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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.

NGC 5453 globular cluster

Celestial Objects to Observe

In Heaven with M7, a Portal Into the Deep

M7 in Scorpius is one of the brightest, most beautiful open clusters in the sky. It's also "home" to a half-dozen other delectable deep-sky sights.

blue noctilucent clouds hover over trees and a pink sunset

Explore the Night with Bob King

Noctilucent Cloud Show, a Mercurial Nova, and More

Summer only lasts so long. Like everything, it's transient. That will be our theme as we explore wispy noctilucent clouds, a nova that can't sit still, and a supernova in NGC 5427 in Virgo.

M56 globular

Night Sky Sights

Summer Nights Offer Splendid Sights in Lyra

Lyra, the Lyre, offers a wonderful assortment of double stars and deep-sky objects to keep you up at night. Break out your binoculars and telescope and join me for a summertime ramble.

Moon Venus Mars on June 11-13, 2021

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

June: Solar Eclipse & Colorful Stars

June features long days and short nights in the Northern Hemisphere, so download our narrated Sky Tour astronomy podcast to make the most of the abbreviated dark hours after sunset. Special event: a partial solar eclipse on June 10th!

Night Sky Sights

Meet Gacrux, the Top of the Cross

Gacrux is a treat for southern observers — the closest red giant to Earth and the tip of the famous Southern Cross.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Dawn Delight: Catch the Total Lunar Eclipse on May 26th

On May 26th the Moon will be in total eclipse for the first time in nearly two and a half years. While timing favors western North America, a partial eclipse will be visible across much of the U.S. and Canada at dawn.

V1405 Cas scene

Celestial News & Events

Nova in Cassiopeia Brightens Suddenly

A star in the constellation Cassiopeia that flared into view during mid-March has erupted to naked-eye visibility. Catch it while you can!

HD 122563 closeup

Celestial News & Events

In Search of Ancient Suns

We track down and admire five of the most ancient stars in the universe.

full Moon

Night Sky Sights

7 Easy Things to See on the “Supermoon”

Seven easy and rewarding targets to explore when the Moon is full.

Hubble photo of M3

Night Sky Sights

Hunting Barnard's Variable in the Globular Cluster M3

We beat a path through a forest of stars to find the first variable star ever discovered in a globular star cluster.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Make the Most of Comet ATLAS

Bright comets will be scarce this year, but you can see one of the better ones this month as it races from Aquila to Canes Venatici. In other news, a new, bright nova has flared in Sagittarius.

Moon pairings in April 2021

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

April: Follow the Moon

To learn “what’s up” at night during April, download Sky Tour — an engaging narrated guide to the planets, stars, and constellations now visible.

NGC 3190 group / Hickson 44

Explore the Night with Bob King

Exploring Bright Galaxy Groups in Leo

Leo, the Lion, stands high in the southern sky during the early spring. We visit some of the constellation's brighter galaxy clumps then go asteroid hunting.

Alnilam in Orion

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Alnilam, Orion’s Belt Buckle

Alnilam, the middle star of Orion's distinctive belt, is a distant supergiant that will (eventually) end its life in a supernova.

Battered Vesta

Solar System

March — A Good Time to Visit Vesta

Dip into this easy guide to seeing the brightest asteroid, Vesta, and understanding what makes it unique.

Winter Hexagon (February)

Night Sky Sights

Watch the Moon Journey Across the Winter Hexagon

About once a month this winter, we can watch the Moon take a four-day journey across a field of stars termed the "Winter Hexagon."

IC 418 planetary nebula

Explore the Night with Bob King

A Deep-sky Hippity-hop through Lepus, the Hare

Snare a dozen bright double stars and deep-sky objects in the celestial Hare the next clear night. We also provide details on how to watch the potentially hazardous asteroid Apophis occult a star the night of February 21st.

Star chart for Monoceros

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

February: The Hare & Unicorn

When you step outside to admire the crisp, starlit night sky on February evenings, bring along our Sky Tour astronomy podcast to learn which stars and constellations are overhead. Here’s a preview of what you'll see.

Castor and Pollux

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Castor, Six Stars in One

Castor, a prime ornament of the Gemini constellation and one of the brightest stars in the sky, is actually a system of stars with six unique members.

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