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Night Sky Sights

Deep-sky Observing the Easy Way

Cold weather keeping you inside at night? Limit your time outdoors and make the most of your telescope time with these easy-to-find deep-sky gems.

M35 in Gemini

Night Sky Sights

Explore the Winter Hexagon Tonight

This expansive region is home to plenty of bright stars and deep-sky wonders.

The Great Square of Pegasus

Night Sky Sights

Deep-sky Dive Into the Great Square of Pegasus

We return to Pegasus, but this time with a telescope to find a grab-bag of overlooked deep-sky treasures.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Treasure Hunting in the Hall of the Deep-Sky King

Cepheus, the King, has hidden his treasure well but not so much that curious amateurs can't find more than enough to stuff their pockets.

Deep Sky

Get to Know the Ghostly Galaxies of Sagittarius

We often think of Sagittarius as home to one galaxy only — the Milky Way. But two members of the Local Group and a smattering of fainter galaxies reside here, too.

Roadmap to a stellar nursery

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

Wallow a While in the Lagoon Nebula

We take a dip in one of summer's finest nebulae and explore everything from spooky Bok globules to the tornadic Hourglass Nebula. Don't forget your snorkel, er, telescope! Sometimes a single deep-sky object becomes your whole universe. So it was for me when I took several deep wades in the…

Double Stars

How Low Can You Go? Journey to the Bottom of the Sky

How Low Can You Go? Journey to the Bottom of the Sky

Deep Sky

Welcome Back, Milky Way!

Twilight's end brings the return of the summer Milky Way to the eastern sky. We unravel the anatomy of our home galaxy by teasing out the hidden structures within that glowing band. 

Star queen of Serpens

Deep Sky

See Bright Nebulae Millions of Light-Years Away

We leave the Milky Way behind and venture out to explore giant star-bursting regions in the galaxies M101 and NGC 2366.

Variable Stars

Hunting Bright Variable Stars in M5 and M13

Globular clusters are packed with variable stars, some of which are easy to see and follow in amateur telescopes. We explore M5 and M13, two of the season's finest.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Yanking Markarian's Chain

Markarian's Chain, a remarkable arc of bright galaxies, is your ticket to the Virgo Cluster. Hop aboard!

Celestial Objects to Observe

Twinkle, Twinkle Quasi-Star — 12 Quasars for Spring Evenings

Quasars are among the brightest and most distant objects in the universe. Many are visible in amateur scopes if you know just where to look. We'll help you track them down.

Trio in Leo

Explore the Night with Bob King

It's Spring! Time to Visit the Bright Galaxies of Leo I

Springtime is galaxy time. Only 30 million light years away, the Leo I Group and nearby Leo Triplet entice the eye with an assortment of bright spiral and elliptical galaxies. Welcome to spring! The new season begins (or began depending on when you read this) at 5:58 p.m. EDT on…

Explore the Night with Bob King

Deep-sky Hunting in Cancer, the Crab

As winter melts into spring, we sample both familiar and overlooked deep-sky treasures in the "empty space" between Gemini and Leo, home of the Crab.

Deep Sky

Deep-Sky Observing Without Equipment, Part II — The Winter Sky

Really want to see what your eyes can do? Leave the telescope at home and join me for a naked-eye tour of the late winter sky.

Hyades and horseshoe

Double Stars

Happy Nights with the Hyades

The Hyades open cluster may stand in the shadow of its neighbor the Pleiades, but there's a wide variety of wonders here from naked-eye double stars to challenging galaxies. Let's pay a visit.

A star goes poof!

Explore the Night with Bob King

Seeking Cas A, the Ghostly Remains of a Mysterious Supernova

We still don't know for sure if anyone saw the supernova explosion in Cassiopeia around 1680, but there's no question we can observe what remains of it today.

A Colorful problem

Explore the Night with Bob King

Ducks in Disguise or How Stars Hide Their True Colors

Do star clusters form all at once or over several generations? A team of astronomers finds an answer among the spinning stars of an amateur favorite, the Wild Duck Cluster. 

Double Stars

Double Your Deep-Sky Pleasure with "Two-in-the-View"

Once you've seen two, a single won't do. Enjoy this selection of multiple deep-sky objects visible in the same field of view of your telescope.

Horses head to head

Double Stars

Equuleus, the Constellation Nobody Knows

Often passed over in favor of showier sights, the constellation of the Little Horse has charms of its own. Let's saddle up and go for a ride.

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