An arm to the sun

Celestial News & Events

SpaceX Launches First Volley of Starlink Satellites

The 60 Starlink satellites parading across the sky make an incredible sight, but some skywatchers wonder at what cost to the night.

Bob King Watches an ISS pass

Celestial News & Events

Watch International Space Station Flybys All Night Long

The annual International Space Station marathon viewing season begins later this week, when skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere can watch up to five successive ISS passes in one night.

Celestial Objects to Observe

How to “See” Interstellar Space Probes

So far, humans have sent five probes into space that are or will go far beyond the solar system: the Pioneers, the Voyagers, and New Horizons. As an exercise in fun, here's how you can find those probes' locations on the sky.

Diamond in the sky

Spacecraft and Space Missions

SpaceX Launches Orbiting "Sculpture in the Sky" / Comet Update

An art sculpture achieves orbit, 46P/Wirtanen becomes a naked-eye comet, and C/2018 V1 makes one last good pass.

Space Satellites

Spice Up Your Space Station Watching

The annual International Space Station marathon is underway with multiple passes visible each night. Here are some fun and unique ways to see and share it.

Space Satellites

Humanity Star: Bright Idea or Dark Sky Nemesis?

The launch of the Humanity Star has some fuming, others smiling, at the prospect of seeing a bright, new satellite. What do you think?

Explore the Night with Bob King

How to See and Photograph Geosynchronous Satellites

Dozens of satellites are busy day and night, beaming your favorite TV and radio programs from more than 35,000 miles away. Here's how to tune into them.

Space Satellites

Satellite Tracking Tool: Track the ISS, Hubble & More

The International Space Station passes over virtually all of Earth's populated areas, and you can spot it easily with your eyes alone — if you know where and when to look for it.

Astronomical Tools

Satellite Transit Tool: Spot ISS Transits of the Sun and Moon

The International Space Station often passes close to the Moon, Sun, and naked-eye planets. Use this tool to plan viewing these close encounters.

Mayak

Astronomy in Space with David Dickinson

New Satellite "Mayak" Might Light Up the Sky

Russia's first crowd-funded satellite, named Mayak (Russian for "beacon of light"), promises to be the “brightest object in the night sky next to the Moon.”

Space Satellites

Get Your Iridium Fix Before It's Too Late!

The shock and dazzle of Iridium flares will soon be a thing of the past. Here's how to make the most of seeing them before they're replaced by a new generation of satellites.

A bright Iridium flare

Explore the Night with Bob King

Predictive Prowess: See an Iridium Flare

Channel your inner superpower by looking up at the night sky precisely when a dazzling blaze of light is beamed to Earth from outer space.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Space-Station Frenzy

For a few days each May, you might see the International Space whenever it passes overhead throughout the night.

sunlight twice reflected

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

How to Catch an Iridium Flare

These communications satellites can briefly outshine Venus as they spray the ground with reflected sunlight.

International Space Station

Celestial Objects to Observe

Take a "Sat-seeing" Tour

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s the International Space Station! Learn how to spot Earth's artificial satellites.

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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