeast two hours before daybreak.

Its weak magnitude of 7.7 light is best seen in the dark.

The distant ice giant's 2′′ disk appears "flat" & slightly round, making it easy to spot among the background stars.

Neptune is 7° south-southeast of the Circlet of Pisces, a 7-star asterism in far western Pisces.

The 2nd-magnitude Diphda (Beta (β) Ceti or Deneb Kaitos) is 20° south-southeast of Neptune.

Astronomers don't know how this three-solar-mass star generates X-rays, but it's one of the brightest nearby.

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