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Earth and Uranus compared

Explore the Night with Bob King

Uranus Queues Up for Opposition

Journey to a remote planet then double back to check in on the latest stirrings of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann before touching the finger of dawn.

Moon with Aldebaran and Pleiades, Oct. 22-23, 2021

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 22 – 30

As fall proceeds, Jupiter and Saturn shift westward and tilt ever more steeply. Venus gets a little higher and brighter. The waning Moon passes the Pleiades. And as Halloween approaches, Arcturus becomes the Ghost of Summer Suns.

Jupiter impact flash Oct. 15, 2021

Explore the Night with Bob King

Jupiter Whacked Again? Japanese Astronomers Record Possible Impact

A group of Japanese astronomers just discovered a potential new impact at the planet Jupiter.

Moon shines with Jupiter and Saturn, Oct. 15, 2021

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 15 – 23

The gibbous Moon shines under Jupiter and Saturn, then waxes to full under the Great Square of Pegasus. Cassiopeia stands on end high in the northeast, as Capella glitters far below.

Comets

How Bright Will Comet Leonard Get?

We examine circumstances and expectations for the current apparition of Comet Leonard, which may become the year's brightest comet.

Moon, Venus, Antares at dusk, Oct. 9-10, 2021

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 8 – 16

The crescent Moon returns to the evening sky, passing Venus, then the Saturn and Jupiter pair. Venus itself passes Delta Sco and then Antares. Auroras may shimmer, the Draconids may sputter; the sky never ceases to call.

Conflagration, Expansion and Fade

Solar System

Comet 29P Undergoes Brightest Outburst in Recent Years

Catch one of the most active small bodies in the solar system during a rare superoutburst.

Jupiter and Saturn in Capricornus, late Sept. 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, Sept. 24 – Oct. 2

Jupiter and Saturn shine in the south-southeast at dusk, Venus low in the southwest. They're all close to the ecliptic, so a straight line from Jupiter through Saturn points almost exactly to Venus. Don't believe it? Stretch a string tightly between your hands wide apart, hold it up to the three planets, and see for yourself!

Moon under Saturn and Jupiter, Sept. 16-18, 2021

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 17 – 25

The waxing gibbous Moon shines with Jupiter and Saturn on its way to full. And as summer turns to fall, Deneb replaces Vega as the zenith star after dusk.

Pallas and Neptune time exposre

Explore the Night with Bob King

Asteroid Pallas Makes a Point in Pisces

Spice up your fall observing with a dash of Pallas and nibble of Neptune. Both planet and asteroid are easy to spot in a small telescope.

Possible Jovian impact flash

Solar System

Amateurs Spot New Impact Flash at Jupiter

An amateur astronomer has discovered a possible new impact flash in Jupiter's equatorial region. Observers may yet see the dark impact scar.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 10 – 18

The evening Moon steps eastward over Scorpius as it waxes through first quarter. All four giant planets await your telescope in early to late evening.

Venus and Mercury in twilight, Sept. 5, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 3 – 11

Spica glimmers demurely under showy Venus in the western twilight. Try for Mercury way down to their lower right. Jupiter and Saturn dominate the evening south.

Comet 4P/Faye and tail

Celestial News & Events

Making Time for Morning Comets

If you like mixing comets with the quietude of observing in the small hours, September opens with five fuzzy vagabonds just waiting for a visit.

Jupiter and Saturn in Capricornus, early Sept. 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, Aug. 27 – Sept. 4

Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are all getting a little higher in early evening. Vega passes the zenith soon after dark; Deneb does so two hours later. Andromeda is up in the east.

Moon under Saturn and Jupiter, Aug. 20-21, 2021

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, August 20 – 28

Jupiter and Saturn are just past opposition, so they dominate the sky all night. They inhabit dim Capricornus, which pushes Sagittarius westward. Venus, even showier, owns the western twilight but sets by full darkness.

Jupiter, Ganymede, Europa and double shadows, March 25, 2019

Planets

The 12-Year Cycle of Jupiter Oppositions

Jupiter is at opposition on August 19th. If we take the long view — 12 years long — we can watch Jupiter's oppositions as it passes through the zodiac constellations.

Celestial Objects to Observe

It’s the Blue Moon . . . the “True” Blue Moon!

If skies are clear this weekend, you'll see the full Moon. And not just any old full Moon, but the Blue Moon . . . the "true" Blue Moon!

Jupiter and GRS

Explore the Night with Bob King

Jupiter Dazzles at Its Brightest and Closest This Year

Jupiter comes to opposition on August 20th, when it will shine brighter and closer than at any other time this year. With nights starting earlier and cooler temperatures arriving, there's no better time to make the most of the planet.

The waxing gibbous Moon passing over Scorpius, Aug. 16-17, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, August 13 – 21

The Moon waxes from first quarter to gibbous in the evening sky, offering some of its most interesting telescopic aspects. Venus grows more insistent in the western twilight. And Jupiter and especially Saturn pose well in the southeast to south by late evening.

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