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November 2021 Lunar eclipse

Explore the Night with Bob King

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)

Explore the Night with Bob King

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

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

Southern Milky Way gazing

Explore the Night with Bob King

Reveling in the Winter Milky Way

With the Moon departing the evening sky, now's a good time for a closer look at the northern winter Milky Way and its southern summer counterpart, too. No equipment required!

Observing the stars

Stargazing Basics

See the Sun from Other Stars

We journey to distant suns to look back at our solar system and see its place among the stars.

Mare Orientale gravity map

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

Night Sky Sights

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

Explore the Night with Bob King

Jupiter Whacked Again? Japanese Astronomers Record Possible Impact

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

Comets

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.

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