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Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 19 – 27

Sirius the Dog Star blazes high in the southeast after dinnertime, the brightest star of Canis Major. Spot it lower left of Orion. The stars of Canis Major can be connected to form a convincing dog profile.

IC 418 planetary nebula

Explore the Night with Bob King

A Deep-sky Hippity-hop through Lepus, the Hare

Snare a dozen bright double stars and deep-sky objects in the celestial Hare the next clear night. We also provide details on how to watch the potentially hazardous asteroid Apophis occult a star the night of February 21st.

Moon passing Mars and Aldebaran, Feb. 18-20, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 12 – 20

The Moon, waxing through first quarter, passes Mars and Aldebaran high in the evening sky.

Moon and Antares at dawn, Feb 5-7, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 5 – 13

The sky's biggest asterism — at least the biggest one widely recognized — is the Winter Hexagon. It fills the sky toward the east and south these evenings. Start with brilliant Sirius at its bottom. . .

Daytime planet fest

Solar System

Planets and Comets Can't Hide from SOHO's Eye

With the help of the Solar Heliospheric Observatory you can not only keep track of the planets in the daytime sky but maybe even discover a comet.

Moon and Antares at dawn, Feb 5-7, 2021

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 29 – February 6

Once the night is fully dark, spot the equilateral Winter Triangle in the southeast. Sirius is its brightest and lowest star. Betelgeuse stands above Sirius by about two fists at arm's length. To the left of their midpoint is Procyon. Compare their colors!

Total lunar eclipse path on May 26, 2021

Eclipses

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2021

Four eclipses occur in 2021, with annular and total solar eclipses alternating between total and not-quite-total lunar eclipses.

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

Celestial Objects to Observe

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

Celestial News & Events

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....

Celestial News & Events

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.

Celestial News & Events

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

Celestial News & Events

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

Solar System

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

Solar System

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

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

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