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People, Places, and Events

Peering Up Into Prairie Skies

The Nebraska Star Party offers truly dark skies enjoyed by veteran observers and first-timers alike.

Interferometry image of Rasalhague

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Rasalhague, the Star with the Snake

Rasalhague, a star rotating so fast it has squashed itself, has a fascinating connection to the mythology of healing.

Perseid 2021

Meteors

Perseids Are Coming, Full Moon or Not

Don't use a full Moon pass to skip this year's Perseid meteor shower. Right here, right now, we're going to help you make the most of it.

Earthshine painting

Moon

Solving an Earthshine Mystery

Something we take for granted about the crescent Moon's appearance may be nothing more than an optical illusion.

Iapetus transit single

Planets

See a Rare Transit of Iapetus on July 17–18

It's tiny. It's challenging. But you won't get the chance to see Iapetus transit the globe of Saturn again until 2037!

Titan and Tethys

Explore the Night with Bob King

Titan Occults a Bright Star, Mira Awakens, and Comet PanSTARRS Shines

Pick one or see them all. July offers a potpourri of celestial events for both naked-eye observers and telescope users that include a rare occultation by Saturn's moon Titan, a bright comet, and Mira at maximum.

The Sun with trees in the foreground

Meet the Stars

Meet The Sun, Our Home Star

In this installment of Meet the Stars, we get to know the nearest one: our Sun. Its properties — like its stability — likely led to life on Earth.

Dawn planet line

Explore the Night with Bob King

Solar System Gets its Ducks in a Row

We'll have not one but many opportunities to enjoy a rare lineup of the bright planets over the next few weeks. Amazingly, they'll be aligned in order of their distance from the Sun.

Tau Herculid fireball

Explore the Night with Bob King

Tau Herculid Meteors Surprise and Delight

We touch on the highlights of the memorable Tau Herculid meteor shower and also report on the recent outburst of the recurrent nova U Scorpii.

Geminid meteor shower

Meteors

Update on a Possible Outburst of Meteors

Will there be a new meteor shower on the night of May 30–31? There's only one way to find out.

Big Dipper

Explore the Night with Bob King

A New Way to See the Big Dipper

Unlike most asterisms, many of the Big Dipper's stars really are physically connected. They belong to a loosely bound stellar stream called the Ursa Major Moving Cluster.

Naked eye sunspots

Explore the Night with Bob King

How to Observe and Measure Naked-eye Sunspots

As Solar Cycle 25 ticks up, naked-eye sunspots are becoming more frequent. They're not only fun to observe, but with this simple method you can determine just how big they are. We also have news on a bright supernova!

Bright Lyrid

Explore the Night with Bob King

Celebrate Spring with the Lyrids

People have been watching the annual Lyrid meteor shower for more than 2,700 years. Come join the crowd!

Celestial News & Events

Plan Now for the 2023 Solar Eclipse in Western Australia

Here's what to know if you want to see this hybrid (mostly total) solar eclipse next year.

Total solar eclipse 2019 in Chile

Celestial News & Events

Two Years to the 2024 American Total Solar Eclipse!

It’s never too early to start getting excited — and begin planning — for an event as spectacular as a total solar eclipse.

Diamond Ring

Celestial Objects to Observe

Tips for Photographing a Total Solar Eclipse

A total eclipse of the Sun is a spectacular sight. With a little preparation and advance planning, you can capture your own souvenir portrait of this awe-inspiring sight.

Halpha sun with prominences

Eclipses

How to Look at the Sun Safely

Our star is an amazing object to observe, whether by eye or with optical aid. These time-tested tips will let you see the solar disk worry-free.

Astrophotography: Tips & Techniques

Eclipse Photographer’s Checklist

For those preparing to photograph a total solar eclipse, Fred Espenak shares his eclipse photography checklist.

Comet ATLAS (C/2019 L3)

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comets to View in 2022

Like comets? We've got 11 frozen fuzzies to share with you in the coming months, including a couple that could become fine binocular objects.

Canis Minor

Night Sky Sights

Meet Procyon, Orion’s Littler Dog

Meet Procyon, the brightest of the few stars in Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog. On its way to becoming a giant, this star is part of the Winter Triangle and Wniter Hexagon asterisms.

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