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Cool blue world

Celestial Objects to Observe

Tiny Asteroid Flora and Mighty Uranus Team Up

Both Uranus and the asteroid 8 Flora came to opposition on Halloween. Catch them both in the same corner of the sky the next clear night.

Mars the magnificent

Explore the Night with Bob King

Behold Mars! The Best View Until 2035

After a two-years hiatus Mars returns big and bright at opposition on October 13th, its best apparition until September 2035.

NTB via Juno

Celestial News & Events

Stormy Times on Jupiter, Comet Howell Steps Up, and More

Colder weather might be coming, but don't pack away that telescope! You'll miss a powerful storm that's remaking Jupiter's North Temperate Belt, a returning comet, Mira on the rise, and a bright supernova in the Great Bear.

Looking back at Pluto

Solar System

Cool Off with Pluto This Summer

Pluto might be a challenging target but it's well worth the effort. Grab your telescope and see if you can spot this distant, chilly world.

Planets

Ice Giants: Neptune and Uranus

Spot Uranus and Neptune, and relive the original discoveries.

Astronomical Tools

A Jupiter Almanac

Find information on observing Jupiter during its 2020 apparition, including information on its moons and Great Red Spot transit predictions.

Venus-Jupiter conjunction

Celestial Objects to Observe

How Bright Are the Planets?

What do Venus and Jupiter have in common? Revisions to planets' magnitudes in this year's Astronomical Almanac have revealed some surprises.

Planets

See the Phases of Venus

If you have a set of binoculars or a telescope, watch for Venus’s thinning crescent over the next couple weeks.

Bob King blog post

Planets

Shadow-casting with Venus

Venus has a been powerful presence at dusk for months — bright enough to cast shadows. How would you like to put it to the test? The Moon won't spoil the darkness until at least April 24th — April 25th if you wait till after moonset — making it the perfect time to see your own shadow by the light of another celestial body.

Multifaceted world

Explore the Night with Bob King

Lonely Pluto Is More than a Speck

With Saturn pointing the way, it's easy to venture into the Kuiper Belt this summer and pay a visit to Pluto.

Explore the Night with Bob King

A Spoonful of Saturn to Sweeten the Night

Move over Jupiter, it's time for Saturn to shine! At opposition this week, the ringed planet is at its brightest and closest for the year.

Flakey Red Spot

Explore the Night with Bob King

Jupiter Is Outstanding at Opposition

Prime-time Jupiter viewing kicks off this month when the planet reaches opposition on June 10th. 

Planets

Venus Occults a Star and Mercury Joins Jupiter on the Winter Solstice

Bring in winter with a bang with a beautiful, close conjunction and a rare planet-star occultation.

Mars does do-si-do with Neptune

Planets

Mars and Neptune Have a Close Shave

Want to find Neptune the easy way? Just point your binoculars or telescope at Mars the next few nights, when the two planets will be in close conjunction.

Planets

Observing Earth from the Moon

Ever wondered what it would be like to see the Earth from the Moon? Join Bob King as he explores this from the perspective of the Apollo 17 astronauts.

Planets

The Outer Planets Move In, plus an "Old Moon" Observing Challenge

As the bright planets march westward, Uranus and Neptune become the fresh new faces of fall. And if you've never seen an ultra-thin lunar crescent, here's your chance.

Eight planets await

Planets

See All Eight Planets in One Night

Four planets are great, but how about eight? You can see them all in a single night in the next couple weeks — if you play your cards right.

Planets

Observers Anxious for Dust to Settle as Mars Opposition Approaches

With opposition only weeks away, will the current global dust storm finally break? We look at the prospects.

Celestial Objects to Observe

See Saturn at Its Highest & Brightest This Week

Saturn arrives at opposition on June 27th, very close to the time of full Moon.

Celestial News & Events

Big Dust Storm Blows up on Mars (Updated)

Will Mars soon be hidden under a veil of dust? Let's hope not. We explore the current storm and the planet's upcoming close opposition.

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