A partial lunar eclipse was visible over the Western U.S. yesterday. The eclipse was the longest in 580 years, beginning around 11 pm and lasting just over 6 hours. The eclipse was visible throughout the United States, but viewers in the West were likely to experience the most dramatic vista, with the maximum phase occurring long before sunrise, contrasting against a dark sky.  The eclipse peaked in the Utah sky at 2 a.m. Friday morning.

Utah Skies: observing the Andromeda galaxy

Nov 2, 2021

The Milky Way is the home of our sun and its planets including our earth. But during the fall season we can view another distant galaxy. The Andromeda galaxy appears in the east in the evening skies in the constellation Andromeda. In Greek mythology Andromeda is the daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia.

Tom Westre

The night sky is divided up into 88 constellations. The easiest constellation to recognize is Orion the Hunter. Orion is easy to see in the evening during the winter months. The major stars that make up Orion are bright and form the outline of a hunter including his belt and sword.

Space Dynamics Lab-built telescope aids in accidental discovery of brown dwarf

Oct 8, 2021
Jacob Given / Space Dynamics Laboratory

A telescope built by Space Dynamics Laboratory has led to the discovery of a brown dwarf dubbed “The Accident.”

Utah Skies: the Horsehead Nebula

Oct 6, 2021
Dell Vance

The popular Orion constellation is rising about midnight this month. It is relatively easy to find as it is made up of very bright stars. The three bright stars in a line, Mintaka on the west, Alnilam in the middle and Alnitak on the East, form the belt of Orion. Alnitak is right next to a bright nebula, NGC 2024 or Flame Nebula. Sliding down slightly to the Southwest of the Flame Nebula is another bright nebula, NGC 2023. A little to the right of NGC 2023 is the famous Horsehead Nebula.

Utah Skies: Summer Triangle In The Fall

Sep 30, 2021
Tom Westre

In astronomy an asterism is a group of stars that form an image but is not a constellation. The Big Dipper is a common asterism. It is made of seven stars, four forming the bowl and three forming the handle. But it is part of the larger constellation called Ursa Major, or the Big Bear.

Utah Skies: Fall Equinox And Harvest Moon

Sep 28, 2021
Tom Westre

Have you noticed the weather is changing? The days and nights seem cooler as the month of September moves on.



Utah Skies: Saturn Seasons

Sep 8, 2021
Dell Vance

As the sky darkens tonight, you can easily see Jupiter to the East. Looking a little further to the Southeast the next bright object is Saturn. Saturn is one of my favorite objects to observe. The rings make it spectacular to see. Saturn orbits the sun every 29 years. Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system and is about one-third less massive than Jupiter. It is about 850 million miles away from earth. Saturn has 82 identified moons, which means that it has more identified moons than any other planet in our solar system. The largest moon is Titan. Titan is larger than the planet Mercury.

Business Expert Press

In the span of a single lifetime, light pollution stemming from Artificial Light At Night (ALAN) has severed the connection with the stars that we’ve had since the dawn of time. With the nocturnal biosphere significantly altered, light’s anthropogenic influence has compelled millions of people to seek out the last remaining dark skies.

Chandra X-ray Observatory, NASA

No human has ventured farther than 250,000 miles from earth. So what we know about what lies beyond us is limited to what we can see through data collection. But why limit the potential of understanding data to what we can see in images? Why not turn it into something we can touch or something we can hear?

Leo After Sunset

Apr 29, 2020
image of Regulus in night sky
Tom Westre

After sunset this spring the constellation Leo can be seen.

Comets, Comets, Comets

Apr 22, 2020
comet Atlas in sky
Tom Westre

Back in early March Comet Atlas was beginning to take center stage in the world of astronomy as a comet that might evolve into a bright naked eye comet rivaling the planet Venus seen in the west after sunset.   

Venus Meets Up With The Pleiades

Apr 2, 2020
Stellarium Planetarium

During the past month evening sky watchers have enjoyed Venus the “Evening Star” as it dominates the western horizon just after the sun sets.

Leo The Lion

Mar 12, 2020
Leo the Lion constellation
Sky Portal

Leo the Lion is one of the most recognized constellations in the Sky. It is now rising in the East in the early evening and marks a transition between the winter and spring seasons. The shape of the constellation Leo forms a pattern that resembles a Lion. Leo also contains an easy to see asterism that looks like a hook or a backward question mark.

Venus After Sunset

Feb 26, 2020
Venus shines with the Moon in Night Skies

Welcome to Utah Skies. This past month, we’ve been treated with a spectacular evening show as the bright planet Venus has dominated the western skies after sunset.

DESI Collaboration; Legacy Surveys; NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA


The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, known as DESI, was made to sensitively measure pockets of dark energy and gauge their distances from the earth. This began when post doctoral researchers like Sarah Eftekharzadeh at the University of Utah decided photos of the galaxy weren’t enough. 


This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about the shape of the Milky Way Galaxy, life on the Moon, a poorly-timed tweet, and the potential impact of artificial intelligence on Hollywood. That's right, it's time for the monthly science news roundup! 

Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about black holes, pig brains, and water on the moon as we round up the most intersting, important, and awe-inspiring science stories from the past month with an amateur astronomer, an environmental epigeneticist, and a podcasting paleontologist. 

Denis Doukhan / Pixabay

On the evening of January 20, as long as skies are clear, Utahns should be able to see a super blood wolf moon, but what exactly does that mean? 

Star explosion
NASA, ESA and the Hubble SM4 ERO Team

Researchers at the University of Utah are collaborating with partners like NASA’s NuSTAR and international Telescope Array Project to learn more about cosmic rays. New technologies have made it possible for researchers to study stars light years away. And just recently they’ve discovered that superstars like Eta Carinae, are sending cosmic rays all the way to Earth.  

A red moon otherwise known as a blood moon

Supermoons, the recently coined term for the appearance of a larger moon, are becoming more publicized, although they are not actually becoming more frequent. This next supermoon is more unusual however, with the coinciding of a new moon and total lunar eclipse, this next supermoon is something to look forward to.

Kevin Simmons

One of the largest Small-Satellite conferences in the world happens in Utah. A group of middle school students from Florida traveled to the west to attend the conference to learn more about building and launching their own data collecting device.

Utah 'Amateur' Astronomer Discovers Third Supernova

May 19, 2017
Sergiy Vakulenko

Scanning the skies from his Tooele home is a nightly hobby of  Patrick Wiggins’. Most of the time, he said, the activity consists mostly of scanning through anywhere from 600 to 1200 pictures of 300 galaxies each night.