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Celestial News & Events

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.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, January 1 – 9

As Jupiter and Saturn continue to draw apart, they're sinking ever lower in the southwest in twilight. How much longer can you keep them in view?

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 25 – January 1

Jupiter and Saturn remain close together low in the southwest in twilight, though they're widening every day. They'll sink away into the sunset after New Year's.

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....

Jupiter and Saturn in conjunction at dusk, Dec 21, 2020

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 18 – 26

This is the week of Jupiter and Saturn's super-close conjunction, and the whole world will be watching. Their separation narrows each evening until December 21st, then re-widens.

Saturn-Jupiter near Capricorn

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 11 – 19

Jupiter and Saturn are getting strikingly close together! Look southwest in early evening. And on the other side of the sky, Orion comes into view low in the east after dinnertime, below the Pleiades and Aldebaran.

Jupiter and Saturn at dusk, early Dec 2020

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, December 4 – 12

Jupiter and Saturn continue closing toward their record-breaking conjunction 0.1° apart on December 21st. Mars stands high, and Orion is on the rise.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, November 27 – December 5

Bright Jupiter and Saturn are almost as close together now as modest, 3rd-magnitude Alpha and Beta Capricorni above them. Wait for full dark to catch the faint stars.

Moon under Mars, Nov 24-26, 2020

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, November 20 – 28

Whenever Fomalhaut is "southing" (crossing the meridian due south), the first stars of Orion are just about to rise above the east horizon. And, the Pointers of the Big Dipper stand upright low due north, straight below Polaris.

Moon under Jupiter and Saturn, Nov. 18-19, 2020

This Week's Sky At a Glance

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

Jupiter and Saturn draw together in the southwest these evenings. Mars dominates the sky to the east. By about 8 p.m. Orion is clearing the eastern horizon, and Sirius follows two hours behind.

Venus, Moon and Mercury in the eastern dawn, Nov. 13, 2020

This Week's Sky At a Glance

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

After dark this week, Capella in the northeast. Look for the Pleiades three fists to Capella's right. After dark this week, Capella sparkles in the northeast. Look for the Pleiades about three fists to Capella's right. Early signs of winter constellations!

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 30 – November 7

Full Moon and Mars for Halloween: The Moon rises in the east about a half hour after sunset on Saturday the 31st, depending on your location. That bright orange dot off to its upper right is Mars.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

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

The Ghost of Summer Suns: Halloween is approaching, and this means that Arcturus, the star sparkling low in the west-northwest in twilight, is taking on its role as "the Ghost of Summer Suns."

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Weeks' Sky at a Glance, October 16 – 24

Mars is edging away a bit now from its close approach to Earth, but on the other hand, it rises higher into fine telescopic view earlier in the night.

Moon in Gemini

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 9 – 17

Mars comes to opposition on October 13th. Although it was closest to Earth on the 6th, it is still at virtually the same distance all week, remaining 22.5 to 22.0 arcseconds in apparent diameter. This is bigger than we will see it again until September 2035.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 2 – 10

Mars is closer this week than it will be until 2035! The Moon pairs up closely with Mars on Friday the 2nd — and occults Mars for parts of South America. Jupiter and Saturn, meanwhile, remain at their highest and best right around nightfall, lower in the south.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 25 – October 3

The Moon waxes through first quarter to gibbous this week, passing Jupiter and Saturn along the way. And by the end of twilight, Jupiter-bright Mars glares low in the east. It's big, bold, and almost at opposition!

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 18 – 26

Jupiter and Saturn continue shining nearly level in the south at dusk. Meanwhile, the stars show the changing of the seasons: Just after nightfall, Cassiopeia has climbed higher in the northeast than the Big Dipper has sunk in the northwest.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 11 – 19

Vega passes the zenith in late twilight. Vega is bigger, hotter, and 50 times brighter than our Sun. But at a distance of 25 light-years, it's 1.6 million times farther away. Jupiter and Saturn still dominate the south at dusk. And fiery Mars, close and almost Jupiter-bright, rises in the east around the end of twilight. It's at its highest and telescopic best in the south around 3 a.m. daylight-saving time.

Night Sky Sights

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 4 – 12

Mars is big, bright and close as it nears opposition! It nears the gibbous Moon this weekend.

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