Ben Sugerman

The Quarterly interviewed astronomer Ben Sugerman (assistant professor of physics and astronomy) in the Summer/Fall issue. Here, he contributes to a list of celestial phenomena to observe this fall and winter.

If you live in the continental United States, keep an eye out for the following:

All Fall

Venus and Saturn will be visible in the Western sky after sunset. Mercury can be seen just above the Western horizon at sunset.

Sunset Moon Venus
Credit: Peter Kaminski


The Orionid meteor shower will occur around October 21.

orionid 2
Credit: Bob MacInnes


The Leonid meteor shower will occur on November 16 and 17.

On or about November 28, Comet ISON will pass fewer than 750,000 miles above the sun’s surface. In the following weeks, it will travel toward Earth and will be well-placed for viewing in the morning and evening sky.

A Unique Hubble View of Comet ISON
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)


Venus, which will be visible in the mornings and evenings this fall, will be at its brightest on December 6.

Venus Viewed by Hubble

Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

The Geminid meteor shower will occur on December 13 and 14.

Want to see amazing astronomical sights at your alma mater? Stop by Goucher’s Lewis Observatory during a public observation night. The next observation is scheduled for Thursday, September 19, beginning an hour after sundown. For more information, click here.