1–20 of 69 results
full Moon

Stargazing Basics

Native American Full Moon Names for 2023

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

Pleiades

Night Sky Sights

Getting Started with Your New Telescope

How to start out right with a new telescope — a guide to what you need to know, how to set it up, and things you can start finding with it in tonight's sky.

illustration of the earth's rotation and the ecliptic

Resources and Education

What Is the Ecliptic?

The ecliptic, simply put, is the plane of Earth’s orbit around the Sun. It extends beyond that to include the seven other planets.

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.

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.

Night Sky Sights

A Quick Tour of Orion, the Hunter

The evening sky this week presents a near perfect opportunity to explore winter's 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.

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

Choosing Your Astronomy Equipment

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

Read our reviews of books covering everything from stars and galaxies to the Moon and planets, perfect for amateur astronomers and space fans.

Celestial News & Events

Solar Eclipse Activities for Kids and Families

Enrich the eclipse experience — especially the long, partial phases — with solar eclipse activities for the young and young at heart.

Learning About the Sky

Stargazing Simplified: What to See in the Night Sky

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

Stargazing Basics

How to Use a Star Chart with a Telescope

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

Orion Card

Family Fun with Sky Watching

"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.

Explore the Night with Bob King

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

Explore the Moon's dark side with the aid of earthshine.

Stargazing Basics

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.