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Comet SWAN heads north

Explore the Night with Bob King

Comet SWAN's Final Song

Despite early expectations Comet SWAN appears to be fizzling, providing yet another opportunity to appreciate what makes these objects so unique.

Deep Sky

See Spring's Finest Spiral Galaxies

On Earth we find spirals in sunflowers and snails, but to see it expressed in something as enormous as a galaxy transforms this familiar pattern into something truly grand. That's what I feel when I point my scope at the Whirlpool Galaxy and see its billions of suns arranged in the whorls of a spiral. Grandeur.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Supernovae Light Up in M61 and NGC 3643

Two new supernovae for amateur telescopes are keeping things lively this month.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Comet SWAN Expected to Put on a Splendid Show

Comet SWAN will grace northern skies in the days to come.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Chase a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid As It Flies by Earth

Break out your binoculars or a small telescope, we've got a busy week ahead! Watch as a bright asteroid approaches Earth, the Moon steals a star, and Comet ATLAS's last hurrah.

Bob King blog post

Night Sky Sights

Shadow-casting with Venus

Venus has a been powerful presence at dusk for months — bright enough to cast shadows. How would you like to put it to the test? The Moon won't spoil the darkness until at least April 24th — April 25th if you wait till after moonset — making it the perfect time to see your own shadow by the light of another celestial body.

Celestial News & Events

Oh No! Comet ATLAS Is Fragmenting

Find out when and where to see Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) — and stay tuned to see how bright (or not) this comet gets.

Explore the Night with Bob King

The Pleiades Welcome Venus

You can renew your own cosmic connection on Friday night, April 3rd. That's when the planet Venus will skirt the Pleiades star cluster in a spectacular dusk conjunction visible across much of the planet.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Deep-sky Observing the Easy Way

Cold weather keeping you inside at night? Limit your time outdoors and make the most of your telescope time with these easy-to-find deep-sky gems.

Mini-moon discovered

Asteroids

Earth Has A Mini-Moon — But Not for Long!

Two astronomers discovered a temporary mini-moon captured by Earth — but it's about to win its freedom.

Then and now

Explore the Night with Bob King

The Fall and Rise of Betelgeuse

With its recent uptick in brightness, Betelgeuse appears to be slowly returning to normal. But will it? Astronomers urge us to keep watch.

Betelgeuse telescopic view

Celestial News & Events

Is Betelgeuse Approaching a Crossroads?

Astronomers all over are waiting with bated breath to see what Betelgeuse will do next. Is it going to start brightening again on February 21st? Or will it continue to surprise?

Mars at the moon's edge

Celestial News & Events

Watch the Moon Occult Mars Before Sunrise on February 18th

Occultations of stars by the Moon occur routinely, but planetary lunar occultations are much rarer birds. That's why I hope you'll make the effort Tuesday morning February 18th to watch the waning crescent Moon occult the planet Mars.

A bright supernova

Celestial Objects to Observe

The Latest on Betelgeuse, Plus a Bright Supernova and New Comet Iwamoto

The sky provides. This winter, the fading of Betelgeuse caught us all by surprise. Now, as January wraps up, we can add a new comet discovery and a supernova bright enough to see in a 6-inch telescope to an ever-growing list of seasonal sky wonders.

Comet PanSTARRS blooms

Comets

Comets to Catch in 2020

Here's the lowdown on which comets will brighten our skies in 2020.

Celestial News & Events

High Hopes for the 2020 Quadrantid Meteor Shower

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to put on a great early morning show this weekend.

Betelgeuse in Orion

Celestial Objects to Observe

Betelgeuse is Dimming . . . Why?

The bright star Betelgeuse has faded to a historic low as astronomers try to figure out why.

The Great Square of Pegasus

Deep Sky

Deep-sky Dive Into the Great Square of Pegasus

We return to Pegasus, but this time with a telescope to find a grab-bag of overlooked deep-sky treasures.

Geminids Dec 13_2018 Bob King 480x274

Celestial News & Events

Geminids and the Moon Duke it Out

Don't let light from the gibbous Moon discourage you from enjoying the annual Geminid meteor show on the peak night, December 13-14.

The Great Square of Pegasus

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

Counting Stars in the Great Square

Test the limits of your vision — and the darkness of your sky — by taking a plunge into the Great Square of Pegasus.

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