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Moon over Sequoia National Park

Celestial News & 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

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.

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.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

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.

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, August 21 – 29

After dark, Jupiter and Saturn shine in the southeast to south, lined up almost level now. And Fomalhaut, the Autumn Star, is making its inevitable appearance above the southeast horizon.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, August 14 – 22

Jupiter and Saturn line up level in the south earlier in the evening now, as summer proceeds. How early in twilight can you see them both? High upper left of them shines Altair. As night comes on, look for the Sagittarius Teapot to Jupiter's lower right.

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.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, August 7 – 15

It's Perseid meteor week! The shower peaks on the night of August 11th, but you may see the occasional Perseid any night and perhaps already have. Jupiter and Saturn shine in the southeast after dark. Bright Vega passes closest to overhead around 10 or 11 p.m.

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

August 2020: Planets & Perseids

The Perseids are upon us — and as you're looking out for shooting stars, look for Jupiter and Saturn low in the southeast as soon as night begins to fall.

This Week's Sky at a Glance logo

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, July 31 – August 8

Mars rises in the east around 11 p.m. daylight saving time this week, in Pisces. Watch for it to come up below the Great Square of Pegasus.

Looking back at Pluto

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

Planets

Ice Giants: Neptune and Uranus

Spot Uranus and Neptune, and relive the original discoveries.

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