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Betelgeuse telescopic view

Variable Stars

Is Betelgeuse Approaching a Crossroads?

Astronomers all over are waiting with bated breath to see what Betelgeuse will do next. Is it going to start brightening again on February 21st? Or will it continue to surprise?

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.

Thuban in TESS image

Stellar Science

See Ancient “North Stars" Eclipse Each Other

The ancient pole star known as Thuban turns out to be an eclipsing binary. If you're up for a challenge, you can see the eclipses for yourself.

Betelgeuse in Orion

Explore the Night with Bob King

Betelgeuse is Dimming . . . Why?

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

Double Stars

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.

Spica and Corvus

Variable Stars

Meet Spica, the Ear of Grain

Meet Spica, the "ear of grain" in the constellation Virgo. This bright star is actually part of a binary orbiting so closely, they tug each other out of spherical shapes and whirl around each other every four days.

Deep Sky

Hunting Bright Variable Stars in M5 and M13

Globular clusters are packed with variable stars, some of which are easy to see and follow in amateur telescopes. We explore M5 and M13, two of the season's finest.

Deep Sky

Twinkle, Twinkle Quasi-Star — 12 Quasars for Spring Evenings

Quasars are among the brightest and most distant objects in the universe. Many are visible in amateur scopes if you know just where to look. We'll help you track them down.

Celestial News & Events

Supernova Discovered in the Bright Galaxy M77

A new supernova in the bright galaxy M77 in Cetus is within range of amateur telescopes. Here's how to find it.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Trick-or-Treat with the Seven White Dwarfs

In the Halloween spirit, we pay a visit to the cosmic dead, those tiny stars that should just fade away but always seem to be causing trouble instead.

Crown in the western sky

Explore the Night with Bob King

R Coronae Borealis Awakes and Pluto Blocks a Star

Sometimes, it's just as exciting to watch a celestial object fade or disappear as it is to see it explode. We celebrate the "return" of a mysterious variable star and prepare for Pluto to occult a star.

R Leporis Carbon Star

Variable Stars

Observing Carbon Stars

Expand your observing plans by adding a few of these red-orange carbon stars.

Explore the Night with Bob King

Dwarf Nova V392 Persei Goes Big — It's Now Binocular Bright

In a rare move, a sleepy cataclysmic variable blows its top and suddenly becomes a nova.

Variable Stars

Put a Little Bit of Leo in Your Life

We lift the Lion's paw to find a bright, red variable star, a germinating planetary nebula, galaxies rarely visited, and a diversity of doubles.

Variable Stars

Mira Makes January Nights "Wonderful"

Mira, one of the easiest-to-observe pulsating variable stars, reaches peak brightness this month. Don't be shy, come look her in the eye. 

Celestial News & Events

Invite Ross 128 Over This Thanksgiving

With exoplanet Ross 128b in the news, we pay a visit to the star that sustains this potentially habitable exoplanet.

Bright Supernova Beckons

Variable Stars

Bright Supernova Erupts in NGC 5643 in Lupus

A recently discovered supernova in Lupus now shines around magnitude +11.5, bright enough to see in a modest telescope. With photos and maps, we'll get you there. I wished I lived in Georgia and not just for the peach trees and warmer weather. No, I'd be able to get up early…

Celestial News & Events

8th-magnitude Nova in Sagittarius

A nova in Sagittarius, discovered a few nights ago by a Japanese amateur, has become bright enough to see in binoculars.

Two For T

Variable Stars

Is T CrB About to Blow its Top?

The recurrent nova T Coronae Borealis last made a splash just after World War II. Does its current restive state hint at an imminent outburst?

Variable Stars

Meet My Variable Friend SS Cygni

Get acquainted with SS Cygni, the sky's brightest cataclysmic variable star. It's guaranteed to keep you on your toes.

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