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Mars at the moon's edge

Celestial News & Events

Watch the Moon Occult Mars Before Sunrise on February 18th

Occultations of stars by the Moon occur routinely, but planetary lunar occultations are much rarer birds. That's why I hope you'll make the effort Tuesday morning February 18th to watch the waning crescent Moon occult the planet Mars.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Winter’s High Moon

A nearly full Moon offers plenty to see and ponder.

A bright supernova

Celestial Objects to Observe

The Latest on Betelgeuse, Plus a Bright Supernova and New Comet Iwamoto

The sky provides. This winter, the fading of Betelgeuse caught us all by surprise. Now, as January wraps up, we can add a new comet discovery and a supernova bright enough to see in a 6-inch telescope to an ever-growing list of seasonal sky wonders.

Comet PanSTARRS blooms

Comets

Comets to Catch in 2020

Here's the lowdown on which comets will brighten our skies in 2020.

Totality on August 21, 2017

Celestial News & Events

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2020

Six eclipses occur in 2020, with one total and one annular solar eclipse in the mix. But the four lunar eclipses will be disappointing brushes through the fringe of Earth's shadow.

Betelgeuse in Orion

Celestial Objects to Observe

Betelgeuse is Dimming . . . Why?

The bright star Betelgeuse has faded to a historic low as astronomers try to figure out why.

Geminids Dec 13_2018 Bob King 480x274

Celestial News & Events

The Best Meteor Showers in 2020

Sky & Telescope predicts that the three best meteor showers — the Quadrantids (peaking on January 4th!), Perseids and Geminids — will all have strong showings this year.

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.

Altair skyscape

Night Sky Sights

Meet Altair, the Eagle’s Eye

Altair, centerpiece of Aqulia, the Eagle, is the twelfth-brightest star in the night sky and one of the closest stars to Earth.

Incoming point

Asteroids

"Potentially Hazardous" Asteroid Is Headed For Your Telescope

A potentially hazardous asteroid makes a flyby of Earth this Friday, offering amateurs with modest telescopes a chance to ride along.

Celestial News & Events

Crack Your Crescent Moon Record

Calling all crescent lovers! Here's a chance to set a new personal record by seeing one of the oldest moons ever.

Pandora

Celestial Objects to Observe

A Guide to All of the Moons of the Solar System

Not so long ago, astronomers thought only a few dozen moons orbited the planets of our solar system. Today, the total count tops 170!

Celestial News & Events

International Observe the Moon Night 2019

Observe the first-quarter Moon on October 5 for International Observe the Moon Night. Here's a guide to tell you what to look for.

Deep Sky

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.

Interstellar Comet Borisov

Comets

Will Amateurs Be Able to See the New Interstellar Comet?

Only the second object thus far to visit the solar system from interstellar space, Comet Borisov is expected to reach perihelion in December. What can we see now?

Night Sky Sights

Meet Barnard’s Star, Our Red Dwarf Neighbor

This faint red dwarf star is famous not because it's bright but because it's fast-moving — you can actually see it moving across the sky if you track it over several years.

Crowning glory

Celestial News & Events

Volcanoes Turn Twilights Purple

A rash of unusually colorful sunsets follows in the wake of two major volcanic eruptions. 

Trojan asteroids

Celestial News & Events

Be a Warrior — Tackle a Trojan Asteroid

You've seen Jupiter and its four brightest moons. Now meet the rest of the family — the Trojan asteroids.

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

Explore the Night with Bob King

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…

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