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Comet at dawn

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comet NEOWISE Delights at Dawn

Skywatchers are treated to a naked-eye comet as NEOWISE emerges into the the dawn sky.

M85 supernova

Explore the Night with Bob King

Two Bright Supernovae Light Up Nearby Galaxies

Two bright new supernovae — 2020nlb in M85 and 2020nvb in NGC 4457 — are now within the range of amateur telescopes in the western sky at nightfall.

Lemmon in bloom

Celestial News & Events

Anticipation Grows for Comets NEOWISE and Lemmon

Two comets spark excitement for the coming week — NEOWISE might reach naked-eye visibility at dawn, while Lemmon will be visible in binoculars at dusk.

Noctilucent clouds in British Columbia

Celestial Objects to Observe

Nights of Noctilucent Clouds

Noctilucent clouds shimmer high in the sky during summer twilight at northerly latitudes.

Ring Nebula

Deep Sky

Evenings with the Ring Nebula

Everyone loves this cosmic donut. Like Saturn, the Ring Nebula is a must-see for beginners and seasoned amateurs alike. Whether you're just cutting your deep-sky teeth or attempting to see its central star — one of visual astronomy's Holy Grails — the Ring has it all.

Comet SWAN heads north

Celestial News & Events

Comet SWAN's Final Song

Despite early expectations Comet SWAN appears to be fizzling, providing yet another opportunity to appreciate what makes these objects so unique.

Night Sky Sights

See Spring's Finest Spiral Galaxies

Spring skies offer some of the best sights of spiral galaxies. Point your scope at some of these magnificent cosmic whirlpools.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Supernovae Light Up in M61 and NGC 3643

Two new supernovae for amateur telescopes are keeping things lively this month.

Celestial News & Events

Comet SWAN Expected to Put on a Splendid Show

Comet SWAN will grace northern skies in the days to come.

Asteroids

Chase a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid As It Flies by Earth

Break out your binoculars or a small telescope, we've got a busy week ahead! Watch as a bright asteroid approaches Earth, the Moon steals a star, and Comet ATLAS's last hurrah.

Celestial News & Events

New Comet Alert! Quartet of Comets Grace Our Skies

There's a lot happening in the northern sky these days, namely lots of comets! Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) is still worth watching, but look for the new Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8) and Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y1). And you can still catch a glimpse of our old friend, Comet PanSTARRS (C/2017 T2).

Bob King blog post

Night Sky Sights

Shadow-casting with Venus

Venus has a been powerful presence at dusk for months — bright enough to cast shadows. How would you like to put it to the test? The Moon won't spoil the darkness until at least April 24th — April 25th if you wait till after moonset — making it the perfect time to see your own shadow by the light of another celestial body.

Celestial News & Events

Oh No! Comet ATLAS Is Fragmenting

Find out when and where to see Comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4) — and stay tuned to see how bright (or not) this comet gets.

Explore the Night with Bob King

The Pleiades Welcome Venus

You can renew your own cosmic connection on Friday night, April 3rd. That's when the planet Venus will skirt the Pleiades star cluster in a spectacular dusk conjunction visible across much of the planet.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Deep-sky Observing the Easy Way

Cold weather keeping you inside at night? Limit your time outdoors and make the most of your telescope time with these easy-to-find deep-sky gems.

Mini-moon discovered

Celestial News & Events

Earth Has A Mini-Moon — But Not for Long!

Two astronomers discovered a temporary mini-moon captured by Earth — but it's about to win its freedom.

Then and now

Celestial News & Events

The Fall and Rise of Betelgeuse

With its recent uptick in brightness, Betelgeuse appears to be slowly returning to normal. But will it? Astronomers urge us to keep watch.

Betelgeuse telescopic view

Explore the Night with Bob King

Is Betelgeuse Approaching a Crossroads?

Astronomers all over are waiting with bated breath to see what Betelgeuse will do next. Is it going to start brightening again on February 21st? Or will it continue to surprise?

Mars at the moon's edge

Occultations

Watch the Moon Occult Mars Before Sunrise on February 18th

Occultations of stars by the Moon occur routinely, but planetary lunar occultations are much rarer birds. That's why I hope you'll make the effort Tuesday morning February 18th to watch the waning crescent Moon occult the planet Mars.

A bright supernova

Variable Stars

The Latest on Betelgeuse, Plus a Bright Supernova and New Comet Iwamoto

The sky provides. This winter, the fading of Betelgeuse caught us all by surprise. Now, as January wraps up, we can add a new comet discovery and a supernova bright enough to see in a 6-inch telescope to an ever-growing list of seasonal sky wonders.

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