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ATLAS with a tail

Explore the Night with Bob King

Comets Crawl through the Skies at Dawn and Dusk

Comets have been scarce since NEOWISE departed the scene. Not anymore. Suddenly, there are four fresh faces visible from dusk til dawn.

Mars the magnificent

Explore the Night with Bob King

Behold Mars! The Best View Until 2035

After a two-years hiatus Mars returns big and bright at opposition on October 13th, its best apparition until September 2035.

Caroline's Cluster

Celestial Objects to Observe

Explore Caroline Herschel's Celestial Showpieces

More than 200 years ago Caroline Herschel pointed her telescope at the heavens and discovered some of the finest deep-sky objects. Follow in her footsteps and see them for yourself.

NTB via Juno

Planets

Stormy Times on Jupiter, Comet Howell Steps Up, and More

Colder weather might be coming, but don't pack away that telescope! You'll miss a powerful storm that's remaking Jupiter's North Temperate Belt, a returning comet, Mira on the rise, and a bright supernova in the Great Bear.

Algol

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

Take a Roller Coaster Ride on a Fast Eclipsing Binary

How would you like to see a star drop two magnitudes in the time it takes to eat dinner? Easy to do. Just check out one of these fast eclipsing binaries — they'll make your head spin.

407 Perseid composite

Meteors

Perseids Peak August 11–12 — Get Ready for the Show

The Perseid meteor shower is like no other. Every August it delivers up to 100 meteors an hour in pleasant weather conducive to getting outside and staying up late. What's more, most kids still aren't in school, making it possible for the entire family to enjoy the event.

Looking back at Pluto

Solar System

Cool Off with Pluto This Summer

Pluto might be a challenging target but it's well worth the effort. Grab your telescope and see if you can spot this distant, chilly world.

Sharing Comet NEOWISE

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comet NEOWISE Dazzles at Dusk

Comet NEOWISE has captivated skywatchers with its stunning tail. Now that it's moved into the evening sky and climbing higher each night even more people will get a chance to see it.

Comet NEOWISE

Celestial News & Events

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 News & Events

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

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Supernovae Light Up in M61 and NGC 3643

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

Explore the Night with Bob King

Comet SWAN Expected to Put on a Splendid Show

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

Celestial Objects to Observe

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

Planets

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.

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