SKYWEEK



Note: the program should ideally run before the week of coverage; otherwise, events described may already have passed prior to airtime. The ideal time to air the show would be any time from the preceding Sunday through the afternoon of the first day that’s covered. For instance, the episode titled April 2 - 8, 2012 is best aired on April 1.

Episode numbers = two-digit year + two-digit month + two-digit Sunday release date

#120401 SkyWeek April 2 - 8, 2012
Venus passes through the Pleiades star cluster on Monday and Tuesday. And Saturn, the magnificent ringed planet, is now well up in the evening sky.

#120408 SkyWeek April 9 - 15, 2012
You can see five great star clusters with your unaided eyes on evenings at this time of year. One of them is widely known, but rarely recognized as a true star cluster.

#120415 SkyWeek April 16 - 22, 2012
Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown, is a compact jewel of a constellation. And the dazzling orange star Arcturus nearby may be a visitor from another galaxy.

#120422 SkyWeek April 23 - 29, 2012
Best aired Sunday, April 22, 2012
The waxing crescent Moon appears higher in the west each evening this week. And the planet Venus is also now a crescent, a phenomenon of great historical importance.

#120429 SkyWeek April 30 - May 6, 2012
Best aired Sunday, April 29, 2012
The closest and biggest full Moon of 2012 happens on Saturday, May 5th. That means that high tides will be unusually high and low tides will be unusually low.

#120506 SkyWeek May 7 - 13, 2012
Best aired Sunday, May 6, 2012
Venus, Mars, and Saturn are all paired with bright stars this week. Saturn is in Virgo, the great constellation of spring, and the site of a remarkable galaxy cluster.

#120513 SkyWeek May 14 - 20, 2012
Best aired Sunday, May 13, 2012
A partial solar eclipse is visible over most of the U.S. on Sunday, May 20th. And in parts of the West the eclipse is annular, with a ring of sunlight all around the Moon’s dark disk.

#120520 SkyWeek May 21 - 27, 2012
Best aired Sunday, May 20, 2012
This week is your last easy chance to see Venus before it crosses the Sun’s disk on June 5th. And the constellation Hercules, with its magnificent star cluster, is rising in the east.

#120527 SkyWeek May 28 - June 3, 2012
Best aired Sunday, May 27, 2012
Get ready for the partial lunar eclipse before dawn on June 4th and the twice-in-a-lifetime chance to see Venus’s dark disk cross the Sun on June 5th.

Episode numbers = two-digit year + two-digit month + two-digit Sunday release date

#120603 SkyWeek June 4 - 10, 2012
Best aired Sunday, June 3, 2012
The Moon experiences a partial lunar eclipse before dawn on Monday. And we look at the historical and scientific importance of Tuesday’s Transit of Venus across the Sun.

#120610 SkyWeek June 11 - 17, 2012
Best aired Sunday, June 10, 2012
The huge intertwined constellations Ophiuchus and Serpens fill much of the southeastern sky. Ophiuchus is sometimes called the thirteenth constellation of the zodiac.

#120617 SkyWeek June 18 - 24, 2012
Best aired Sunday, June 17, 2012
Summer officially begins on Wednesday this week. In addition to having the longest days, this time of year has the most luxurious sunrises, sunsets, and twilights.

#120624 SkyWeek June 25 - July 1, 2012
Best aired Sunday, June 24, 2012
The waxing Moon passes Mars, Spica, and Saturn this week. Saturn possesses an extraordinary retinue of moons, including the amazingly Earth-like moon Titan.

#120701 SkyWeek July 2 - 8, 2012
Best aired Sunday, July 1, 2012
Vega, Altair, and Deneb, the three bright high-flying stars of summer, are now well up in the east. Together, they form a huge shape called the Summer Triangle.

#120708 SkyWeek July 9 - 15, 2012
Best aired Sunday, July 8, 2012
Magnificent Scorpius, the Scorpion, is at its highest around 10 or 11 pm. Its brightest star is dazzling reddish Antares, meaning “rival of Mars.”

#120715 SkyWeek July 16 - 22, 2012
Best aired Sunday, July 15, 2012
Summer evenings are when the Milky Way’s brightest part is visible. Unfortunately, the Milky Way is easily overwhelmed by poorly designed artificial lights.

#120722 SkyWeek July 23 - 29, 2012
Best aired Sunday, July 22, 2012
Vega and Altair, the brightest stars of the Summer Triangle, are linked in legends worldwide. And their names tell a fascinating story.

#120729 SkyWeek July 30 - August 5, 2012
Best aired Sunday, July 29, 2012
Mars approaches Saturn and Spica dramatically this week at dusk. And the Day Star, our own Sun, is a never-ending source of astronomical wonder.

Note: the program should ideally run before the week of coverage; otherwise, events described may already have passed prior to airtime. The ideal time to air the show would be any time from the preceding Sunday through the afternoon of the first day that’s covered. For instance, the episode titled April 2 - 8, 2012 is best aired on April 1.

#120805: SkyWeek August 6 - 12, 2012
Best aired Sunday, August 5, 2012
Mars, Saturn, and Spica form a triangle low in the southwest. And the Perseid meteor shower will be at its best late on Saturday night.

#120812: SkyWeek August 13 - 19, 2012
Best aired Sunday, August 12, 2012
Mars threads the narrow gap between Saturn and Spica. And later in the evening we can look deep into the heart of the Sagittarius Milky Way.

#120819: SkyWeek August 20 - 26, 2012
Best aired Sunday, August 19, 2012
Between and below Cygnus the Dolphin and Aquila the Eagle lie two tiny but very attractive constellations: Delphinus the Dolphin and Sagitta the Arrow.

#120826: SkyWeek August 27 - September 2, 2012
Best aired Sunday, August 26, 2012
Our Moon is more than one-quarter the diameter of Earth. Pluto and its moon Charon form the only comparable pair in the solar system.

#120902: SkyWeek September 3 - 9, 2012
Best aired Sunday, September 2, 2012
The small but shapely constellation Lyra is chock-full of celestial wonders. In Greek mythology this Lyre belonged to the great musician Orpheus.

#120909: SkyWeek September 10 - 16, 2012
Best aired Sunday, September 9, 2012
Cygnus the Swan flies high overhead. The Great Rift that splits the Milky Way in two starts near the heart of Cygnus.

#120916: SkyWeek September 17 - 23, 2012
Best aired Sunday, September 16, 2012
The planet Uranus is extraordinarily close to a similarly bright star. Uranus was discovered in 1781 by an amateur astronomer named William Herschel.

#120923: SkyWeek September 24 - 30, 2012
Best aired Sunday, September 23, 2012
The elegant but little-known constellation Draco the Dragon lies coiled around the Little Dipper, with its head high in the sky.

Note: the program should ideally run before the week of coverage; otherwise, events described may already have passed prior to airtime. The ideal time to air the show would be any time from the preceding Sunday through the afternoon of the first day that’s covered. For instance, the episode titled April 2 - 8, 2012 is best aired on April 1.

Episode numbers = two-digit year + two-digit month + two-digit Sunday release date

#120930: SkyWeek October 1 - 7, 2012
Best aired Sunday, September 30, 2012
The constellations of the Great Sea spill from the jug of Aquarius, the Water Carrier. And Neptune, the outermost planet, is in Aquarius now.

#121007: SkyWeek October 8 - 14, 2012
Best aired Sunday, October 7, 2012
Cassiopeia and Perseus are the prime constellations of the autumn Milky Way. And they’re home to some of the sky’s finest star clusters.

#121014: SkyWeek October 15 - 21, 2012
Best aired Sunday, October 14, 2012
The constellations Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Perseus are linked in Greek mythology by a wonderful story.

#121021: SkyWeek October 22 - 28, 2012
Best aired Sunday, October 21, 2012
The Moon, our closest neighbor in space, is amazing to the unaided eye and binoculars. Its surface reveals a lot about Earth’s history, too.

#121028: SkyWeek October 29 – November 4, 2012
Best aired Sunday, October 28, 2012
Jupiter’s four biggest moons are whole worlds in their own right. They include the most active volcanoes known and a suspected habitat for life.

Note: the program should ideally run before the week of coverage; otherwise, events described may already have passed prior to airtime. The ideal time to air the show would be any time from the preceding Sunday through the afternoon of the first day that’s covered. For instance, the episode titled April 2 - 8, 2012 is best aired on April 1.

Episode numbers = two-digit year + two-digit month + two-digit Sunday release date

#121104: SkyWeek November 5 – 11, 2012
Best aired Sunday, November 4, 2012
The Andromeda Galaxy is on fine display these evenings. It’s the most distant object you’re likely to see without binoculars or a telescope, but it’s right next door in cosmic terms.

#121111: SkyWeek November 12 – 18, 2012
Best aired Sunday, November 11, 2012
A superthin Moon floats below Venus before sunrise on Monday, November 12th. And you might be able to spot the reborn crescent on Wednesday or Thursday evening.

#121118: SkyWeek November 19 – 25, 2012
Best aired Sunday, November 18, 2012
Dazzling Jupiter blazes near the sky’s two most spectacular star clusters — the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, and the Hyades, the closest rich star cluster to Earth.

#121125: SkyWeek November 26 – December 2, 2012
Best aired Sunday, November 25, 2012
Saturn glows very close to brilliant Venus before sunrise on Monday, November 26th. And the Moon is spectacularly close to bright Jupiter on Wednesday evening.

#121202: SkyWeek December 3 – 9, 2012
Best aired Sunday, December 2, 2012
Three of the sky’s finest star formations are climbing the southeastern sky. The Pleaides lead the way, then Jupiter with the Hyades, and magnificent Orion rounds out the group.

#121209: SkyWeek December 10 – 16, 2012
Best aired Sunday, December 9, 2012
The Geminid meteor shower will be strongest from Thursday evening through Friday morning, though more meteors than usual will fall all week. Conditions are perfect this year, with no Moon to blind you to the faintest meteors.

#121216: SkyWeek December 17 – 23, 2012
Best aired Sunday, December 16, 2012
Winter starts on Friday, and coincidentally the ancient Mayan calendar flips over to a new “baktun.” Contrary to the doomsayers, nothing unusual will happen. But some astronomical phenomena are genuinely dangerous.

#121223: SkyWeek December 24 – 30, 2012
Best aired Sunday, December 23, 2012
The Moon pairs spectacularly with Jupiter on the evening of Christmas Day, December 25th. And Sirius, the night sky’s brightest star, is at its highest at midnight as the year winds to its end.

#121230: SkyWeek December 31, 2012 – January 6, 2013
Best aired Sunday, December 30, 2012
A splendid vista of bright stars and one dazzling planet greets stargazers on the stroke of the New Year. And two remarkable stars that vary in brightness are high in the northwest.

January 7 - 13, 2013
Auriga the Charioteer is nearly overhead in the evening sky. Its prominent pentagon includes dazzling Capella, meaning She Goat, the sixth brightest star in the night sky.

January 14 - 20, 2013
This is a great week to observe the Moon, our closest neighbor in space. It shows lots of detail to the unaided eye, and it’s amazing through binoculars and small telescopes.

January 21 - 27, 2013
The Moon forms a spectacular pair with Jupiter high in the southeast. They’re in the constellation Taurus the Bull, which was the first constellation of the zodiac at the dawn of history.

January 28 -February 3, 2013
Look just below Orion’s Belt for his Sword. It’s centered on the Great Orion Nebula, which is currently giving birth to hot young stars at a furious rate.

February 4 - 10, 2013
Mars is spectacularly close to Mercury shortly after sunset on Friday February 8th. Spot the two smallest planets side by side in the sky — but nowhere near each other in space.

February 11 - 17, 2013
A beautifully thin crescent Moon floats upper right of Mercury on Monday. This is a great week to spot Mercury, something few people have knowingly done.