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Algol

Celestial News & Events

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

Celestial News & Events

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

Celestial Objects to Observe

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.

Sharing Comet NEOWISE

Comets

Comet NEOWISE Dazzles at Dusk

Comet NEOWISE has captivated skywatchers with its stunning tail. Now that it's moved into the evening sky and climbing higher each night even more people will get a chance to see it.

Comet NEOWISE

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comet NEOWISE Delights at Dawn

Skywatchers are treated to a naked-eye comet as NEOWISE emerges into the the dawn sky.

M85 supernova

Celestial News & Events

Two Bright Supernovae Light Up Nearby Galaxies

Two bright new supernovae — 2020nlb in M85 and 2020nvb in NGC 4457 — are now within the range of amateur telescopes in the western sky at nightfall.

Lemmon in bloom

Explore the Night with Bob King

Anticipation Grows for Comets NEOWISE and Lemmon

Two comets spark excitement for the coming week — NEOWISE might reach naked-eye visibility at dawn, while Lemmon will be visible in binoculars at dusk.

Two crescents meet

Occultations

Watch the Moon Pair Up with Venus on June 19th

Two crescents — the Moon and Venus — meet in the sky in the wee hours of June 19th.

Noctilucent clouds in British Columbia

Daylight Phenomena

Nights of Noctilucent Clouds

Noctilucent clouds shimmer high in the sky during summer twilight at northerly latitudes.

Comet SWAN heads north

Explore the Night with Bob King

Comet SWAN's Final Song

Despite early expectations Comet SWAN appears to be fizzling, providing yet another opportunity to appreciate what makes these objects so unique.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Supernovae Light Up in M61 and NGC 3643

Two new supernovae for amateur telescopes are keeping things lively this month.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comet SWAN Expected to Put on a Splendid Show

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

Occultations

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.

Comets

New Comet Alert! Quartet of Comets Grace Our Skies

There's a lot happening in the northern sky these days, namely lots of comets! Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) is still worth watching, but look for the new Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) and Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y1). And you can still catch a glimpse of our old friend, Comet PanSTARRS (C/2017 T2).

BepiColombo Flyby

Spacecraft and Space Missions

BepiColombo's Flyby Past Earth

BepiColombo, the joint ESA/JAXA Mercury-bound mission, will swing by the Earth on Friday.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Oh No! Comet ATLAS Is Fragmenting

Find out when and where to see Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) — and stay tuned to see how bright (or not) this comet gets.

Explore the Night with Bob King

The Pleiades Welcome Venus

You can renew your own cosmic connection on Friday night, April 3rd. That's when the planet Venus will skirt the Pleiades star cluster in a spectacular dusk conjunction visible across much of the planet.

Mini-moon discovered

Solar System

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

Pro-Am Collaboration

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.

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