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Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4)

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comet ATLAS: Will it Become a Naked-Eye Object?

Is our bright comet drought drawing to a close? Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) might become a naked-eye object some time this spring. Read on to find out when and where to look for it.

Mini-moon discovered

Moon

Earth Has A Mini-Moon — But Not for Long!

Two astronomers discovered a temporary mini-moon captured by Earth — but it's about to win its freedom.

New Horizon

Celestial News & Events

New Horizons Recruits Amateurs to Sight Stars

The New Horizons team wants you to help measure the distance to two stars, yielding the longest-ever baseline measurement of a key cosmic yardstick.

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast - Discover the Night Sky

March 2020: A Planet Trio and More!

During March, the cosmos offers a lot to see both before sunrise and after sunset. To get a guided tour of the month's highlights, play or download this month's Sky Tour episode.

Then and now

Explore the Night with Bob King

The Fall and Rise of Betelgeuse

With its recent uptick in brightness, Betelgeuse appears to be slowly returning to normal. But will it? Astronomers urge us to keep watch.

Betelgeuse telescopic view

Stellar Science

Is Betelgeuse Approaching a Crossroads?

Astronomers all over are waiting with bated breath to see what Betelgeuse will do next. Is it going to start brightening again on February 21st? Or will it continue to surprise?

People, Places, and Events

Do You Love the Stars? Do Some Astronomy This Valentine's Day

Whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or boycotting it, anyone visiting this site loves the stars. Here's a chance to participate in an effort to make sure future generations love them too.

Mars at the moon's edge

Explore the Night with Bob King

Watch the Moon Occult Mars Before Sunrise on February 18th

Occultations of stars by the Moon occur routinely, but planetary lunar occultations are much rarer birds. That's why I hope you'll make the effort Tuesday morning February 18th to watch the waning crescent Moon occult the planet Mars.

Moon and 3 planets Feb 18-20 480p

Celestial News & Events

February 2020: Five Planets & More!

If you drag yourself outside before dawn and then wait until after sunset, you can spot all five of the naked-eye planets. And the Winter Hexagon glides high in the evening sky.

A bright supernova

Celestial Objects to Observe

The Latest on Betelgeuse, Plus a Bright Supernova and New Comet Iwamoto

The sky provides. This winter, the fading of Betelgeuse caught us all by surprise. Now, as January wraps up, we can add a new comet discovery and a supernova bright enough to see in a 6-inch telescope to an ever-growing list of seasonal sky wonders.

Thuban in TESS image

Variable Stars

See Ancient “North Stars" Eclipse Each Other

The ancient pole star known as Thuban turns out to be an eclipsing binary. If you're up for a challenge, you can see the eclipses for yourself.

Comet PanSTARRS blooms

Comets

Comets to Catch in 2020

Here's the lowdown on which comets will brighten our skies in 2020.

Waiting for darkness.

Celestial News & Events

A Selection of Observing Resources for Getting Started in Astronomy

Here are some great books, star charts, and other observing accessories to help you get the most out of your new telescope.

Totality on August 21, 2017

Eclipses

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2020

Six eclipses occur in 2020, with one total and one annular solar eclipse in the mix. But the four lunar eclipses will be disappointing brushes through the fringe of Earth's shadow.

Mars and Venus in January 2020

Celestial News & Events

January 2020: Mid-winter Wonders

New Year's resolution: Do more stargazing! (Hint: Get an easy and entertaining head start by downloading this month's Sky Tour podcast for a guided tour of the night sky.)

Celestial News & Events

High Hopes for the 2020 Quadrantid Meteor Shower

The annual Quadrantid meteor shower is expected to put on a great early morning show this weekend.

Betelgeuse in Orion

Variable Stars

Betelgeuse is Dimming . . . Why?

The bright star Betelgeuse has faded to a historic low as astronomers try to figure out why.

Geminids Dec 13_2018 Bob King 480x274

Meteors

The Best Meteor Showers in 2020

Sky & Telescope predicts that the three best meteor showers — the Quadrantids (peaking on January 4th!), Perseids and Geminids — will all have strong showings this year.

Celestial News & Events

What to See with Your New Telescope

Maybe you just got a shiny new telescope to call your own. Congratulations — you could be on your way to discovering many amazing, far, deep things in the night sky.

Chile-Argentina eclipse path in 2020

Eclipses

2020 Total Solar Eclipse: Update from Patagonia

Check out the viewing site and accommodations in Argentina's lush Lake District for Sky & Telescope's expedition to witness the 2020 total solar eclipse on December 14, 2020.

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