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Explore the Night with Bob King

Action-packed Sky: Saturn, Comet Nishimura, and More

September is Saturn's time to shine. We also check on Comet Nishimura — now at 5th magnitude and still brightening — and look forward to a dramatic asteroid occultation. Not to mention that Jupiter just took another hit.

Comet Nishimura C/2023 P1

Comets

New Comet Nishimura May Become Naked-Eye Bright

Comet Nishimura is quickly brightening in the morning sky and may be faintly visible with the naked eye next month. And on August 24th observers in North America will be treated to an occultation of Antares.

2016 Perseids

Explore the Night with Bob King

Get Ready for a Great Perseid Meteor Shower

The Perseids are here! With no Moon to spoil the show it's time to break out the lawn chairs, sit back, and watch the comet dust fly.

Venus July 24, 2023

Explore the Night with Bob King

View the Thin Crescent of Venus

With Venus approaching inferior conjunction in August here's a foolproof way to follow its thinning crescent as the planet transitions from Evening Star to Morning Star.

12P/Pons-Brooks evolution

Celestial News & Events

See Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks in Outburst!

Comet Pons-Brooks, a dim comet on its way to a great apparition next spring, suddenly sprang into action overnight, brightening by five magnitudes. Now you can see it in a 4-inch telescope.

Nova Persei expansion

Explore the Night with Bob King

Time-lapse Animations Reveal a Universe in Transformation

Deep-sky objects may appear static throughout our lifetime but by carefully "blinking" archival and current images we can discern real changes in their appearance.

Captured globulars

Explore the Night with Bob King

See Summer's Best “Gobbled” Globulars

Mergers between the Milky Way and long-ago dwarf galaxies have enriched our skies with dozens of iconic globular clusters. Many are visible in small telescopes.

Smoky sun

Explore the Night with Bob King

Eking Out Observing from under Wildfire Smoke

Smoke from Canadian wildfires has made observing the night sky a challenge for many. Here are some ways you can make the best of a bad situation.

Moonrise refraction

Moon

Find a Horizon and Savor the Bending of Light

The full Strawberry Moon on June 3rd invites us to experience the refractive power of Earth's atmosphere.

Supernova 2023ixf in M101

Explore the Night with Bob King

Bright Supernova Blazes in M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy

A supergiant star exploded as a supernova in the prominent galaxy M101 in Ursa Major. It's now bright enough to see in a 4.5-inch telescope!

Jupiter-Moon occultation

Celestial News & Events

See the Moon-Jupiter Trifecta: Conjunction, Occultation, and Double-Shadow Transit

The May 17th dawn pairing of Jupiter and the Moon may be one of the most amazing conjunctions you'll ever see.

End of journey for NJ meteorite

Explore the Night with Bob King

Scientists Confirm: Meteorite Crashed Into New Jersey Home

A rock that crashed through the roof of a house in New Jersey proved to be the real thing — a chunk spalled from a 4.5 billion-year-old asteroid.

Coronal aurora blast

Night Sky Sights

Lie Back, Look Up, and Find Your Zenith Stars

When you want to relax under the stars there's no better way than on your back looking up at the zenith. We explore what's overhead and discover there's more than one zenith up there.

29-hour-old Moon

Explore the Night with Bob King

See the Young Moon and the Lyrid Meteor Shower

We have an exciting week ahead with a crescent Moon that might break your observing record followed by a well-timed Lyrid meteor shower.

Lunarisms locator

Explore the Night with Bob King

Pleasures of Lunar Pareidolia

Do you still see animal shapes in clouds? If so, you'll enjoy doing the same with the Moon, home to the Moon Maiden, a giant pair of scissors, and other fantastic specters of light and shadow.

C/2023 A3 orbit

Celestial Objects to Observe

Anticipating Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS (C/2023 A3)

Newly discovered Comet C/2023 A3 might reach naked-eye brightness when it flies past Earth in 2024. Check out our forecast of what to expect to see in the months ahead.

Big Dipper

Explore the Night with Bob King

Tell Time with the Big Dipper; See Ceres Transit a Spiral Galaxy

Phone battery dead? Learn how to tell time with the Big Dipper. Also, don't miss a remarkable transit of Ceres in front of the bright spiral galaxy M100.

Red aurora

Auroras

Aurora Season Is Underway

These are the nights to get ready for the auroras — and tonight may be your lucky night. Not only is the current solar cycle swiftly intensifying, March is one of the best times of the year to see the northern lights.

Orion Nebula with T Ori

Variable Stars

Catch Birth Flickers of Budding Suns in Orion

Three flickering stars in Orion offer insight into what life looks like before the main sequence.

Comet ZTF (C/2022) and Mt. Etna

Comets

Understanding the Tails of Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3)

We explore Comet ZTF's remarkable trio of tails and share the latest news and photos.