We explore deep-sky riches within a stone's throw of Capella, one of the season's brightest stars.
Jupiter and Saturn fashion the Great Conjunction of 2020 when they pair up on December 21st, the winter solstice. That evening they'll be closest in nearly 400 years.
Colder weather might be coming, but don't pack away that telescope! You'll miss a powerful storm that's remaking Jupiter's North Temperate Belt, a returning comet, Mira on the rise, and a bright supernova in the Great Bear.
How would you like to see a star drop two magnitudes in the time it takes to eat dinner? Easy to do. Just check out one of these fast eclipsing binaries — they'll make your head spin.
The Perseid meteor shower is like no other. Every August it delivers up to 100 meteors an hour in pleasant weather conducive to getting outside and staying up late. What's more, most kids still aren't in school, making it possible for the entire family to enjoy the event.
Everyone loves this cosmic donut. Like Saturn, the Ring Nebula is a must-see for beginners and seasoned amateurs alike. Whether you're just cutting your deep-sky teeth or attempting to see its central star — one of visual astronomy's Holy Grails — the Ring has it all.