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Curtain is closing soon on Venus-Jupiter show

By Mike Shanahan / Bishop Museum Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 26, 2015
We had a beautiful dusk gathering of the planets Venus and Jupiter early this summer. You probably noticed these two blazing dots in the west on June and July evenings. However, all things come to an end, and we lose Jupiter and Venus into the sun early in August.

Venus, Jupiter gather to welcome July nights

By Mike Shanahan / Bishop Museum Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 28, 2015
During the final days of June and the first days of July we have the most striking naked-eye planetary sight of the year.

Jupiter, Venus dazzle closer together in June

By Mike Shanahan / Bishop Museum Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 31, 2015
June is a great month for astronomy in the Hawaiian islands. As usual, June is the last chance to see the Southern Cross from the islands until December.

First of 2 Lahaina Noons to shine down on Hawaii

By Mike Shanahan / Bishop Museum Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 26, 2015
Every May, the Hawaiian Islands experience the first of the two "overhead sun" days for the year. This phenomenon is unique to the tropics; so, like seeing the Southern Cross, Hawaii is the only state where you can experience the overhead sun.

Earth is set to cast giant shadow on moon

By Mike Shanahan / Bishop Museum Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 29, 2015
The astronomy highlight of April 2015 is a total eclipse of the moon that occurs very early this Saturday.

Mars ends evening run as Venus, Jupiter shine

By Mike Shanahan / Bishop Museum Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 22, 2015
Throughout March, look for Venus shining brilliantly in the western sky in the early evening hours. Meanwhile Jupiter, the second-brightest sky dot after Venus, rises in the east and shines down from the sky until the early morning hours.

Venus and Jupiter shine as Big Dipper returns

By Mike Shanahan / Bishop Museum Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 25, 2015
Most of the naked-eye planets are visible throughout February, with Venus and Mars gathering at dusk, and Jupiter reaching peak brightness and shining all night long. The Big Dipper also re-enters the Hawaiian evening sky.

January brings chance to see 5 passing planets

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 28, 2014
January is a particularly good month for planets, with clear, good views of all five of the naked-eye planets during most of the month.

Planets, meteors and Southern Cross return

By Mike Shanahan Posted 3:12 a.m. HST, Nov 30, 2014
December is a time of returns in the skies. Venus, Saturn and Mercury reappear; the Geminid meteor shower -- one of the year's most reliable -- comes back in the middle of December; and the Southern Cross makes its return to Hawaii's predawn sky.

Trio of planets, Leonids star in November skies

By Mike Shanahan Posted 2:57 a.m. HST, Oct 26, 2014
Two of the five naked-eye planets, Venus and Saturn, are missing in action this November, but the other three, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter, are prominent.

Planetary shows, meteors delight during August

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 27, 2014
There are several remarkable sky events in August, including gatherings of Jupiter with Venus in the morning sky and of Mars and Saturn in the evening. We also have the return of the Perseids, one of the most reliable meteor shows.

Catch Mercury quickly to see 5 planets in June

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 25, 2014
All five naked-eye planets are visible in June, though we have a narrow window to see Mercury early in the month. The moon has lovely gatherings with the planets at several times in June.

5 planets appear in May for your viewing pleasure

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 27, 2014
All five naked-eye planets are visible; the islands experience the first of the two "overhead sun" days of the year; moon conditions are good for one of the lesser-known meteor showers; and we say goodbye to Orion and the other great winter constellations.

April stars vibrant Mars and total lunar eclipse

By Mike Shanahan Posted 7:21 a.m. HST, Mar 30, 2014
The Hawaiian islands are perfectly situated to see all of the total lunar eclipse on April 14, a celestial event that runs from roughly 8 to 11:30 p.m. In addition, Mars reaches its brightest point in the past eight years.

Spot Jupiter in evening; catch Venus before dawn

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 23, 2014
Since Venus has moved to the morning sky, Jupiter stands unchallenged as the most brilliant dot in March's evening sky. The planet shines at minus 2.3 magnitude. Look for it at dusk in early March about two-thirds of the way up in the east.

This year isles will see 2 total lunar eclipses

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 26, 2014
Every year Bishop Museum's J. Watumull Planetarium provides a calendar of astronomical events specifically for Hawaii's location and time zone.

Space station expected to make a brilliant pass

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 29, 2013
Bishop Museum is open on New Year's Day, but will be closed on New Year's Eve as it is each Tuesday.

New Comet ISON tough to find in predawn sky

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 24, 2013
The astronomical story that is drawing the most attention this fall is Comet ISON. Comet ISON (official label: C/2012 S1) was discovered on Sept. 21, 2012, when it glowed at a feeble magnitude 18.

Comet ISON is moving quickly but will stay dim

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 27, 2013
The astronomical story that is drawing the most attention in November is Comet ISON, discovered on Sept. 21, 2012.

Venus' bright visibility will continue in October

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 29, 2013
Venus has been remarkably consistent all summer long, emerging as a brilliant light in the western sky at dusk and setting just before 9 p.m. This trend continues in October.

Bright Venus remains as summertime guide

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 25, 2013
Venus has been remarkably consistent all summer long, emerging as a brilliant light in the western sky at dusk and setting just before 9 p.m.

Perseid meteors return in early part of August

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 28, 2013
Each August brings the return of the Perseid meteor shower, the year's most famous shower.

Look for Lahaina Noons across the state in July

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 30, 2013
More Lahaina Noons are due in July. On July 15 at 12:37 p.m. in Honolulu, the sun will pass exactly overhead and upright objects such as flagpoles will cast no shadow.

Lahaina Noon, triangle of planets a dual treat

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 26, 2013
While it’s not yet June, you may catch two special astronomy events today. At 12:28 p.m. today in Honolulu, the sun will go ex- actly overhead, known as “Lahaina Noon.” An upright object such as a flagpole will have no shadow.

Isles get exclusive look at May 9 solar eclipse

Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 28, 2013
On May 9, Hawaii will be the only state to see the first solar eclipse of 2013. At the peak of the eclipse, at 3:48 p.m., a viewer using a safe filter will see 44 percent of the sun blocked by the moon.

Jupiter and Saturn shine brightest in April

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 31, 2013
The solar system's two biggest planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are well placed for viewing in April. Venus and Mars are lost in the light of the sun all month, and Mercury puts in a typically fleeting appearance.

Best viewing of comet will come in mid-March

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 24, 2013
By Comet C/2011 L4 makes an appearance just after sunset this month.

Planets go through a lot of shifting in February

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 27, 2013
We see a lot of changes in the planets this month: We lose two, gain one, and two planets hold steady in the night. The elusive planet Mercury appears in our skies for the first time in 2013, low in the west at dusk for much of the month.

Space station sighting will kick off new year

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 30, 2012
There will be a brilliant pass of the International Space Station on New Year's Day. Look for the space station low in the northwest at about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. When it first appears, the station will look as bright as a very bright star.

Jupiter will illuminate night sky all December

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 25, 2012
On Dec. 2, the planet Jupiter is in opposition. The sun and Jupiter will be on opposite sides of the Earth. So, when the sun sets in the west in early December, Jupiter will be exactly opposite, rising in the east.

Planet party, meteors will fill November sky

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 28, 2012
In November, all five naked-eye planets will be visible, including the all-night appearance of Jupiter, and a morning gathering of Venus and Saturn. The Leonid meteor shower returns mid-month, and there will be a solar eclipse deep in the southern hemisphere.

Jupiter dominates sky from late to early hours

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 30, 2012
If you are at all an early riser or a late go-to-bed type, you have probably noticed Jupiter already, blazing in the east in the early hours.

Key events mark debut of new video system

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 26, 2012
t's been a great summer for the planetarium. We installed a Digistar 4 full-dome video system in the Watumull Planetarium this summer, ahead of our other renovations, and got full use of the system.

Join museum to mark landing of Mars rover

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 29, 2012
NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, known as Curiosity, is scheduled to land on Mars in the early evening next Sunday. This is the largest and most complex rover we've sent to Mars, and arguably the most complex robot ever sent to any other world in the solar system.

July features gleaming planets, meteor shower

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jun 24, 2012
June was a really good month for astronomy and space sciences at Bishop Museum.

Hawaii gets best view of rare transit of Venus

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, May 27, 2012
The Transit of Venus, one of the rarest of predictable astronomical events, occurs from 12:09 to 6:42 p.m. on June 5.

Partial eclipse will dim isle skies for 2 hours

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Apr 29, 2012
As seen from the islands, a small portion of the sun will be blocked by the moon on the afternoon of May 20. From Honolulu the first contact of moon and sun will occur at 2:03 p.m.

Enjoy constellations, meteor shower in April

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Mar 25, 2012
April is the best single month to see the constella- tions from Hawaii. Nearly all the famous ones are visible, from Orion to the Dippers to the Southern Cross and the Scorpion.

Planetary show will fill sky throughout March

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 26, 2012
March is a great month for planets. Mars peaks in brightness, and Venus and Jupiter are in conjunction in the middle of the month. Saturn shines in the early morning sky and Mercury shines at dusk for the early part of the month.

Planetarium 'star machine' will make sky image sharper

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 25, 2011
A video system that makes observers feel like they are flying through the rings of Saturn is part of an impending upgrade at the Bishop Museum's Watumull Planetarium. With a state appropriation of $1.5 million, we will install a hybrid system, in which a state-of-the-art star machine will work with a full-dome video system to provide a full astronomical educational experience.

Total lunar eclipse Dec. 10 to add drama to early morn

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Nov 27, 2011
A total lunar eclipse will take place early on Dec. 10. As seen from the islands, the moon will be in total eclipse for about 45 minutes, from 4:10 to 4:55 a.m. So, you either need to stay up late on Dec. 9 or set your alarm for very early Dec. 10.

See Venus in west and turn around for Jupiter

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Oct 30, 2011
Throughout November, the two brightest dots of light in the sky, Jupiter and Venus, face off at dusk. For the first weeks of the month, fainter Mercury hangs just below Venus.

New experience brings life on Mars a little closer

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Sep 25, 2011
The planet Mars shines in the early morning sky, rising in the east at 2 a.m. at the start of October and by 1:30 a.m. at the end of the month. The planet is at first magnitude, as bright as a bright star. If you look closely, you can see that it does have a pale orange color.

Saturn and Spica shine brightly in western sky

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Aug 28, 2011
At the start of September, look for Saturn at dusk (7:30 p.m.) about 10 degrees above the western horizon — about the width of a fist held at arm's length.

Perseid meteor shower illuminates island skies

By Mike Shanahan Posted 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 31, 2011
Each August brings the return of the year's most famous shower, the Perseid meteor shower. The Perseid shower is well-known because it's a reliable shower, and also because it occurs in mid-summer, when the weather is better.

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