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ATLAS with a tail

Comets

Comets Crawl through the Skies at Dawn and Dusk

Comets have been scarce since NEOWISE departed the scene. Not anymore. Suddenly, there are four fresh faces visible from dusk til dawn.

Bootes and the Big Dipper

Night Sky Sights

Meet Arcturus: Guardian of the Bear

Arcturus is one of the brightest stars in the sky — a cool red giant in Bootes, the Herdsman, that's often tied mythologically to Ursa Major, the Bear.

Saturn, Jupiter, and the waxing gibbous Moon

Night Sky Sights

See Beyond the Celestial Sphere: Follow These Lines into Space

For a little perspective, observe along a line that takes you to the Moon, past Jupiter and Saturn, the Kuiper Belt, and onward into our galaxy.

Caroline's Cluster

Night Sky Sights

Explore Caroline Herschel's Celestial Showpieces

More than 200 years ago Caroline Herschel pointed her telescope at the heavens and discovered some of the finest deep-sky objects. Follow in her footsteps and see them for yourself.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 4 – 12

Mars is big, bright and close as it nears opposition! It nears the gibbous Moon this weekend.

Antares, imaged

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Antares: The Star That Is Not Mars

Antares is a red supergiant that — like Betelgeuse — will one day go supernova.

Night Sky Sights

August 2020: Planets & Perseids

The Perseids are upon us — and as you're looking out for shooting stars, look for Jupiter and Saturn low in the southeast as soon as night begins to fall.

Moon-Jupiter-Saturn in July 2020

Night Sky Sights

July 2020: Welcome Jupiter & Saturn

July's 11-minute Sky Tour astronomy podcast describes what to see in the summer sky in a casual, engaging way that your whole family can enjoy.

Ring Nebula

Night Sky Sights

Evenings with the Ring Nebula

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.

Moon near Jupiter and Saturn on June 8-9, 2020

Night Sky Sights

June 2020: Stars of Early Summer

Our 10-minute Sky Tour astronomy podcast guides you to planets, stars, and constellations in the early-summer sky in a casual, engaging way that your whole family can enjoy.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Globular Clusters Await: Hello, Messier 3!

Globular cluster season is here. Time to get out your charts, binoculars, and telescopes and enjoy these wondrous objects.

Whirlpool Galaxy

Explore the Night with Bob King

See Spring's Finest Spiral Galaxies

Spring skies offer some of the best sights of spiral galaxies. Point your scope at some of these magnificent cosmic whirlpools.

Celestial Objects to Observe

See the Phases of Venus

If you have a set of binoculars or a telescope, watch for Venus’s thinning crescent over the next couple weeks.

All-season Triangle

Night Sky Sights

This May, Find the Star Pattern That Spans All Seasons

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

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comet SWAN Expected to Put on a Splendid Show

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

Labeled Big Dipper

Night Sky Sights

The Big Dipper: Hop to Spring's Sky Sights

The Big Dipper is one of the most familiar sights in the Northern Hemisphere’s night skies. You can use its stars to locate other fun targets.

Venus & Mercury on May 21 2020

Night Sky Sights

May 2020: Venus & Mercury at Dusk

Would you like to learn your way around the night sky in just 10 minutes? This month's Sky Tour astronomy podcast helps you to navigate all across the late-spring sky like a stargazing veteran. No experience or equipment needed!

Night Sky Sights

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.

Big Dipper, stars labeled

Night Sky Sights

Meet Dubhe, Giant of the Big Dipper

Of the seven stars in the Big Dipper, Dubhe is an outlier. Its color, speed across the sky, and evolutionary age set it apart from its comrades.

Bob King blog post

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

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