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C/2023 A3 orbit

Comets

Anticipating Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS (C/2023 A3)

Newly discovered Comet C/2023 A3 might reach naked-eye brightness when it flies past Earth in 2024. Check out our forecast of what to expect to see in the months ahead.

Big Dipper

Explore the Night with Bob King

Tell Time with the Big Dipper; See Ceres Transit a Spiral Galaxy

Phone battery dead? Learn how to tell time with the Big Dipper. Also, don't miss a remarkable transit of Ceres in front of the bright spiral galaxy M100.

Venus and Jupiter in the west at dusk, March 10, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, March 10 – 19

Venus and Jupiter widen in twilight. Mars, Aldebaran, and Betelgeuse form a triangle of similar orange sparkles. And there's lots to explore with optical aid off the trailing foot of Gemini, including the Toes.

Moon crossing Leo at nightfall, March 5-6, 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, March 3 – 12

Venus and Jupiter draw majestically apart in the evening twilight, 1° farther each day. Much higher, Mars makes its third pass in the last five months between the horntip stars of Taurus.

Red aurora

Auroras

Aurora Season Is Underway

These are the nights to get ready for the auroras — and tonight may be your lucky night. Not only is the current solar cycle swiftly intensifying, March is one of the best times of the year to see the northern lights.

Venus and Jupiter at conjunction, March 1, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 24 – March 5

Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest celestial objects after the Sun and the Moon, shine together in the western twilight before, during, and after their March 1st conjunction.

Crescent Moon, Venus, Jupiter in twilight, Feb. 21-22, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 17 – 26

Venus and Jupiter put on a dramatic show in twilight, as they creep toward each other for a March 1st conjunction. The crescent Moon passes though, almost kissing Jupiter on Wednesday the 22nd.

Mars with Aldebaran and the Pleiades, mid-February 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 10 – 19

Comet ZTF is fading and receding into the distance. On the other hand, it's now conveniently placed high overhead in early evening in a moonless sky; the waning Moon doesn't rise until late.

Mars, Aldebaran, and the Pleiades in late twilight, Feb. 10, 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 3 – 12

Comet ZTF is still near its brightest, moonlight and all. Around the Big and Little Dog Stars, trace out the stick-figure patterns of the big and little dogs. A ghostly unicorn haunts the inside of the Winter Triangle.

Comet ZTF E3 dust tail

Comets

See Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3) Dash Between Big and Little Dippers

Forget the hype and go outside to enjoy the real thing — a relatively bright comet you can see in binoculars from a dark sky.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 27 – February 5

Comet ZTF is at its best this week — but every night moonlight encroaches on the scene until a later and later hour. Along the way, the Moon occults Mars for the southern U.S. and again forms isosceles triangles with naked-eyestars.

Crescent Moon passing Venus and Saturn in conjunction, Jan. 22-23, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 20 – 29

Venus and Saturn have a close conjunction in twilight. Comet ZTF heads into its best week. And Betelgeuse overtakes Sirius ever earlier in the night.

Celestial News & Events

See a Giant Sunspot!

If you have a solar filter, check out the sunspot group AR 3190 that's crossing the solar disk this week.

Venus and Saturn at dusk, Jan. 13, 2023,

This Week's Sky At a Glance

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

Saturn starts the week well above bright Venus in twilight. Watch them close in on each other toward their conjunction on the 22nd. Jupiter and fading Mars shine high. Sirius sparkles below Orion, and binocular Comet ZTF enters its best three weeks.

Cloud map for 2023's annular solar eclipse

Celestial News & Events

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2023

Although no total lunar eclipses occur this year, skywatchers can look forward to two “central” solar eclipses — including an annular event in October whose path runs from Oregon through Texas.

Moon crossing Gemini at dusk, Jan. 6-7, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 6 – 14

Saturn approaches Venus in twilight, Jupiter and Mars ride high, and Mare Orientale peeks around the edhe of the Moon. And, try exploring the many double stars in Orion's Sword.

Solar eclipse series

Celestial News & Events

What to Look For & When During a Total Solar Eclipse

Look for these astronomical and Earthbound phenomena during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

Venus and fading Mercury after sunset, Dec. 31, 2022

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 30 – January 7

Venus creeps up, Saturn sinks down; in three weeks the two shall meet. The Moon meets Mars Tuesday. Orion comes into his own to rule the winter, and Sirius emerges below him.

Bright Geminid meteor over Tucson

Celestial Objects to Observe

The Best Meteor Showers in 2023

The two richest, most reliable annual meteor showers, the Perseids and Geminids, are Moon-free in 2023. Others showers await you too.

Crescent Moon passing Venus and Mercury, Dec. 24-25, 2022

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 23 – 31

Venus and Mercury glimmer low in the southwest in twilight. The newborn crescent Moon starts the week with them, then visits Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars as it waxes toward full.