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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 Objects to Observe

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.

Celestial News & Events

Dawn Delight: Catch the Total Lunar Eclipse on May 26, 2021

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.

full Moon

Celestial Objects to Observe

7 Easy Things to See on the “Supermoon”

Seven easy and rewarding targets to explore when the Moon is full.

Hubble photo of M3

Celestial Objects to Observe

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.

Comets

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.

Europa eclipses then occults Io

Explore the Night with Bob King

Mutual Event Season Heats Up at Jupiter

Jupiter is usually the one occulting and eclipsing the Galilean moons, but this observing season the moons also eclipse and occult one another.

Deep image of V1405 Cas nova

Explore the Night with Bob King

Bright Nova Erupts in Cassiopeia

A new nova in Cassiopeia, discovered on March 18th, is bright enough to see in a small telescope.

NGC 3190 group / Hickson 44

Explore the Night with Bob King

Exploring Bright Galaxy Groups in Leo

Leo, the Lion, stands high in the southern sky during the early spring. We visit some of the constellation's brighter galaxy clumps then go asteroid hunting.

Alnilam in Orion

Night Sky Sights

Meet Alnilam, Orion’s Belt Buckle

Alnilam, the middle star of Orion's distinctive belt, is a distant supergiant that will (eventually) end its life in a supernova.

Battered Vesta

Solar System

March — A Good Time to Visit Vesta

Dip into this easy guide to seeing the brightest asteroid, Vesta, and understanding what makes it unique.

IC 418 planetary nebula

Deep Sky

A Deep-sky Hippity-hop through Lepus, the Hare

Snare a dozen bright double stars and deep-sky objects in the celestial Hare the next clear night. We also provide details on how to watch the potentially hazardous asteroid Apophis occult a star the night of February 21st.

Daytime planet fest

Celestial News & Events

Planets and Comets Can't Hide from SOHO's Eye

With the help of the Solar Heliospheric Observatory you can not only keep track of the planets in the daytime sky but maybe even discover a comet.

Castor and Pollux

Celestial Objects to Observe

Meet Castor, Six Stars in One

Castor, a prime ornament of the Gemini constellation and one of the brightest stars in the sky, is actually a system of stars with six unique members.

Total lunar eclipse path on May 26, 2021

Eclipses

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2021

Four eclipses occur in 2021, with annular and total solar eclipses alternating between total and not-quite-total lunar eclipses.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Celestial Objects to Observe

Comet Watch 2021

If you own an 8-inch or larger telescope you might see more than a dozen new and returning comets this year, including one potential naked-eye candidate.

Deep-sky map Capella region

Celestial Objects to Observe

Foraging for Deep-sky Delights with Capella, the Goat Star

We explore deep-sky riches within a stone's throw of Capella, one of the season's brightest stars.

Kochab in the Little Dipper

Night Sky Sights

Meet Kochab, a Guardian of the Pole

Meet the stars: Kochab is no record-breaking bright star, but it's easy enough to find — and it may have played an important role through history.

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