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Navigating by stars and nature’s clues

To navigate the seas using only the stars and other clues from nature, one needs to learn three essential functions: orienting the canoe, determining the canoe’s position at sea and making landfall. Read More
Updated on  January 27, 2018 at 10:46 pm

Hawaiian navigation, space exploration led the way in 2017

From the completion of the epic voyage of the Hokule‘a to the naming of an asteroid detected from Hawaii, and the latest findings of gravitational waves in space, 2017 has been an exciting year for astronomical explorations on Earth and in space. Read More
Updated on  December 30, 2017 at 10:39 pm

Meteor shower coupled with supermoon to light December night sky

Mastering any skill takes passion and a commitment of time. Once achieved, a skill can last a lifetime of practice, but it is accessible only to the master unless it is passed on to others. Read More
Updated on  November 25, 2017 at 9:23 pm

Using the star compass in oceanic wayfinding

The beauty of the Star Compass is its natural symmetry and reflective quality, allowing the navigator to use nature’s clues to determine direction. Read More
Updated on  October 28, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Sun and stars’ daily trek form Hawaiian compass

Updated on  September 23, 2017 at 11:09 pm
The recent completion of the three-year Malama Honua Worldwide Voyage by the voyaging canoe Hokule‘a underscores the timeless relevance of this indigenous system of celestial navigation. Read More

Eager star-gazers abound in islands

Aloha everybody! This will be my final Skywatch article. I am delighted, and a little wistful, to announce that I have accepted a position at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J., across from lower Manhattan. Read More

Isles will get partial view of Aug. 21 solar eclipse

Updated on  July 29, 2017 at 11:02 pm
For the United States, the biggest astronomy story for 2017 is the total eclipse of the sun that occurs over much of the continental U.S. on Aug. 21. Read More

‘Cruel sun’ at noon comes back in July

While we lose the Southern Cross from the Hawaiian Islands by the time July starts, the month does provide a last chance to catch the brilliant stars Alpha and Beta Centauri, the best summertime stars we see in Hawaii and which are not visible from most of the United States. Read More

Jupiter and Saturn take prime spots in June sky

This June provides a great chance to see the solar system’s biggest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, throughout most of the evening. Read More

Lahaina Noon will strike isles next month

In the tropics, the sun passes overhead twice during the year. On these two days, the sun will be exactly overhead at midday and an upright object such as a flagpole will have no shadow. Read More

Constellations, planets, Lyrids show off in April

Updated on  March 25, 2017 at 10:40 pm
April is always a good time to spot most of the famous constellations in one night in the islands. April has the added bonus of being able to catch all five of the naked-eye planets for at least part of the month. Read More

Brightest planets to take turns illuminating March

Updated on  February 25, 2017 at 7:57 pm
All five naked-eye planets are visible in March, and there is at least one planet visible at any time through the night. Read More

Venus, Mars and Jupiter continue to light the sky

The planets continue to put on a good show this February. The Big Dipper returns to our evening skies, as it does every winter, and the Southern Cross brightens the predawn sky. Read More
Updated on  January 29, 2017 at 12:57 am

December’s full moon to be a little less ‘super’

The “super” full moon of Nov. 13-14 was in fact the closest full moon since 1948. While the full moon of Dec. 13 is still referred to as a supermoon, it’s barely in the club. Read More
Updated on  November 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm

Stunning ‘supermoon’ will light up November

Updated on  October 30, 2016 at 12:36 am
We will have the biggest, brightest full moon in decades in November. We also lose Saturn and regain Mercury in November as Venus and Mars, opposites in myth, behave in a similar, steady manner. Read More

5 planets are back in view over the islands next month

Updated on  June 26, 2016 at 12:46 am
In July we are able to see all five “naked eye” planets, a mere six months after the last time this happened. Read More

3 planets will brighten isles’ night sky in June

Updated on  May 28, 2016 at 9:08 pm
Sky watching will be very good in the islands in June. A trio of bright planets is visible in the evening sky, including Mars, which remains unusually bright throughout the month. Jupiter and Saturn are clearly visible from the midevening sky as well. Read More

Mars’ close proximity will brighten May sky

May should be a great sky-watching month in Hawaii. Mars will be brighter and closer this May than any time in the past 10 years; Jupiter and Saturn dance in the midevening sky; Mercury transits the sun on May 9; and throughout the islands, the first of the year’s two “overhead sun” days occur, a phenomenon unique to the tropics. Read More
Updated on  April 23, 2016 at 11:43 pm

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