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.
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.
Widen your view to see the All-Season Triangle asterism, whose stars span the year.
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.
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.