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NTB via Juno

Solar System

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.

Algol

Variable Stars

Take a Roller Coaster Ride on a Fast Eclipsing Binary

How would you like to see a star drop two magnitudes in the time it takes to eat dinner? Easy to do. Just check out one of these fast eclipsing binaries — they'll make your head spin.

Betelgeuse telescopic view

Celestial News & Events

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

Comets

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

Celestial Objects to Observe

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

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.

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.

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.

Astronomy and Stargazing Projects

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.

Variable Stars

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

Celestial News & Events

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.

Double 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.

Celestial News & Events

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. 

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

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