Special Events

Special event astronomy videos

Videos demonstrating special events in the night sky.  

Venus and the Moon

A picturesque pairing of planet and Earth's natural satellite

On December 25, 2011, this view of the brilliant planet Venus shining in the western, evening sky along with the Moon - and earthshine! - was captured on video. This is the type of sight that photographers and artists have captured in various media for centuries; video is one of the newest ways to share this type of event.

Mira, the "Wonderful Star"

One of the most celebrated variable stars peaks in brightness

During the fall of 2011, the variable star Mira peaked in brightness to around 2nd magnitude. Considering how dim the star can be at minimum, and even how its peaks can be less than 3rd magnitude, this peak could be seen easily from even badly light polluted areas. This video explained how to find it, as well as some fascinating information about this "wonderful" star.

Find the supernova in M101

The closest and brightest supernova to Earth in years is visible in small scopes

In September of 2011, a supernova was visible in amateur-sized telescopes. Although supernova happen fairly frequently throughout the universe, the vast majority happen so far away from Earth that only the largest professional instruments can spot them. This video guided thousands of amateur astronomers to the spot in the sky where this supernova occurred. Since it happened in a fairly bright Messier galaxy in Ursa Major, this video can also serve as a guide to finding the galaxy M101 as well.