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close up of corner of jupiter with gaynmede in background

Astronomy & Observing News

Juno’s Ganymede Flyby: A Look Back [Update: New Images]

NASA's Juno will fly by Jupiter's Ganymede, the biggest moon in the solar system, on June 7, 2021. This will be the eighth flyby of the space age.

Night Sky Sights

Meet Gacrux, the Top of the Cross

Gacrux is a treat for southern observers — the closest red giant to Earth and the tip of the famous Southern Cross.

full Moon

Celestial Objects to Observe

7 Easy Things to See on the “Supermoon”

Seven easy and rewarding targets to explore when the Moon is full.

Alnilam in Orion

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Alnilam, Orion’s Belt Buckle

Alnilam, the middle star of Orion's distinctive belt, is a distant supergiant that will (eventually) end its life in a supernova.

Castor and Pollux

Bright Stars

Meet Castor, Six Stars in One

Castor, a prime ornament of the Gemini constellation and one of the brightest stars in the sky, is actually a system of stars with six unique members.

Kochab in the Little Dipper

Night Sky Sights

Meet Kochab, a Guardian of the Pole

Meet the stars: Kochab is no record-breaking bright star, but it's easy enough to find — and it may have played an important role through history.

Aldebaran vs. the Sun

Bright Stars

Meet Aldebaran, the Bull’s Eye

Learn more about Aldebaran, the red-orange giant star that "follows" the Pleiades across the sky.

Capella and the Kids

Bright Stars

Meet Capella, the Goat Star

Capella is the sixth-brightest star in the sky — and it's more than one star! The main two stars in the system are near-twins, bright yellow giants.

Bootes and the Big Dipper

Night Sky Sights

Meet Arcturus: Guardian of the Bear

Arcturus is one of the brightest stars in the sky — a cool red giant in Bootes, the Herdsman, that's often tied mythologically to Ursa Major, the Bear.

Antares, imaged

Night Sky Sights

Meet Antares: The Star That Is Not Mars

Antares is a red supergiant that — like Betelgeuse — will one day go supernova.

Celestial Objects to Observe

See the Phases of Venus

If you have a set of binoculars or a telescope, watch for Venus’s thinning crescent over the next couple weeks.

Neptune, raw and processed

Solar System

Explore Solar System Worlds with NASA’s Image Archives

Have some time on your hands? Explore NASA's rich image archive and discover the solar system as you've never seen it before.

Big Dipper, stars labeled

Night Sky Sights

Meet Dubhe, Giant of the Big Dipper

Of the seven stars in the Big Dipper, Dubhe is an outlier. Its color, speed across the sky, and evolutionary age set it apart from its comrades.

Pleiades

Bright Stars

Meet the Pleiades, the Seven Sisters

The Pleiades are actually a star cluster of thousands of stars enshrouded in dust and gas, and they're easy to find if you know where to look.

bennu activity

Astronomy Questions & Answers

What are Asteroids, Comets & Meteors?

Asteroids, comets, meteors — what’s the difference? Is a comet just an asteroid with a tail? And what makes a meteor different from the other two?

Altair skyscape

Night Sky Sights

Meet Altair, the Eagle’s Eye

Altair, centerpiece of Aqulia, the Eagle, is the twelfth-brightest star in the night sky and one of the closest stars to Earth.

Bright Stars

Meet Barnard’s Star, Our Red Dwarf Neighbor

This faint red dwarf star is famous not because it's bright but because it's fast-moving — you can actually see it moving across the sky if you track it over several years.

Canopus

Bright Stars

Meet Canopus, the Second Brightest Star

The second-brightest star after Sirius, Canopus is visible in southern skies, shining out of the constellation Carina.

Spica and Corvus

Night Sky Sights

Meet Spica, the Ear of Grain

Meet Spica, the "ear of grain" in the constellation Virgo. This bright star is actually part of a binary orbiting so closely, they tug each other out of spherical shapes and whirl around each other every four days.

Bright Stars

Meet Vega, the Jewel of the Lyre

Meet Vega, the fifth-brightest star in the night sky and the most brilliant star in the constellation Lyra. Vega is in the prime of its life on the main sequence, but it's notable for its speedy spin and infrared-radiating debris disk.

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