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Three novae

Celestial Objects to Observe

A Bouquet of Novae Brightens April Nights

With the recent discovery of Nova Scorpii 2021 earlier this week, three bright stellar explosions are now visible in small telescopes from dusk till dawn.

Solar System

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.

Europa eclipses then occults Io

Celestial News & Events

Mutual Event Season Heats Up at Jupiter

Jupiter is usually the one occulting and eclipsing the Galilean moons, but this observing season the moons also eclipse and occult one another.

Deep image of V1405 Cas nova

Variable Stars

Bright Nova Erupts in Cassiopeia

A new nova in Cassiopeia, discovered on March 18th, is bright enough to see in a small telescope.

NGC 3190 group / Hickson 44

Celestial Objects to Observe

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

Night Sky Sights

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

Celestial News & Events

March — A Good Time to Visit Vesta

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

IC 418 planetary nebula

Deep Sky

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.

Daytime planet fest

Celestial Objects to Observe

Planets and Comets Can't Hide from SOHO's Eye

With the help of the Solar Heliospheric Observatory you can not only keep track of the planets in the daytime sky but maybe even discover a comet.

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.

Total lunar eclipse path on May 26, 2021

Eclipses

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2021

Four eclipses occur in 2021, with annular and total solar eclipses alternating between total and not-quite-total lunar eclipses.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Comets

Comet Watch 2021

If you own an 8-inch or larger telescope you might see more than a dozen new and returning comets this year, including one potential naked-eye candidate.

Deep-sky map Capella region

Deep Sky

Foraging for Deep-sky Delights with Capella, the Goat Star

We explore deep-sky riches within a stone's throw of Capella, one of the season's brightest stars.

Kochab in the Little Dipper

Night Sky Sights

Meet Kochab, a Guardian of the Pole

Meet the stars: Kochab is no record-breaking bright star, but it's easy enough to find — and it may have played an important role through history.

Sirius and M41

Celestial Objects to Observe

Tour 15 of the Brightest Stars on New Year's Eve (VIDEO)

Tour 15 of the sky's brightest stars all in one night on this New Year's Eve! This interactive Worldwide Telescope video will show you the way.

Leonid fireball crossing Orion

Meteors

The Best Meteor Showers in 2021

Sky & Telescope predicts that the year's best meteor shower will be the strong, fireball-rich Perseids in mid-August.

Aldebaran vs. the Sun

Bright Stars

Meet Aldebaran, the Bull’s Eye

Learn more about Aldebaran, the red-orange giant star that "follows" the Pleiades across the sky.

Planets

Jupiter and Saturn Embrace in Solstice Conjunction

Jupiter and Saturn fashion the Great Conjunction of 2020 when they pair up on December 21st, the winter solstice. That evening they'll be closest in nearly 400 years.

Path of the solar eclipse on December 14, 2020.

Eclipses

A South American Total Eclipse

The Moon’s shadow visits Chile and Argentina again. If you can't be there, watch online!

Capella and the Kids

Bright Stars

Meet Capella, the Goat Star

Capella is the sixth-brightest star in the sky — and it's more than one star! The main two stars in the system are near-twins, bright yellow giants.

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