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Mare Orientale gravity map

Celestial Objects to Observe

Set Your Sights on This Lunar Bull’s-Eye

Go ahead, live on the edge: Grab your chance this month to see Mare Orientale, one of the most spectacular lunar seas most people have never seen.

Asteroid makes close approach

Celestial News & Events

Watch an Asteroid Race Across the Sky

The kilometer-wide, potentially hazardous asteroid 1994 PC1 will fly past Earth on January 18th. Good news on two counts: It won't hit us, and it's bright enough to see in a 4-inch telescope.

Comet 19P/Borrelly on Dec. 30, 2021

Explore the Night with Bob King

Comet-seeking on Cold, Crunchy Nights

Did the recent apparition of Comet Leonard whet your appetite for more of these beautiful unpredictables? Here are five more you can see with your telescope this season.

Comet Leonard on Dec. 24, 2021

Observing

Comet Leonard: A Gift at Christmastime

Multiple bright outbursts have transformed Comet Leonard into a stunning photographic object that’s also visible without optical aid from southern locations. More disruptions are likely in store as it approaches perihelion.

Venus full circle

Astronomy & Observing News

Venus Farewell, Moonless Skies for the Quadrantids

Venus presents a stunning crescent at dusk before switching over to the morning sky early next month. After dodging the Moon for the Geminids, it's dark skies all around for the Quadrantid meteor shower.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Precious Hours with the Geminids

At first glance, the annual Geminid meteor shower appears to be on a collision course with a bright Moon. But a closer look reveals a happy window of dark skies.

Comet Leonard meets M3

Comets

See Comet Leonard at its Best

The year's brightest comet is now on display in the predawn sky this week and next. Here's how to find it.

May 2021 lunar eclipse

Eclipses

A Near-Miss Total Lunar Eclipse

A near-total lunar eclipse will be widely visible across North America on the night of November 18–19. Dress warmly and go for it!

Earth and Uranus compared

Explore the Night with Bob King

Uranus Queues Up for Opposition

Journey to a remote planet then double back to check in on the latest stirrings of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann before touching the finger of dawn.

Jupiter impact flash Oct. 15, 2021

Solar System

Jupiter Whacked Again? Japanese Astronomers Record Possible Impact

A group of Japanese astronomers just discovered a potential new impact at the planet Jupiter.

Solar System

How Bright Will Comet Leonard Get?

We examine circumstances and expectations for the current apparition of Comet Leonard, which may become the year's brightest comet.

Conflagration, Expansion and Fade

Comets

Comet 29P Undergoes Brightest Outburst in Recent Years

Catch one of the most active small bodies in the solar system during a rare superoutburst.

Cassiopeia open clusters map

Explore the Night with Bob King

Cassiopeia Cornucopia — Pretty Little Clusters All in a Row

See nine unique open clusters in Cassiopeia while barely moving your telescope.

Pallas and Neptune time exposre

Explore the Night with Bob King

Asteroid Pallas Makes a Point in Pisces

Spice up your fall observing with a dash of Pallas and nibble of Neptune. Both planet and asteroid are easy to spot in a small telescope.

Possible Jovian impact flash

Explore the Night with Bob King

Amateurs Spot New Impact Flash at Jupiter

An amateur astronomer has discovered a possible new impact flash in Jupiter's equatorial region. Observers may yet see the dark impact scar.

Comet 4P/Faye and tail

Night Sky Sights

Making Time for Morning Comets

If you like mixing comets with the quietude of observing in the small hours, September opens with five fuzzy vagabonds just waiting for a visit.

Jupiter and GRS

Explore the Night with Bob King

Jupiter Dazzles at Its Brightest and Closest This Year

Jupiter comes to opposition on August 20th, when it will shine brighter and closer than at any other time this year. With nights starting earlier and cooler temperatures arriving, there's no better time to make the most of the planet.

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. If you couldn't catch the show last night, try looking up tonight!

RS Oph animation

Celestial News & Events

Recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi Just Blew its Top!

The recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi just went into outburst — its first burst in 15 years — and it's bright enough to see with the naked eye

Doubles map east

Explore the Night with Bob King

Dazzling Double Stars for Compromised Skies

For many, smoke from wildfires has transformed summer nights, blotting out stars and familiar deep-sky sights. But through it all double stars keep on shining.

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