James

James is the Planetarium Astronomer at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. He teaches students every school morning in the planetarium, and also answers astronomy questions from the public.

Summer is Near | May 2024 Sky Happenings

Editor’s Note: Summer is on the horizon and HMNS Astronomer James Wooten is explaining the signs in the stars above Houston’s skyline. Mars and Saturn are low to the east-southeast horizon at dawn.   Having overtaken Saturn, Mars pulls away from it each morning in May.  During May, Mars and Saturn appear slightly father from the […]

Eclipse Mania | April 2024 Sky Happenings

Editor’s Note: The Total Solar Eclipse is emerging over Texas and HMNS Astronomer James Wooten is giving us the details down to the minute. Jupiter is low in the west at nightfall.  No star at night is as bright. Watch as Jupiter appears slightly lower in the sky each April evening until it sets in […]

The Great Texas Eclipse–April 8, 2024

The New Moon of Monday, April 8, 2024, aligns with the Sun and the Earth well enough to cast its shadow onto Earth, causing an eclipse. Since the Moon is at perigee (closest approach to Earth) on April 7, its shadow does reach the Earth.  Anyone in that shadow sees the Moon block all of […]

Spring Forward | March 2024 Sky Happenings

Editor’s Note: Spring is upon us! HMNS Astronomer James Wooten reminds us to adjust our clocks and explains why we observe Daylight Savings Time. Jupiter is prominent high in the sky, high in the west at nightfall.  No star at night is as bright. Mercury also enters the evening sky this month.  Start looking west […]

Year of the Dragon | February 2024 Sky Happenings

Editor’s Note: It is the Year of the Dragon and we continue to look up at the star-filled night skies with HMNS Astronomer James Wooten as he discusses the New Moon and the Earth’s rotation. Saturn is about to leave the evening sky.  Face southwest at dusk to observe it as February begins.  Each evening, […]

New Year, Clear Skies | January Sky Happenings 2024

Editor’s Note: We are looking up as HMNS Astronomer James Wooten jumps into the new year with January sky happenings, including perihelion. Saturn is well placed for observing in early evening.  Face south-southwest at dusk to observe it. Jupiter is prominent high in the sky, almost overhead at nightfall.  No star at night is as […]

Gazing into the New Year | December 2023 Sky Happenings

Editor’s Note: We are looking up as HMNS Astronomer James Wooten explains the sky happenings for December before we jump into the new year. Saturn is now well placed for observing in early evening.  Face south-southwest at dusk to observe it. Jupiter was opposite the Sun, and up precisely all night long, a month ago.  […]

Daylight Savings Ends | Nov ’23 Sky Happenings

Editor’s Note: We are looking up as HMNS Astronomer James Wooten explains the sky happenings for the month of November, including Daylight Savings Time ending. Saturn is now well placed for observing in early evening.  Face south at dusk to observe it. Jupiter is opposite the Sun, and up precisely all night long, the night […]

Partial Solar Eclipse Saturday, October 14!

The New Moon of Saturday, October 14, 2023, aligns with the Sun and the Earth well enough to cast its shadow toward Earth, causing an eclipse. However, the Moon is at apogee (greatest distance from Earth) on October 10, and does not come closest to the Earth (perigee) until October 26. Since this eclipse occurs […]

Solar Eclipse | October 2023 Sky Happenings

Editor’s Note: We are looking up as HMNS Astronomer James Wooten explains the sky happenings for the month of October, including the solar eclipse occurring on October 14. Saturn is now well placed for observing in early evening.  Face southeast at dusk to observe it. Jupiter is in the morning sky this month.  Look in […]