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Pallas and Neptune time exposre

Explore the Night with Bob King

Asteroid Pallas Makes a Point in Pisces

Spice up your fall observing with a dash of Pallas and nibble of Neptune. Both planet and asteroid are easy to spot in a small telescope.

Comet 4P/Faye and tail

Explore the Night with Bob King

Making Time for Morning Comets

If you like mixing comets with the quietude of observing in the small hours, September opens with five fuzzy vagabonds just waiting for a visit.

Gamma Cassiopeia

Night Sky Sights

Meet Gamma Cassiopeiae, the Classic Eruptive Variable

Gamma Cassiopeia may lack a proper name, but the middle star of the "W"-shape constellation is worth finding on the sky.

Jupiter, Ganymede, Europa and double shadows, March 25, 2019

Planets

The 12-Year Cycle of Jupiter Oppositions

Jupiter is at opposition on August 19th. If we take the long view — 12 years long — we can watch Jupiter's oppositions as it passes through the zodiac constellations.

Moon

It’s the Blue Moon . . . the “True” Blue Moon!

If skies are clear this weekend, you'll see the full Moon. And not just any old full Moon, but the Blue Moon . . . the "true" Blue Moon!

RS Oph animation

Celestial News & Events

Recurrent Nova RS Ophiuchi Just Blew its Top!

The recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi just went into outburst — its first burst in 15 years — and it's bright enough to see with the naked eye

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.

Deep Sky

Night at the (Celestial) Museum

Take some time to explore the overlooked masterpiece of Messier 56.

NGC 5453 globular cluster

Night Sky Sights

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.

Temple of the Moon

Eclipses

Plan Ahead for the 2023 Annular Solar Eclipse — and a Visit to Dark Sky Parks

If today’s solar eclipse has you wondering when the next one will cross the continent, start planning now for a stellar trip around October 14, 2023.

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.

Red nova

Celestial News & Events

Bright Nova in Hercules on a Roller Coaster Ride

A new bright nova discovered in Hercules at 8th magnitude briefly rose to naked-eye visibility. It's currently easily visible in a pair of binoculars.

Annular eclipse

Celestial News & Events

A Sunrise Annular Solar Eclipse

Even if you're not in the path of annularity during the June 10th solar eclipse, get ready for a sunrise spectacle.

Eclipses

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.

Lunar craters for timing

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

Useful Projects for a Lunar Eclipse

Here's all you need to know to help us measure the size of Earth's shadow during the total lunar eclipse on Jan. 20–21, 2019.

HD 122563 closeup

Night Sky Sights

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

Variable Stars

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.

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.

Night Sky Sights

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.

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