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Celestial Objects to Observe

Mars Glides Between Two Nebulae

During the predawn hours of March 5th and 6th, watch as Mars glides between a close pair of nebulae — the Lagoon (M8) and the Trifid (M20).

Variable Stars

A Star Prepares to Blow Its Top

Easily found with the naked eye, 4th-magnitude Rho Cassiopeiae may be getting ready for an enormous mass ejection in the next few months.


Saturn Transits the Crab

During the night of January 4–5, North American observers are well positioned to watch Saturn transit the face of M1, the Crab Nebula. But will the glare from the planet obscure the nebula?

Paths of Ceres and Melpomene


Ceres and Melpomene in Binoculars

With paths that crisscross in Cetus, the Whale, these two asteroids make fine observing targets for the rest of 2002.

Asteroid 2002 NY40

Celestial Objects to Observe

Asteroid Flyby Seen Worldwide

Last weekend's close encounter between Earth and asteroid 2002 NY40 was seen by amateur astronomers worldwide.

Roy Tucker


Asteroid Hunters Receive Grants

Five amateur astronomers specializing in the observation and early detection of Earth-crossing asteroids and comets were each awarded Shoemaker Near-Earth Object Grants from the Planetary Society.

Path of 2002 NY40

Celestial Objects to Observe

A Close Encounter with an Asteroid

Over four weeks, the brightness of asteroid 2002 NY40 will brighten by more than 3,000 times. It will peak at magnitude 9.3 (bright enough to be seen through a small telescope or large binoculars) as it drifts rapidly through the northern Milky Way on the night of August 17–18. This…

Mare Australis

Celestial Objects to Observe

Australe: A Mare on the Edge

This mare is a challenging sight; view it July 16th to 19th and August 12th to 15th.

Celestial Objects to Observe

A Saturn Occultation for Europeans

On the evening of the 16th, skywatchers across northern Europe will see the Moon occult Saturn. The occultation takes place at midday in northwestern North America.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Asteroid Occultations in April 2002

North American observers can see a 7th- and a 10th-magnitude star occulted by asteroids this month. Here's when and where to look.

Variable Stars

Chi Cygni to Brighten in Early March

The long-period variable Chi Cygni peaks in March. Here's where to find it and what to expect.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Local Times for the Occultation of Saturn

For more than 300 cities throughout North America, the following table tells when the planet Saturn will be covered by the Moon. This event takes place in the afternoon or evening hours of Wednesday, February 20th. Cities are grouped by state or province. First click on the abbreviation of your…


Asteroid Occultations in March 2002

North American observers can see two 10th-magnitude stars occulted by asteroids this March. Here's where to look.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Planetary Occultation Highlights for 2002

Five dozen of these spellbinding events, impossible to predict well until recently, are listed for observers worldwide.

Celestial Objects to Observe

A Saturn-Moon Spectacle

There will be other occultations of Saturn this year — but none with February's prime-time appeal for North American observers.

Juno's irrgular shape

Celestial Objects to Observe

Juno Goes It Alone

Glimpsing Juno during the first half of 2002 will be a challenge.

Crescent Moon from video image


Close-Up of an Alien World

The lunar surface consists of more than just craters and mare. Here's a guide to some of the other lunar features.

Path of Vesta in early 2002.


Vesta Tours the Hyades

This spring, track the third-largest body in the asteroid belt as it passes by the Hyades.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Lunar Occultation Highlights for 2002

Some stars that the Moon covers are so bright, you don’t even need a telescope. Here are some occultation highlights for 2002.

Space Satellites

Have You Been Flashed By Iridium?

The Iridium satellites' antenna arrays are almost perfect mirrors. And when they catch the Sun just right — wow!

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