21–40 of 47 results
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.

Celestial News & Events

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.

Deep Sky

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.

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

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

Explore the Night with Bob King

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?

Explore the Night with Bob King

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.

Variable Stars

The Top 12 Naked-Eye Variable Stars

Lurking in the seemingly changeless constellations are a few inconstant stars that pulse and eclipse. Here are a dozen variables that are easy to observe.

Variable Stars

Epsilon Aurigae's Eclipse Begins

Robin Leadbeater of Wigton, UK, has reported the first sign of the long-awaited eclipse of Epsilon Aurigae, one of the most remarkable eclipsing variable stars in the sky.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Beta Lyrae

Beta Lyrae, an eclipsing binary, is one of the brightest and easiest-to-find variable stars in the sky.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Chi Cygni's Record-Breaking Maximum

The red, Mira-type variable star Chi Cygni has had a very unusual maximum. It's one of the brightest such variables to begin with (typically peaking at about magnitude 5.2), but in late July and early August 2006, it peaked at about magnitude 3.8.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Chi Cygni: A Wide-Ranging Variable

This red long-period variable is sometimes visible to the unaided eye — and sometimes invisible even in a 4-inch telescope.

Hipparcos satellite

Variable Stars

Mining Hipparcos's Buried Treasure

The satellite caught tantalizing pieces of light curves for many new variable stars. Now it's time to fill in the details.

Celestial Objects to Observe

Nova Hunters

Few observers have spotted an ever-elusive "new" star. Fewer still have done it twice. Observing styles and techniques are as varied as the searchers themselves.

Binary star artwork

Variable Stars

A Treasure-Trove of Variable Stars

Some of the Hipparcos satellite's unfinished business provides fair game for backyard observers.

Variable Stars

The Minima of Algol

Now you can calculate the dates and times (local and Universal Times) when the eclipsing variable star Algol should be at its dimmest (magnitude 3.4 instead of its usual 2.1).

The constellation Leo

Variable Stars

The Lure of Variable Stars

Studying and recording the ups and downs of variable stars is a pleasant pastime that can also be scientifically rewarding. Here's a simple project to get you going.

Variable Stars

R and T Coronae Borealis: Two Stellar Opposites

One is usually bright but fades unexpectedly; one is almost always faint but brightens unexpectedly. Check them out with binoculars.