New Moon Marks End of Ramadan | April 2023 Sky Happenings

Editor’s Note: We are looking up as HMNS Astronomer James Wooten explains the sky happenings for the month of April and a New Moon that helps mark the ending of the celebration of Ramadan. Venus is even higher in the evening sky this month.  It is slightly higher in the west at dusk each evening.  […]

Artemis has arrived at the Moon!

At 12:47 am CST on Wednesday, November 16, 2022, the Artemis I mission successfully launched from Cape Canaveral. Thus begins NASA’s return to the Moon, as we approach the fiftieth anniversary of our last manned mission to the Moon, Apollo 17. Early Monday morning, November 21, Artemis passed behind the far side of the Moon. […]

Lunar New Year | February 2022 Sky Happenings

Sky Map for February 2022

Jupiter remains in the west southwest as night falls.  However, Jupiter gets slightly lower each evening at sunset, until by mid-month it is getting lost in the Sun’s glare.  Once it’s gone, we’ll have no evening planets until August. Venus has entered the morning sky this month.  Venus outshines everything except the Sun and the […]

Saturn Rises | July 2021 Sky Happenings

Mars is still low in the west—visible right as night falls.  Venus remains in the evening sky this month. It overtakes Mars on July 12; the two planets appear about one half degree (the size of the Full Moon) apart that night. Venus outshines everything except the Sun and the Moon, so it is unmistakable low in […]

Exploring the Night Sky with Astrophotography

Image of the moon through a telescope

At the risk of sounding overly cliché, astrophotography is a hobby that is effortless to start and virtually impossible to master. Smartphones are so powerful now that almost anyone can point it towards the Moon and snap a decent picture. At its most basic, that is astrophotography. However, venturing into the gulf between a Moon […]

Summer Arrives | June 2021 Sky Happenings

Map of constellations in the night sky of the month of June

Mars remains almost as bright as the stars around it in May 2021. And Mars is low in the west—still visible right as night falls.  Jupiter and  Saturn are the morning sky this month, low in the south. Venus also slowly emerges into the evening sky this month. Venus outshines everything except the Sun and the Moon, so […]

Evenings with Mercury | May 2021 Sky Happenings

Map of the stars and planets during the month of May

Mars continues to fade a little bit each night now that Earth has overtaken it and is pulling away. However, it fades out gradually; Mars remains almost as bright as the stars around it in May 2021. And Mars is high in the west–well placed for observing right as night falls.  Jupiter and  Saturn are the morning sky […]

Why the Far Side of the Moon is so Different from the Near Side?

When you come see our giant scale model Moon and walk around it, you’ll notice how different the near side (which always faces us) is from the far side (which we never see). Large, dark lava flows called ‘maria’ cover almost a third (31.2%) of the near side but only 1% of the far side. […]

Mapping The Moon: Who picked all those crater names?

Our replica Moon has been on display for about a month now. As I helped create the information panels labeling craters and maria on the Moon, I found myself wondering, “Why does this particular crater have that name?” “Who picked the names anyway?” As it turns out, the names of features on the Moon are […]

The Moon Has Landed At HMNS! Or At Least A Giant, Realistic Replica Has…

We are pleased to present our newest exhibit, a scale model of the Moon just in time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of our Apollo missions! Without the moon, life on Earth as we know it would not exist. Our moon is unusually large for a planet Earth’s size. (Other moons of similar size in […]

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