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Celestial News & Events

Fine Show Expected from the Perseid Meteor Shower

With no interference from the Moon, this year's Perseid meteor shower should be excellent. Find a dark location and enjoy every flash.

Familiar analog

Stargazing Basics

Stargazing Forecast: Will You Have Clear Skies Tonight?

These websites and apps can help you forecast the astronomical observing conditions for your next night out.

SkyWatch 2021

Stargazing Basics

SkyWatch 2021 — Four Seasons Under the Stars

SkyWatch is back! Whether you're new to astronomy or a seasoned practitioner, SkyWatch 2021 has something for everyone.

Labeled Big Dipper

Learning About the Sky

The Big Dipper: Hop to Spring's Sky Sights

The Big Dipper is one of the most familiar sights in the Northern Hemisphere’s night skies. You can use its stars to locate other fun targets.

Learning About the Sky

A Quick Tour of Orion, the Hunter

The evening sky this week presents a near perfect opportunity to explore winte'rs marquee constellation, Orion, with binoculars or a small telescope.

Family Fun with Sky Watching

Nine Ways To Get Your Child Into Astronomy Before Summer Ends

There's still time before school (and early bedtimes) start up again — take advantage of balmy evenings to spark an interest in astronomy.

Stargazing Basics

Right Ascension & Declination: Celestial Coordinates for Beginners

Once you hold the golden keys of right ascension and declination, finding your way around the sky is almost as easy as finding your way around town.

Learning About the Sky

Astronomy for Beginners: How to Get Started in Backyard Astronomy

Astronomy doesn't deserve its reputation as a tough, expensive hobby. You just need to begin with the right advice.

Stargazing Basics

Astronomy Books: Wrapping Up 2017

Wondering what to read next? Looking for a gift for the amateur astronomer in your life? Check out these new astronomy books!

full Moon

Stargazing Basics

Native American Full Moon Names

Native American tribes each had their own full Moon names — we introduce the most commonly used ones and the traditions behind them.

Celestial News & Events

Solar Eclipse Activities for Kids and Families

Enrich the eclipse experience — especially the long, partial phases — with solar eclipse activities for kids and families.

Learning About the Sky

Stargazing Simplified

Learn some of the classic stargazing sights that can be best viewed through a smaller telescope.

Messier Observer's Planisphere

Learning About the Sky

Learn Constellations with a Planisphere

How do you find out what stars are visible tonight? With a planisphere or "star wheel." It's easy!

Gemini on Sky Atlas 2000.0

Learning About the Sky

How to Use a Star Chart at the Telescope

Here's what you need to know to navigate the heavens with a telescope and star atlas.

Orion Card

Stargazer's Corner: Adventures Under the Night Sky

"Star Deck": It's All in the Cards

Here's a great free download that uses a deck of playing cards to introduce you to the night's sky's constellations in a fun, entertaining way.

Follow R CrB's changing light

Learning About the Sky

Star Charts: A Vital Resource for Learning the Night Sky

Our Constellation Basics webinar provides background information about the major winter constellations. Here are some accompanying online resources.

Learning About the Sky

Asterisms for Winter Nights

Asterisms appeal to our playful side but also serve as key waypoints in the sky for identifying fainter stars and constellations.

Binoculars

Choosing Your Astronomy Equipment

Binoculars for Astronomy: Ultimate Guide to Selecting and Buying

Ordinary binoculars are your ideal "first telescope." And they're so versatile that even seasoned stargazers find them indispensable.

Crescent cradles the 'old moon'

Explore the Night with Bob King

Earthshine, the Moon's Darker Side

With a subtle beauty all its own, the earthshine we see glowing in the lunar night invites us to consider Earth's many connections to the Moon.

Choosing Your Astronomy Equipment

Power and Aperture in Binoculars

They come in a wide range of apertures. But for astronomy, large aperture is only part of the story. High magnification is just as important when binoculars are used on a night sky that's not absolutely dark.

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