I am viewing the sky this evening from one of the most densely populated urban areas, Manhattan. Looking up at the night sky here, you can't see many faint stars, but you can still see plenty of the brighter ones. Tonight looking toward the south, I was easily able to spot the fantastic alignment of Orion's belt, pointing downward toward the brightest star in the sky, Sirius, and pointing upward to the brightest planet in the sky in the evening, Jupiter. As Jupiter gradually moves in its orbit around the Sun, it will soon move out of alignment with Sirius, Orion's belt, and the bright star Aldeberan in the constellation Taurus. By the middle of 2013, Jupiter will be well on its way to the next sign in the Zodiac, Gemini. But for the coming weeks, you can enjoy the bright celestial alignment that can been seen from just about any location on Earth, even in the middle of an urban jungle such as NYC.
In 2005 I began writing a column for the San Francisco Waldorf School newsletter called "The Urban Astronomer." I started this blog in 2007 as a place to archive my articles and to offer additional insights on the night sky - even if you live in a big city. In 2008 I became an occasional guest on the KFOG Morning Show, and more recently on KALW and KGO. Archived shows are posted on the blog.