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Moon, Aldebaran, Pleiades Jan 22-24, 2021,

Celestial News & Events

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

Right after dark, face east and look very high. The bright star there is Capella, the Goat Star. To the right of it, by a couple of finger-widths at arm's length, is a small, narrow triangle of 3rd- and 4th-magnitude stars known as "the Kids." Though they're not exactly eye-grabbing, they form a never-forgotten asterism with Capella.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Solar System

Comet Watch 2021

If you own an 8-inch or larger telescope you might see more than a dozen new and returning comets this year, including one potential naked-eye candidate.

Moon passing Mars, Jan 20-21, 2021

Celestial News & Events

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

Bright Capella high overhead, and equally bright Rigel in Orion's foot, have almost the same right ascension. This means they cross your sky’s meridian at almost exactly the same time. So whenever Capella passes the zenith, Rigel marks true south, and vice versa. That happens around 9 or 10 p.m. now.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

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

Twilight challenge: the planet-conjunction finale! Jupiter and Saturn are becoming ever harder to pick up low in bright twilight, but bring those binoculars on Saturday Jan. 9th. Because then they'll be three! Mercury is emerging to join them. It will pass by them for a couple more days.

Sirius and M41

Bright Stars

Tour 15 of the Brightest Stars on New Year's Eve (VIDEO)

Tour 15 of the sky's brightest stars all in one night on this New Year's Eve! This interactive Worldwide Telescope video will show you the way.

Orion Nebula and the Running Man Nebula

Celestial News & Events

What to See with Your New Telescope

Maybe you just got a shiny new telescope. Awaiting you are stupendous, faraway things in the night sky. Surely you're itching to try it out....

Explore the Night with Bob King

Jupiter and Saturn Embrace in Solstice Conjunction

Jupiter and Saturn fashion the Great Conjunction of 2020 when they pair up on December 21st, the winter solstice. That evening they'll be closest in nearly 400 years.

Totality from Las Grutas, Argentina

Celestial News & Events

Totality Reports from South America

Remote locations, rainy weather, and even a pandemic couldn't keep diehard observers from viewing December 14th's total solar eclipse.

Path of the solar eclipse on December 14, 2020.

Eclipses

A South American Total Eclipse

The Moon’s shadow visits Chile and Argentina again. If you can't be there, watch online!

Geminids from Tenerife

Explore the Night with Bob King

A Banner Year for the Geminid Meteor Shower

With no Moon to brighten the night, this year's rich Geminid meteor shower should be one of the best ever. Find a spot away from city lights, dress warmly, and don't forget the hot chocolate.

Surveyor 2

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

Earth's New "Minimoon" May be a 1960s-Era Rocket Booster

An object set to pass near Earth next month may in fact be a relic of the early Space Age.

2001 Leonid storm

Celestial Objects to Observe

Leonid Meteor Shower to the Rescue

Modest but reliable, the annual Leonid meteor shower returns this week. Take an hour or two to relax and enjoy the show.

Mars the magnificent

Planets

Behold Mars! The Best View Until 2035

After a two-years hiatus Mars returns big and bright at opposition on October 13th, its best apparition until September 2035.

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

October 2020: Mars is the Star!

October evenings offer many wonderful night-sky sights — including a dramatic appearance by Mars — and you can find them by listening to our guided audio tour of the star-filled sky.

Moon over Sequoia National Park

Moon

International Observe the Moon Night Is Here

International Observe the Moon Night is here. Step outside Saturday evening and admire our closest celestial neighbor with your family.

NTB via Juno

Solar System

Stormy Times on Jupiter, Comet Howell Steps Up, and More

Colder weather might be coming, but don't pack away that telescope! You'll miss a powerful storm that's remaking Jupiter's North Temperate Belt, a returning comet, Mira on the rise, and a bright supernova in the Great Bear.

Algol

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

Take a Roller Coaster Ride with Algol, a Fast Eclipsing Binary

How would you like to see a star drop two magnitudes in the time it takes to eat dinner? Easy to do. Just check out one of these fast eclipsing binaries — they'll make your head spin.

407 Perseid composite

Celestial News & Events

Perseids Peak August 11–12 — Get Ready for the Show

The Perseid meteor shower is like no other. Every August it delivers up to 100 meteors an hour in pleasant weather conducive to getting outside and staying up late. What's more, most kids still aren't in school, making it possible for the entire family to enjoy the event.

Looking back at Pluto

Planets

Cool Off with Pluto This Summer

Pluto might be a challenging target but it's well worth the effort. Grab your telescope and see if you can spot this distant, chilly world.

people in a small boat pass in front of a large iceberg

Eclipses

500 Days Until the Total Solar Eclipse Over Antarctica

Travel to the ends of the Earth to experience a special — but risky — total solar eclipse in Antarctica.

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