Astronomy Guide

This guide initially displays things that you may be able to see over the next few weeks. Use the selector below to find items by name, regardless of time of appearance.

For more local information join the Pajarito Astronomers and watch for Los Alamos County-sponsored Dark Nights.

Astronomy References

Archaeoastronomy (solstices and equinoxes)
NASA (eclipses, transits, moon phases)

Subject Area Experts (all guides)

Steve Cary (butterflies)
Beth Cortright (insects)
Terry Foxx (invasive plants)
Leslie Hansen (mammals)
Richard Hansen (fish, mammals)
Dorothy Hoard (butterflies, trees)
Chick Keller (flowers, herbarium)
Shari Kelley (geology)
Kirt Kempter (geology)
Garth Tietjen (reptiles)
David Yeamans (birds)

Web Development and Content Management

Pat Bacha
Jennifer Macke
Graham Mark
Akkana Peck


Please contact us for local nature questions and sightings. We welcome comments, corrections, and additions to our guides.

For more information about local nature, please visit our Nature Blog or subscribe to PEEC This Week.

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Showing 3 of 179 items.

Photo: Torsten Bronger


Visible with the naked eye
Jan 15 - Mar 30

Sirius, the Dog Star, is the brightest star in the sky. It is inherently very bright because it is very close to us, only 2.6 parsecs; but also it is inherently bright. It is actually a double star, but the second component is a faint white dwarf which can only be seen in a large telescope.

Double Cluster

Photo: Rawastrodata

Double Cluster

Visible with binocular
Sep 01 - Apr 01

The Double Cluster in Perseus consists of two groups of young stars, with more than 300 blue-white super-giant stars in each cluster. They are easy to see in binoculars, though they are even prettier in a small telescope.

Galaxies M81 and M82

Photo: Markus Schopfer

Galaxies M81 and M82

Visible with a telescope
Feb 15 - May 15

M81 and M82 are two relatively close and bright galaxies in Ursa Major. They are bright enough to be visible in binoculars, barely, but it takes a telescope to show M82's unusual shape.

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