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This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 30 – November 7

Full Moon and Mars for Halloween: The Moon rises in the east about a half hour after sunset on Saturday the 31st, depending on your location. That bright orange dot off to its upper right is Mars.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 23 – 31

The Ghost of Summer Suns: Halloween is approaching, and this means that Arcturus, the star sparkling low in the west-northwest in twilight, is taking on its role as "the Ghost of Summer Suns."

ATLAS with a tail

Night Sky Sights

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.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Weeks' Sky at a Glance, October 16 – 24

Mars is edging away a bit now from its close approach to Earth, but on the other hand, it rises higher into fine telescopic view earlier in the night.

Moon in Gemini

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 9 – 17

Mars comes to opposition on October 13th. Although it was closest to Earth on the 6th, it is still at virtually the same distance all week, remaining 22.5 to 22.0 arcseconds in apparent diameter. This is bigger than we will see it again until September 2035.

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.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, October 2 – 10

Mars is closer this week than it will be until 2035! The Moon pairs up closely with Mars on Friday the 2nd — and occults Mars for parts of South America. Jupiter and Saturn, meanwhile, remain at their highest and best right around nightfall, lower in the south.

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

October 2020: Mars is the Star!

October evenings offer many wonderful night-sky sights — including a dramatic appearance by Mars — and you can find them by listening to our guided audio tour of the star-filled sky.

Moon over Sequoia National Park

People, Places, and Events

International Observe the Moon Night Is Here

International Observe the Moon Night is here. Step outside Saturday evening and admire our closest celestial neighbor with your family.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 25 – October 3

The Moon waxes through first quarter to gibbous this week, passing Jupiter and Saturn along the way. And by the end of twilight, Jupiter-bright Mars glares low in the east. It's big, bold, and almost at opposition!

Saturn, Jupiter, and the waxing gibbous Moon

Night Sky Sights

See Beyond the Celestial Sphere: Follow These Lines into Space

For a little perspective, observe along a line that takes you to the Moon, past Jupiter and Saturn, the Kuiper Belt, and onward into our galaxy.

Caroline's Cluster

Night Sky Sights

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.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 18 – 26

Jupiter and Saturn continue shining nearly level in the south at dusk. Meanwhile, the stars show the changing of the seasons: Just after nightfall, Cassiopeia has climbed higher in the northeast than the Big Dipper has sunk in the northwest.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 11 – 19

Vega passes the zenith in late twilight. Vega is bigger, hotter, and 50 times brighter than our Sun. But at a distance of 25 light-years, it's 1.6 million times farther away. Jupiter and Saturn still dominate the south at dusk. And fiery Mars, close and almost Jupiter-bright, rises in the east around the end of twilight. It's at its highest and telescopic best in the south around 3 a.m. daylight-saving time.

NTB via Juno

Celestial News & Events

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.

Night Sky Sights

This Week's Sky at a Glance, September 4 – 12

Mars is big, bright and close as it nears opposition! It nears the gibbous Moon this weekend.

Antares, imaged

Night Sky Sights

Meet Antares: The Star That Is Not Mars

Antares is a red supergiant that — like Betelgeuse — will one day go supernova.

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

September 2020: Four Planets & More!

Take advantage of September's beautiful evenings to gaze upward as you listen to our guided tour of the star-filled sky.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, August 28 – September 5

Betelgeuse is dimming again. . . somewhat. After its historic fade last winter to magnitude +1.6, Orion's red supergiant Betelgeuse fully recovered, to +0.4, before it disappeared into the sunset for the season. But now as it emerges low in the east before dawn, it seems to have faded back…

Algol

Variable Stars

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.

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