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Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3) up close

Explore the Night with Bob King

Sneak Peek at Two Promising Comets

Ready to chase comets? We look at two fuzzy solar system travelers that will keep you on your toes all fall and winter long.

Stars and moon

Explore the Night with Bob King

Election Eclipse — Last Total Lunar Eclipse till 2025

Set the alarm and bring plenty of coffee. We've got a total lunar eclipse coming that you don't want to miss.

Orionid composite

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All About the Dust — Orionids and Zodiacal Light

It doesn't take much to create a spectacle when it comes to astronomical observation. Just a pinch or two of dust.

Moonrise

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Full Moon Fringe Benefits

The upcoming Hunter's Moon reminds us of the many ways we can enjoy observing our humble satellite.

Jupiter up close

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Jupiter's Exceptionally Close Opposition

A sentinel in the autumnal sky, Jupiter marks its closest opposition since 1963.

Vega brilliance

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Vega, the Star at the Center of Everything

While we may quibble about how to pronounce its name, there's no denying that Vega is one of the most fascinating and useful stars in the heavens.

Battered Vesta

Asteroids

Observe Vesta — and Own a Piece of It, Too

Vesta's bright and easy to find in binoculars and maybe even with the naked eye in late summer skies. It's also just as easy to acquire a piece of it without a multi-billion dollar space mission.

Perseid 2021

Meteors

Perseids Are Coming, Full Moon or Not

Don't use a full Moon pass to skip this year's Perseid meteor shower. Right here, right now, we're going to help you make the most of it.

Earthshine painting

Moon

Solving an Earthshine Mystery

Something we take for granted about the crescent Moon's appearance may be nothing more than an optical illusion.

Iapetus transit single

Planets

See a Rare Transit of Iapetus on July 17–18

It's tiny. It's challenging. But you won't get the chance to see Iapetus transit the globe of Saturn again until 2037!

Titan and Tethys

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Titan Occults a Bright Star, Mira Awakens, and Comet PanSTARRS Shines

Pick one or see them all. July offers a potpourri of celestial events for both naked-eye observers and telescope users that include a rare occultation by Saturn's moon Titan, a bright comet, and Mira at maximum.

Dawn planet line

Explore the Night with Bob King

Solar System Gets its Ducks in a Row

We'll have not one but many opportunities to enjoy a rare lineup of the bright planets over the next few weeks. Amazingly, they'll be aligned in order of their distance from the Sun.

Tau Herculid fireball

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Tau Herculid Meteors Surprise and Delight

We touch on the highlights of the memorable Tau Herculid meteor shower and also report on the recent outburst of the recurrent nova U Scorpii.

Big Dipper

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A New Way to See the Big Dipper

Unlike most asterisms, many of the Big Dipper's stars really are physically connected. They belong to a loosely bound stellar stream called the Ursa Major Moving Cluster.

November 2021 Lunar eclipse

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Witness a Total Lunar Eclipse on Sunday, May 15–16

The full Flower Moon ducks inside Earth's shadow in a total lunar eclipse this month. We help you prepare for all the highlights of the special event.

Naked eye sunspots

Explore the Night with Bob King

How to Observe and Measure Naked-eye Sunspots

As Solar Cycle 25 ticks up, naked-eye sunspots are becoming more frequent. They're not only fun to observe, but with this simple method you can determine just how big they are. We also have news on a bright supernova!

Bright Lyrid

Explore the Night with Bob King

Celebrate Spring with the Lyrids

People have been watching the annual Lyrid meteor shower for more than 2,700 years. Come join the crowd!

Comet ATLAS (C/2019 L3)

Night Sky Sights

Comets to View in 2022

Like comets? We've got 11 frozen fuzzies to share with you in the coming months, including a couple that could become fine binocular objects.

Saturn 2011 Cassini

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Will Saturn Sprout Spots this Observing Season?

As Saturn returns to the morning sky, will this otherwise serene-looking planet experience another bout of severe weather? Keep your eyes peeled for white spots!

Full moon and Earth shadow

Explore the Night with Bob King

Uncovering Secrets of Earth's Shadow

The daily rising and setting of Earth's shadow is a beautiful sight anyone on the planet can view. It's also an opportunity to witness the rapid changes that accompany sunset or sunrise, but at the opposite end of the sky.

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